Richard Plepler, Chief Executive Officer of HBO, discusses the search for the unexpected future of media with Franklin Foer, Editor of The New Republic, and Jill Abramson, Executive Editor of The New York Times.
These are hardly boom times for serious media. The business model for the industry is unclear; the market often rewards the crass and vulgar, while slighting the outlets that produce well-crafted, weighty art and journalism. What will emerge on the other side of media's transition into its next era? How will media be produced and consumed? Will the underlying values of the media change along with its underlying economics. Please join The New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, HBO Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler, and The New Republic Editor Franklin Foer as they discuss the future of media.
Jill Abramson is the editorial leader of The New York Times, the nation’s preeminent news organization. Before being named executive editor in September 2011, she served for eight years as managing editor, guiding the newsroom through a turbulent period and helping change its approach to news dissemination in the digital era. In 2010 she took a sabbatical from that role to gain firsthand experience in the paper’s online operations. Abramson joined the Times in 1997 and served as Washington bureau chief from 2000 to 2003. Before that, she was an investigative reporter and deputy bureau chief at The Wall Street Journal from 1988 to 1997. She is the coauthor of Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. Abramson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has taught writing at Princeton and Yale Universities.
Franklin Foer is the editor of The New Republic.
Foer graduated from Columbia in 1996. Before joining The New Republic, Foer was a frequent contributor to the online magazine Slate.
His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Spin, U.S. News & World Report, Lingua Franca, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, New York and Foreign Policy. In 2004 he published his first book, How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization.
Richard Plepler is CEO of Home Box Office, Inc., responsible for the overall management of the world's most successful pay TV service, which provides the two television networks – HBO and Cinemax – to over 100 million subscribers worldwide. He was named to this position in January 2013.
Renowned worldwide, the HBO and Cinemax services offer the most popular subscription video-on-demand products, HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand® as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO programming is sold into over 150 countries globally.
As co-president, Mr. Plepler, in partnership with Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming, greenlit some of HBO's most acclaimed and successful series including True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom and Game of Thrones, which rank among the top programs in the network's history, as well as first season Emmy® Awards for Girls and Veep. Additional award-winning programs include the miniseries Mildred Pierce, starring Kate Winslet, and Generation Kill; HBO Films' Too Big To Fail, Temple Grandin, Taking Chance, Grey Gardens, Game Change and You Don't Know Jack. Plepler also shepherded Cinemax's first foray into primetime originals with the popular action series Strikeback.
Mr. Plepler is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations, where he serves on the President's Advisory Board, and The Trilateral Commission. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Asia Society and the New York Public Library, and is on the National Advisory Board of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
He received his BA in Government from Franklin and Marshall College in 1981 and then joined the staff of Senator Christopher Dodd from 1981-1984. Mr. Plepler later founded RLP, Inc., his own consultancy specializing in strategic communication and production from 1985-1992. He joined HBO in 1992 as senior vice president, Corporate Communications; promoted to executive vice president, Corporate Communications, in 1997; named executive vice president, HBO, in 2002; and elevated to co-president, HBO, in 2007.
Mr. Plepler resides in New York City with his wife Lisa and daughter Eden.
Richard Plepler, CEO of Home Box Office, Inc., and Jill Abramson, Executive editor of the New York Times, respond to an audience question about the controversial torture scenes in the critically acclaimed "Zero Dark Thirty," a dramatic retelling of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.