Former New Line Cinema CFO coming to SI
Stephen Abramson, former chief financial officer of New Line Cinema, is coming to SI to discuss “Technology as a Fix, Not a Threat, to the Entertainment Industry.” His brown-bag talk will be at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 13 in the Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad.
Abramson’s current focus involves developing financing structures for new media companies that create entertainment content directly for the Web. In addition to being here to talk about the film business, he wants to engage you in a dialogue exploring questions and answers that can create the strategies necessary for old media’s migration to the new paradigm created by technology.
“What does technology have to do with the lack of good movies to see?” Abramson asks. “The film business, along with other old media content, like music, newspapers, and magazines, is having difficulty accommodating the new-found freedom created by the Web.”
He explains that smaller independent films have lost out to the big special-effects films now dominating the movie business. As an alternative to the existing old media distribution system, Abramson adds, the Web provides an opportunity to see not only quality films, but also to hear innovative music, and to have access to unbiased, accurate news.
“But things are not quite right,” he says.
And that’s where Monday’s audience comes in. Abramson notes that work being done at Michigan — including that of SI faculty and students — can help capitalize on these new opportunities. Questions need to be answered, such as:
- Can awareness be created for unbranded product without spending traditional advertising dollars for television, print, and online?
- How can consumers make choices when confronted with a large amount of undifferentiated product?
- What role does user behavior for online communities play in the selection process of what to see, hear, or read?
- Will consumers pay for unbranded product when free content is being provided by YouTube and the large news aggregators?
Abramson’s professional focus now involves developing financing structures for new media companies that create entertainment content directly for the Web. As chief financial officer for New Line Cinema from 1981-2008), his experience included finance, business development, human resources, and information technology. He was responsible for completing numerous multi-million dollar financing transactions and was instrumental in completing New Line’s initial public offering and the subsequent acquisitions of New Line by Turner Broadcasting and then by Time Warner.
Abramson is a U-M grad, having earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also holds an MBA from Cornell University.Explore posts in the same categories: Events, Guest speakers