Question Marks? Nine head agrees to Inform keynote

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With so many issues to resolve and questions to answer, Nine Entertainment chief Hugh Marks becomes the 'must hear' speaker at next month's Inform News Media Summit in Sydney.

Following the proposed "merger" acquisition of Fairfax Media, he will head one of Australia's largest media companies and confront a wide range of competitive issues.

Peter Miller, chief executive of organiser NewsMediaWorks, said the group - of which stakeholders are Fairfax, NewsCorp and Seven West Media - was "thrilled" to welcome Marks to the annual event for the first time.

"Nine has a wonderful story to tell on the basis of its proud tradition in delivering news and current affairs through its storied history and also its approach to innovation and transformation," he said.

It is not clear what form the address will take, or whether questions will be invited.

Marks looks back on a 20-year local and international career in broadcasting, TV and multimedia, and is credited with an outstanding track record in identifying and developing creative concepts, new business ideas and emerging platforms and technologies.

His involvement with Nine began in 1995 as legal counsel for two years. He was a director of Nine Films & Television and Nine Network Australia (1998-2002) before becoming chief executive of both Southern Star Entertainment (2002-05) and the Southern Star Group (2005-09). He has also owned and run businesses in content production, talent management and content financing, and has headed Nine Entertainment since November 2015.

Other speakers slated for the event at the Sydney Hilton on September 14 include Stuff NZ chief executive Sinead Boucher, industry commentator Mark Ritson, Zenith US executive vice president and head of innovation Tom Goodwin, Newsworks UK chief executive Vanessa Clifford, of Newsworks, and Jarrod Dicker, chief executive officer of Po.et and former innovation chief at the Washington Post. The 'Paul Murray Live' panel format is being reprised from last year.

The summit will cover industry transformation and the evolution of new capabilities, editorial challenges, commercial and product innovation and global trends. All will be underpinned by the vital role of quality journalism in an era of fake news and mistrust of social media platforms."

For further information regarding the Summit and the awards gala dinner which follows it, go to http://www.informsummit.com.

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