The one-day conference, which attracts C-Suite media executives and Wall Street observers each year to the Harvard Club, grows in its 19th year with the addition of broadcast television industry topics of conversation, insight and growth.
With this expanded focus, Forecast will be co-chaired by Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution Media Networks President Debra OConnell and Bill Wilson, CEO of local media and radio broadcasting company Townsquare Media.
“We are especially excited about this year, not only for the chance to re-convene in person, but to have two such outstanding media executives chair this year’s Forecast,” said Deborah Parenti, publisher of RBR+TVBR and Radio Ink. “The fresh focus, energy, and direction they will bring to the agenda will add greatly to the event.”
“After the last year, it’s more important than ever to come together across our industries and share key learnings and best practices,” OConnell said. “I’m thrilled to be co-chairing with Bill and working with the Forecast 2022 team on an event that enables us to share all the valuable learnings of the last year, and more importantly, help us identify and drive long-term growth strategies for the radio and television businesses moving forward.”
OConnell oversees operational leadership including P&L oversight of all of Disney’s linear television channels, as well as business planning, network/channel commercial marketing, and audience strategy for the ABC broadcast network and eight ABC Owned stations, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN Networks, FX Networks, Freeform, and National Geographic Networks.
OConnell has been associated with ABC’s owned stations for more than two decades and previously served as President/GM of WABC-7 in New York. In this role, she had overall management responsibility for the station and all of its ancillary businesses, as well as Live with Kelly and Ryan. In 2020, she was recognized by Radio + Television Business Report as a Top Local TV Leader.
Wilson, who has been associated with Townsquare Media since September 2010, said, “Forecast 2022 will be an important opportunity for broadcasters to fully examine and understand the consumer and advertiser trends in local media post the pandemic, including which trends were permanent and were accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Many challenges, yet many more opportunities. I am very pleased to be co-chairing this year’s event with Debra OConnell.”