The Digital Hollywood Experience


Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Location: LVCC, North Hall, Room N262

11:30 - 12:30 PM
Track II- DH3 - Digital Hollywood

Hollywood and Media: Platforms and Brands

Content is now imagined and created for an always-on always-connected media universe.  In this cross-platform world, the entertainment brand must resonate equally on mobile platforms as well as on Cable or Internet TV.  It is a massive challenge and a creativity opportunity.

Russell Schwartz, Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Starz

Shannon Pruitt, President, The Story Lab

Naseem Sayani, Vice President, Business Strategy, Huge LA

Monty Sarhan, EVP & Head of Programming, Strategy & Enterprises, EPIX

Rick Eiserman, CEO, Trailer Park

Kay Madati, EVP and Chief Digital Officer, BET Networks

Shawn Gold, Advisor,, Moderator



Monty Sarhan is the Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisitions, Strategy and Enterprises for EPIX, the premium entertainment service that is a joint venture of Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM.  Part of the network’s original launch team, Monty heads up the programming department, oversees acquisitions and scheduling for EPIX’s linear channels and on-demand offerings, and manages the network’s acquisitions, scheduling, operations, and program planning teams. Prior to his current role, Monty was Senior Vice President and Head of Business Affairs and responsible for a wide range of transactions including the network’s distribution and programming deals and key agreements that allowed EPIX to become the first premium network to offer subscribers access on Android devices, Roku, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PLAYSTATION. He also worked on business development and various strategic initiatives. Monty is a graduate of Duke University’s School of Law and earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University.  He is married and lives with his wife, daughter, and two sons in Manhattan.


Shannon Pruitt, President, The Story Lab: As President of The Story Lab, Shannon helps her clients create storytelling solutions that allow them to plan, develop and leverage content to deepen relationships with audiences across their bought, owned and earned ecosystems. She is a pioneer in building the content arm of a global media conglomerate, leading the global expansion of TSL with a strategic vision anchored in the belief and practice of a truly integrated content and media approach. Through her extensive background in content strategy development, combined with relationships in the sports, entertainment, and publisher worlds, she guides her clients through the complex landscape of content, media, and tech opportunities to create sustainable planning and implementation to optimize effectiveness and return. Previously, Shannon had her own consulting company where she worked with clients across all areas of monetization, sales packaging, and strategy related to content, intellectual property development, and licensing. Clients included J & J/Ensemble, Aegis Media/The Story Lab, FremantleMedia, AIM Productions, Sweety High, and Disney Digital. With her extensive experience in television, digital media, social media and live events, she has led Marketing, Sales and Business Development teams at entertainment powerhouses such as Warner Bros, 19 Entertainment, Mark Burnett Productions and FremantleMedia. Prior to transitioning into entertainment, Shannon worked at MasterCard International in Advertising, as well as Octagon Marketing overseeing MasterCard’s sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup, MLB and NFL Teams. Shannon holds an MBA and a BA in Japanese from the University of Oregon. She is also active as a special needs parent, dedicating her time to education advocacy and research. She currently sits on the Los Angeles Board of the March of Dimes as well as the Board of the National Angelman Syndrome Foundation.


Naseem Sayani, Vice President, Business Strategy, Huge LA:  Naseem is responsible for building a team of digital strategists who, in partnership with Huge’s creative and technology teams, infuse insight (e.g., competitive, user behaviors, internal capabilities), strategic thinking, and a focus on business outcomes into everything we deliver. Prior to joining Huge, Naseem was Chief Operating Officer of Strategy& Digital Services (formerly Booz Digital), the digital innovation practice at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) which helped clients identify, design, and launch new digital products & businesses. She has expertise in helping clients build “user first” growth strategies, and transform these into sustainable new business models. She has been published in Strategy&Business magazine multiple times around topics including digital commerce, the power of mobile engagement, and how to drive digital innovation in companies large and small. Naseem received a bachelor of arts in Business Economics from UCLA, and an MBA in Strategy & Operations from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband Shaffiq.


