Press release

Nov 13, 2015

Starz’s John Penney announced as CMPA’s Prime Time opening keynote

New faces added to the stellar speaker line up represent CAA, WME, Facebook, NRK, FilmBuff, Tribal DDB, Solutions Research Group, Magnify Digital & Bell Media

OTTAWA, November 13, 2015—The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) has announced John Penney, Chief Strategy Officer for Starz, as the opening keynote speaker for Prime Time in Ottawa 2016, which will take place February 3 to 5 at The Westin in Ottawa. Conference producers have added ten industry leaders who will be taking the Prime Time stage for the first time. These new faces to Prime Time include Tone C. Rønning, Commissioning Editor Drama and Arts, NRK; Lorenzo De Maio, Agent for Independent & International TV, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment; Rob Kenneally, TV Agent, Creative Artists Agency; Janet Brown, CEO, FilmBuff; Dino Demopoulos, Head of Strategy, Tribal DDB; Jake Norman, Head of Agency Development, Facebook; Kaan Yigit, President, Solutions Research Group; Justin Stockman, Vice-President, Business & Channel Strategy, Bell Media and Moyra Rodgers, CEO, Magnify Digital.

As Chief Strategy Officer for Starz, John Penney builds key business strategies and partnerships, and identifies and develops new business opportunities across the Starz family of companies.  He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Consumer Technology Association and Chairman of its Content and Entertainment Council.  John is also a founding member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Vision Council which is part of its Interactive Media Peer Group.  Previously he was SVP of Digital Initiatives for HBO.  Earlier in his career, Penney spent seven years on Wall Street as an equity research analyst and financial analyst.

“There are few leaders working in media who are as knowledgeable and forward-thinking as John when it comes to the future of technology, particularly consumer electronics, and their potential to disrupt or enhance content production and distribution.  His perspective is both rare and crucial, and we are honoured to have him set the tone for Prime Time 2016,” said Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO of CMPA.

“We are also truly excited to welcome panelists who have never spoken at Prime Time before, and who will bring a fresh perspective from international territories or adjacent industries,” said Marguerite Pigott, CMPA’s Vice President of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives. “Tone C. Rønning, NRK’s Executive Producer of The Bridge and Commissioning Editor of Lilyhammer, and Rob Kenneally, CAA agent of top Canadian talent, are just two of the many new voices coming to Prime Time to contribute their expertise and do business.”

Previously announced speakers include industry heavyweights Barb Williams, President of Shaw Media and Executive Vice President of Broadcasting; Heather Conway, Executive Vice President, CBC; Jim Kiriakakis, Producer, Buck Productions; John Young, Managing Director, Temple Street Productions; Noreen Halpern, President, Halfire-CORE Entertainment and David Cormican, EVP, Business Development & Production and Partner, Don Carmody Television.

Prime Time 2016 is taking place from February 3 to 5, a month earlier than in past years. This year will focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and growth by exploring new opportunities in international and digital markets, and in the evolution of legacy media.  Panels and keynotes will explore best practices for accessing the global market, opportunities in branded entertainment, packaging strategies from leading agents, innovations in storytelling, a broadcast look-ahead, selling into digital platforms, and much more.

Prime Time offers a premium networking experience, amplified by the successful ‘Breakfast With’ initiative for delegates to meet with industry buyers and experts.  Registration is open now, with the early bird rate and travel and accommodation discounts available. Registration for early bird pricing is now open until December 11, 2015. Visit for more details.

The CMPA’s Prime Time in Ottawa conference is a national networking event for some 600 of Canada’s most prominent business leaders from the television, interactive media, feature film, broadcasting and telecommunications industries. Visit for more details.

The Canadian Media Producers Association is the national advocacy organization for independent producers, representing hundreds of companies engaged in the development, production and distribution of English-language content made for television, cinema and digital media channels. We work to promote the continued success of the Canadian production sector and to ensure a bright future for the diverse content made by our members for both domestic and international audiences.

For more information:

Kyle O’Byrne
Manager, Media Relations & Communications
Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)