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Media Summit 2009
Wednesday, March 18
10:45 AM - Noon
Session A:
The Changing Face of News: The Power, The Influence and the Challenge of the Technologies
Every morning, the national conversation is started and disseminated by the editorial voices at the major news organizations across the globe. The tradition of great print and broadcast journalism remains at the core of our democracy – in fact – it could be argued that with the rise of “new media” distribution, more individuals have access to news than ever before. Nevertheless, with the growing power of broadband, mobile, IPTV, social networks, blogs and other non-traditional news sourcing, the role, the path of the future and the general understanding of how to structure a national news gathering and distribution organization is the ongoing question for our industry. The power and voice of news continues, but the role of our great institutions is in flux. In this session, we are pleased to bring together a group of leading voices in the news media industry.
Michael Wolff, Columnist, Vanity Fair
Michael Oreskes, Senior Managing Editor, The Associated Press
Ellen Weiss, Vice President for News, NPR
Kevin Yen, Director of Strategic Partnerships, YouTube
Jon Fine, Columnist, BusinessWeek, Moderator

Michael Wolff, a columnist for Vanity Fair and two-time National Magazine Award winner, is one of the nation's most influential writers about media, culture and politics. He is a commentator for CNBC and the founder of Newser (, the news aggregator. In 2003, he achieved international recognition for his dispatches from the Persian Gulf as the Iraq War began. His work, which has been widely anthologized, has appeared in numerous publications in the U.S., including New York Magazine, where he was a columnist, and the Guardian and Spectator in the U.K. He is the author of five books, includingAutumn of the Moguls (HarperBusiness, 2003) and Burn Rate (Simon & Schuster, 1998) and The Man Who Owns the News (Random House, 2008), a biography of Rupert Murdoch, based on nine months of interviews with Murdoch and his family and associates. He lives in New York City.

Ellen Weiss, Vice President for News, NPR: Ellen Weiss, an award-winning broadcast news executive who has served as head of the NPR News National Desk and Executive Producer of the top-rated daily NPR News magazine All Things Considered, was named Vice President for News, NPR in April 2007. In this role – the organization's top news management position – Weiss oversees NPR's worldwide journalism operations, including 18 domestic and 18 foreign bureaus; more than 400 staff members; more than 50 hours of news programming weekly, and NPR's award-winning investigations, longform series and other special reporting. Weiss joined NPR News in 1982 and had served as Acting Vice President for News since October 2006. From 2001 to 2006, she was Senior Editor of the National Desk, managing 80 reporters, editors and producers covering all national issues including politics, business, religion, education, immigration, police and prisons. She oversaw coverage of major national events; among them, NPR News' critically-acclaimed work covering 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2002 and 2004 elections. Weiss also edited many of NPR News' investigations including Daniel Zwerdling's award-winning coverage of the use of dogs in detention centers, Carrie Kahn's report on mercy killings at New Orleans hospitals during Hurricane Katrina and John McChesney's investigation into the final hours of the only Abu Ghraib detainee whose death was ruled a homicide. For 12 years, she was Executive Producer of the daily NPR News magazine All Things Considered. She was responsible for its broadcasts from around the U.S. and the world – including Berlin during the fall of communism, San Francisco after the 1989 earthquake, L.A. in the midst of the 1992 riots and Jerusalem during the 1996 elections. Weiss has also served as a senior producer, editor, field producer and director at NPR News. She has been part of the NPR News teams that have received such honors as Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, George Foster Peabody Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, Overseas Press Club Awards and American Women in Radio and Television Awards. Weiss is a graduate of Smith College with a B.A. in international relations. She and her family live in Washington, D.C.

Michael Oreskes, Senior Managing Editor, The Associated Press , oversees domestic news from The Associated Press, from state bureaus to national political coverage, for both U.S. and world audiences. Oreskes joined the AP in July, 2008 after serving as executive editor of the International Herald Tribune for the past three years. Previously, he was deputy managing editor of The New York Times, supervising television and Internet content. During this period, he won three Emmy awards and a DuPont award for documentary television. From 1997 to 2001, Oreskes was Washington bureau chief for the Times, and previously served as national political correspondent, metropolitan editor and city editor. He started with the Times in 1981, as a metropolitan correspondent. Before that Oreskes worked for the Daily News in New York City. He is a graduate of City College of New York. Oreskes is the author of the book "The Genius of America," which examines the role of the constitution in modern political life. Published in September 2007, the paperback version is due out in October.

Kevin Yen, Director of Strategic Partnerships, YouTube: As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Kevin Yen is responsible the performance and expansion of YouTube's content and distribution deals, as well as the industry marketing of the YouTube platform. His online video expertise spans monetization models, marketing strategies, research methods, and rights management. At YouTube, Kevin created the Four R's marketing framework of Revenue-Reach-Research-Rights, and established and chairs the partner Video Advisory Board. Prior to the Google acquisition of YouTube in October 2006, Kevin built and directed the partner management team for Google Video, and negotiated over $250 million in large-scale ad syndication deals with Google's top partners such as AOL and InfoSpace. Before joining Google, Kevin held senior product positions at Netscape and AOL, where he also led technology and distribution deals with Sun Microsystems and Macromedia, among others. In addition, he helped pioneer advertising optimization systems at a Silicon Valley startup. Kevin earned his BA with distinction in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley, MS in Engineering from Stanford, and MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Jon Fine, Columnist, BusinessWeek: Jon Fine is the media columnist for BusinessWeek and an on-air contributor to CNBC. Prior to his arrival at BusinessWeek, Fine covered print media for Advertising Age, where he arrived just in time to observe magazines' and newspapers' dizzying fall from their dot-com-fueled heights. His freelance work has appeared in GQ, Spin, ESPN The Magazine, and Newsday, where he wrote the "Pushing 30" column. In an ongoing alternate life as a musician, Fine’s played in bands that have released several LPs and CDs and have toured in ten countries. Fine was born in Texas and raised in the wilds of suburban New Jersey. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, and now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, founder Laurel Touby.