From a media release:
The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS and Chief Content Officer, News and Sports for Paramount+ George Cheeks is confirmed to participate in the Festival’s Summit Series, a premium keynote speaker lineup featuring the boldest voices and the world’s most influential media leaders. Cheeks will speak on Monday, June 12th, in an exclusive fireside conversation. The 44th edition of the Festival will take place in-person June 11 – 14 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
“George Cheeks has been an innovative business and creative force in the television industry for over thirty years,” commented Kevin Beggs, Chair of the Board of Directors for BANFF and Chair & Chief Creative Officer of the Lionsgate Television Group. “We at the Banff World Media Festival are honored to have George give our keynote and share his views on the evolving industry.”
“In this liminal era of the entertainment industry, George Cheeks is paving an innovative path,” said BANFF Executive Director, Jenn Kuzmyk. “We’re honoured to welcome him to the festival and look forward to hearing his vision for the future of the business as well as insights on some of the industry’s big questions.”
The BANFF Summit Series is a curated, future-focused lineup of keynote sessions that was launched in 2019 in honour of the festival’s four-decade legacy. This powerful speaker roster features the global players who are shaping the future of the media industry. Past Summit Series speakers have included Bela Bajaria, Pearlena Igbokwe, Greg Berlanti, Ted Sarandos, Channing Dungey, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Paula Kerger, Sarah Barnett, Paul Feig, Kenan Thompson, Maverick Carter, David Linde and Seth Meyers.
Cheeks oversees CBS-branded assets within Paramount Global, including the CBS Television Network, which encompasses CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Sports, as well as CBS Studios, CBS Stations, CBS Media Ventures, its first-run syndication business, and CBS-branded digital assets. He is also the Chief Content Officer, News and Sports, for Paramount+, extending the world-class content from CBS News and CBS Sports to the streaming super service. In addition, his leadership portfolio across Paramount Global includes responsibility for BET, Paramount Television Studios and the company’s free-to-air networks in the United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina and Chile.
Prior to joining CBS, Cheeks served more than seven years at NBCUniversal in senior executive positions that spanned creative, business and operational roles. Most recently, he was Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios and was also in charge of late night programming for NBC Entertainment. Previously, Cheeks was Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment and was jointly responsible for overseeing primetime, late night and scripted daytime programming for the network, including business affairs, marketing, communications, scheduling, West Coast research and digital operations, as well as first-run syndication.
Prior to being named Co-Chairman, Cheeks served as Co-President, Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios as well as President, Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment, where he oversaw the network’s lucrative and successful late night slate. Prior to that role, Cheeks was President of Business Operations and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.
Cheeks joined NBC in 2012 after serving as Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel, Viacom Music and Entertainment Groups, Content Distribution and Marketing, as well as Head of Standards and Practices for Viacom Media Networks, in New York. In his first stint with Viacom starting in 1998, he began working as Senior Counsel for MTV Networks in the Business and Legal Affairs Department for the Nickelodeon Group. While there, he ascended to positions of increasing responsibility, and in 2005 he was elevated to Executive Vice President and General Counsel for MTV, MTV2, MTVu, MTV Films, VH1, CMT and LOGO.
In addition to Summit Series keynotes, BANFF will return with an array of provocative panel discussions, celebrity master classes and networking opportunities to connect the global media industry to ignite new projects and support business development. Also returning: the prestigious Rockies Gala honouring the most inspiring executives and talent in the industry; and the Rockie Awards International Program Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious screen industry competitions, with participation from more than 45+ countries annually including an international jury of 150 industry professionals. Category winners, including the Grand Jury Prize, the Rogers Prize for Canadian Content, the Francophone Prize, and other special prizes, will be announced during the Festival on June 12th.