News, Notes & Commentary on the world of HRTS

On to the 65th!

Dave Ferrara

Dave Ferrara

It’s that time of year again. The just-wrapped 2011-2012 HRTS Season has been one to remember with a full slate of must-see panels, a consistently growing membership and a year full of reminders about just what this organization represents to our industry. As I stood onstage at our June 7th “State of the Industry” panel, I was reminded of the constant question that I field when I’m attending my annual “Association Leadership” conference. (To be fair, before I took the HRTS job, I had no idea there was even and association of associations let alone a leadership conference focusing on running our type of group. But I digress.) The question I often hear is “What the heck is HRTS?” Seems like a simple enough question, right? I’m fairly certain many of you have heard that same question, but since I run the organization, and a large part of my job is being able to articulate that answer, I’ve spent some time looking in the mirror to come up with the “elevator pitch.” Here goes…

“Since 1947, HRTS is the television industry’s premier information and networking forum. The exclusive place where industry leaders gather under one roof, multiple times a year to network, discuss and debate the issues relevant to the ongoing success of our business.” Short. Sweet. To the point. But what does that really mean? And more importantly, is it actually a true representation of what we do? Looking back at our last season, I can unequivocally say…yes!

A Conversation with Leslie Moonves image

A Conversation with Leslie Moonves luncheon

Think about it. Let’s just look at the HRTS season just passed. We kicked off our year with a one-on-one Q&A with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves bringing us his 40,000 foot view on the TV biz. We followed that with our annual “Network Chiefs” panel addressing the realities, challenges and opportunities facing the broadcast nets. Our panelists were ABC’s Paul Lee; CBS’ Nina Tassler; Fox’s Kevin Reilly; NBC’s Jennifer Salke; and CW’s Mark Pedowitz. December brought us the “Scripted Hitmakers” panel featuring top showrunners including Justified’s Graham Yost; The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara; 2 Broke Girls’ Michael Patrick King; and New Girl’s Liz Meriwhether, Dave Finkel and Brett Baer. March brought us our annual Cable Programming Summit featuring TNT’s Michael Wright; AMC’s Joel Stillerman; MTV’s David Janollari; ABC Family’s Kate Jeurgens and STARZ’s Carmi Zlotnik. In April, we brought the top “Unscripted Producers” together for a rousing conversation on the state of reality TV producing. Panelists included Mike Fleiss (The Bachelor); Conrad Green (Dancing with the Stars); Eli Holzman (Undercover Boss); Kris Jenner (Keeping Up With The Kardashians) and Bertram van Munster (The Amazing Race). Then we wrapped the season in June with our annual “The State of the Industry” panel bringing together WME TV Head Rick Rosen; BermanBraun’s Lloyd Braun; History and Lifetime’s Nancy Dubuc; Ziffren-Brittenham partner Cliff Gilbert-Lurie and Twentieth Century Fox TV Chairman Gary Newman.

State of the Industry 2012 luncheon

State of the Industry 2012 luncheon

Just take a moment and consider that list of panelists we’ve convened over the past twelve months. HRTS really is “that” place. The place where leaders of our industry put aside competitive pressures, just for a few hours and come together to address the important issues that we as an industry face. And just as important, bringing this group together in one room helps all of us to develop, maintain and expand the important personal and professional relationships needed to be successful in this business.

I want to take a moment to once again thank all of the amazing luncheon participants, as well as our moderators Brian Lowry, Jeff Probst, Tom Bergeron, Billy Bush, Peter Tolan, and Alex Ben-Block that we’ve enjoyed this year, as their generous commitment of their time is the currency that allows HRTS to continue to do what we do. I also want to acknowledge our volunteer board of directors, led by President Sean Perry, VP Ian Moffitt, Secretary Kelly Goode and Treasurer Martha Henderson as their strategic guidance and personal commitment are key to successfully pulling these panels together. And lastly, thank you to the over 1500 individual and 50+ Corporate Members and other supporters of our organization. At the end of the day, HRTS is a membership organization and we are only as relevant as our membership allows us to be!

Network Chiefs image

Network Chiefs luncheon

In conclusion it’s been a great year for our organization. We’re growing. We’re expanding our offerings. I’m proud of what we have accomplished and I look forward to September when we kick off our 65th Anniversary Season and start this all over again.

So what is HRTS? Rather than breaking out a mirror to find the answer …maybe HRTS IS the mirror. A mirror that for 64 plus years has provided a clear reflection of the individuals and companies that have made our industry what it is today.

Have a tremendous summer and see you in September at the next Luncheon!

Dave Ferrara

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What is the Hollywood Radio & Television Society?

Since 1947 the HRTS has been the entertainment industry's premier information and networking forum. HRTS events are the only place where leading executives from across the industry gather under one roof, multiple times a year to discuss issues relevant to the ongoing success of our business. HRTS Members and our industry partners represent the best and the brightest in town. Is your company ready to join the ranks of HRTS? There are many ways for individuals and companies to get more involved. To find out how, call (818) 789-1182 or email

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