Speakers + Hosts
Robert Friedman is a thirty-year veteran of the entertainment business where he developed, produced, marketed and distributed all forms of content across traditional and digital media platforms.
He was most recently President of Entertainment and Media @radical.media- FremantleMedia Company, from 2006 to the present. @radical.media is a media and entertainment company dedicated to the creation and distribution of entertainment including TV, film, digital media, and branded content across multiple platforms. A few of the company's feature film assets include the Academy Award winning The Fog of War, Grammy Award winning Concert for George, Jay-Z's Fade to Black, and Bon Jovi: When We were Beautiful, which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and Showtime. Numerous TV credits include the Emmy winning History Channel's 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America, Grey Goose's Iconoclasts, the pilot episode of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning series Mad Men, for AMC, Nike's Battlegrounds, Britney: For the Record for MTV, and Oprah Winfrey Presents Masterclass for the new OWN channel, among others. In addition, @radical.media developed driverTV, a first-of-its kind, hi-def video-on- demand channel and multi-platform media destination built to transform the way consumers shop for cars and THNKR, one of the recent original YouTube premium channels.
Friedman was part of a team that sold a majority of stake in the company to Fremantle in 2012.
From 2003-2006, Friedman was President and a Managing Partner of Classic Media: Harvey & Golden Books Entertainment, the New York-based family entertainment company that is home to Underdog, Lassie, and The Lone Ranger, as part of the company's 3,000 title library. He helped develop the first multi- platform, multi-lingual kids network and branded website across NBC Networks and Telemundo with Scholastic, ION, and NBC Universal. He oversaw the production, integrated marketing, licensing and global promotional opportunities across all media including feature film, television, and home video. The Company was sold to a private equity investor and subsequently to a large U.K. based entertainment company.
From 1991-2003 he held a variety of key executive positions at AOL Time Warner. He spent a decade at New Line Cinema where he held the dual roles of Co-Chairman in charge of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing, Licensing and Merchandising and President of New Line Television, which he launched in 1991. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer for Time Warner and President of AOL, Interactive Marketing, TV, & Ad Sales.
As Co-Chairman of New Line Cinema, Friedman oversaw the marketing and promotional campaigns for all of New Line Cinema's feature films. As President of New Line TV, he oversaw the development, production, acquisition and global distribution of film and TV product to network, cable, and pay-per-view. In addition, Friedman managed the licensing and merchandising activity as well as new media for all of New Line's projects. New Line Cinema's accomplishments included a wide array of franchises including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Austin Powers and numerous series for broadcast and cable networks, including The Mask and Dumb and Dumber as part of a strategy to create world wide entertainment and licensed properties for the company.
Friedman was a member of the original development team at MTV Networks, where for 8 years (1981-1989) he worked on MTV, VH-1, Nickelodeon, and on the development of the pay TV subscription service, The Movie Channel. At MTV Networks, he was in charge of Consumer and Trade Marketing, Promotion and Licensing for MTV and VH1 where he oversaw the core services including the marketing of its ancillary businesses such as Global Licensing and Home Entertainment.
Friedman began his career in advertising where he was an Account Manager on P&G at Grey Advertising.
His industry honors include being named "Media Man of the Year" by ADWEEK, and named one of the top 100 marketers in the country by AdAge. Friedman serves on the Board of The International Academy of TV Arts and Sciences and the TV industry's NATPE association. He has been a member of Young President's Organization (YPO/WPO) for over two decades.
Friedman serves on the Morgans Hotel Group Board, a global public company that includes the Delano, Royalton, Hard Rock, Sanderson and Hudson hotels where he currently serves as Chairman of the Compensation Committee. He recently received the Lodging Leadership Award for the "Best Governed Company" in the hospitality space.
Friedman was one of the first men admitted to Vassar College where he received a B.A. in psychology in 1978. He earned his M.B.A. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1980. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Vassar and on the Board of Overseers of Columbia Business School, where he was the 2009 Commencement Speaker at the Business School commencement.
In addition, Friedman serves on the boards of The Mount Sinai Medical Center and The Big Apple Circus.
Friedman is married to Dr. Elissa Gretz who also attended Vassar College and most recently headed the Benign Gynecology Division of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital. She is currently on the clinical staff at Mt. Sinai Hospital. They have two daughters, 23 and 21 years old, who attend Mt. Sinai Medical School and Williams College respectively.
Speaking at LUNCHEON ROUNDTABLES