Rick Eiserman, CEO, Engine Group North America and Trailer Park: Rick oversees the North American operations for Engine Group that includes U.S. headquarters and offices for Trailer Park, Deep Focus, PAA and ORC International. He also holds a dual role as CEO of Trailer Park, a full-service agency headquartered in Hollywood, Calif. that specializes in content creation and entertainment marketing.  Prior to Trailer Park Inc., Rick was North America Managing Partner at Young & Rubicam Brands, Southern California, and Y&R's Global Client Partner Lead for Land Rover and Mattel. He ran a 200-plus team that provided digital, events, promotions, advertising and viral services. Under his leadership, the office served as the lead growth engine for Y&R Advertising in the U.S., winning more than $150 million in new billings for 2007 alone, adding Toshiba Computers, Pony, Jenny Craig and Accenture Global/Digital.  In 2000, Rick launched BrandBuzz, a New York-based multi-discipline branding agency with Y&R. As CEO, he grew the company to a 65-person full-service agency, with clients that included LG Mobile/Appliances/Electronics, MSN and the NBA. In addition to BrandBuzz, Rick was responsible for launching two specialty units within WPP: BIG, a consulting unit specializing in developing adver-gaming and in-game strategies for brands, and Bounce Entertainment & Events, a strategic alliance designed to provide experiential marketing solutions for clients. Rick began his career at Y&R New York, working in account management with clients including Campbell's, Sony and Blockbuster. He later transitioned into a role as junior member of the new business team that drove more than $1 billion in global new business, helping Y&R New York to be named "Global New Business Agency of the Year" by Advertising Age. Rick received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree: Graphic Design from the California Art Institute in San Diego


Kay M. Madati is Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at BET Networks, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB) and the leading provider of entertainment for the African-American audience and consumers of Black culture globally. He leads the teams responsible for all aspects of digital, social and mobile strategy and oversees operations, content creation, technology, and product development across the suite of BET Network’s digital platforms. Madati oversees BET Digital, the interactive arm of BET Networks. BET Digital’s platforms include, a leading Internet source for entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Mobile, which provides apps, ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices;, the online home for CENTRIC; and BET Video On Demand (VOD), one of the largest On Demand services providing African American content. Prior to joining BET Networks, Mr. Madati was the Head of Entertainment & Media at Facebook, Inc., charged with the growth and monetization of Facebook’s Entertainment & Media business, and ultimately responsible for positioning Facebook as a critical and foundational element of the digital and marketing matrix for all entertainment content publishers and distributors. Prior to this role, Mr. Madati was the Vice President of Audience Experience at CNN Worldwide, overseeing the development and execution of a successful social media and consumer engagement + experience strategy across all of CNN’s distribution platforms, including television, digital, mobile, the social web and offline events. Previously, Mr. Madati was the Vice President of Marketing at Community Connect, Inc., a top 50 social networking web publisher with sites like and He was responsible for the overall branding and marketing of these sites, as well as site programming, public relations, events, and partnerships. Mr. Madati began his career with BMW of North America, where he held a variety of leadership roles in sales, operations and marketing; working on projects that highlighted innovation and creativity with leveraging technology and media to engage consumers.  Mr. Madati has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC, where he majored in American Studies with a concentration in Philosophy. He is both a Tanzanian and US citizen who has lived in Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Outside of work, Mr. Madati is a passionate advocate for providing educational opportunities for youth in underserved communities. He is a founding Board Member & Chairman Emeritus of both Brooklyn Excelsior and Atlanta Heights Charter Schools. He is a Board Member of CoachArt, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for chronically ill children & their families. He serves on Advisory Board of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. And in February of 2014, President Obama appointed Mr. Madati to the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.


Shawn Gold, Advisor,; Shawn Gold has over 20 years of experience in branding, communications planning, digital marketing and content strategy. He currently advises, a social storytelling platform and one of the fastest growing mobile content sites in the world. Previously he oversaw sales, marketing and content development as CMO of Inside Studios, a video and mobile app company creating shows with over 1 billion views on YouTube and MSN. Until 2007, he was CMO, head of marketing & content for MySpace. At MySpace Gold spearheaded the development and implementation of marketing initiatives and campaigns for MySpace during its growth from 25 to 110 million users worldwide. Prior to MySpace he was a partner and the founding publisher of Weblogs, Inc., a network of popular blogs that included Engadget, Joystiq and Autoblog, now part of AOL. As head of communications planning for Rare Medium, Shawn helped launch digital communications strategies for brands at P&G, General Mills, Nestle, Mattel and other international brand marketing companies.