The challenges of a shifting TV landscape will be discussed by television executives at this year's RTS Cambridge Convention, chaired by BBC Director-General Tony Hall.
Josh Sapan was welcomed as “the real deal, one of the greats of American cable and the television industry” by his interviewer, Tim Davie. Not only that, the audience learned that Sapan was cut from a different cloth to most US TV executives because he understood British humour.
That’s germane because Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks, landed a 49.9% stake in BBC America (for $200m) in October 2014.
“We are cousins of the BBC, married into the family, a delight for me,” said the donnish-looking, New York-based cable veteran.
The RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 took place from Wednesday 16 to Friday 18 September, seeing senior leaders from the television industry on both sides of the Atlantic converge on the city.
The topics covered over the three days ranged from the importance of the BBC worldwide, to a debate about the lessons learnt from the General Election 2015, to the continued challenge that the television industry faces with the rise of video content emerging on digital platforms.
AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan lays claim to having the world’s largest collection of antique lightning rods. "They’re architectural and a form of industrial art. I just got captivated by them," he explains.
One or two of them can be found lying around his office on Penn Plaza, a few blocks from the Empire State Building, alongside examples of another passion. This is his collection of panoramic photographs of people and places from the last century.