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Fall 2011 RBO Release
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Executives concur that the pace of change for the media will continue at breakneck speed although the future remains very much up in the air

GPSEG hosts Regional Business Outlook forum “What does the future hold for the media?”



PHILADELPHIA — If you’re intrigued by the swift changes in the media landscape stay tuned, because the future remains uncertain and will feature numerous exciting innovations that change the way everyone views and receives its content.


So said participants in a panel discussion Thursday sponsored by GPSEG, a nonprofit professional association of senior-level executives throughout Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware committed to the exchange of business contacts and ideas.


“Everything is advancing at such a rapid pace that it’s almost impossible to predict where we’ll be next year,” said Comcast Corp. Executive Vice President David L. Cohen. “The common denominator of what you’re going to see … is that there is an insatiable demand for instant content.”


Cohen was joined by Philadelphia Media Network, Inc. Publisher and CEO Gregory J. Osberg on a panel Thursday moderated by Larry Kane that discussed the topic “What Does the Future Hold for the Media?”


Osberg said the biggest challenge is having to accept a changing landscape. He noted that Philadelphia Media Network has to balance having customers who still prefer the print product with those willing to pay for premium online products.


Osberg noted that while immediacy is a primary interest for today’s media consumers, the company has obligations beyond that.


“We can’t give just sound bites,” he said. “We have to honor our investigative heritage.”


Osberg and Cohen agreed that partnerships between media companies will become increasingly popular in order to leverage unique advantages.


And expect plenty of major announcements from both Comcast and Philadelphia Media Network in the months ahead.


Circulation for the newspapers is growing and there’s hope the new digital products will continue to gain traction.

Cohen said Comcast has slowed the decline in its residential video service while experiencing gains in its residential Internet service, residential phone service and it commercial business services. In addition, he said the NBC network is looking to turn around its struggling primetime lineup.


“This is a long process – three to five years,” he said.


More than 125 business leaders and entrepreneurs attended the forum at the Four Seasons Hotel. GPSEG Chairman and CEO Dwayne Patterson said the organization was pleased with the event.


“The forum was a resounding success and was quite informative, considering how two Philadelphia companies will play a key role in shaping the media’s future,” he said. “Our members now have a better understanding of what they can expect in the years ahead.”