By BILL HARRIS
Special to The Lede
The Banff World Media Festival is known for bringing together media-industry heavyweights for fascinating conversations, and that happened yet again this week when Randy Lennox, President of Bell Media, spoke with legendary industry innovator Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Getting Katzenberg to open up about many topics, Lennox had a lot of informed and specific questions about Katzenberg's past, at Walt Disney Studios and at DreamWorks SKG, but more importantly about Katzenberg's future, with his new project called Quibi - short for Quick Bites. Quibi launches April 6, 2020 in the United States and Canada.
"Every article I read ends with the words, 'Don't bet against Jeffrey Katzenberg,' and that's something I certainly wouldn't do," said Lennox, who is Chair of the Board of Directors for the 40th Annual Banff Festival.
Sitting down for an informative chat with Lennox, Katzenberg said that he believes movies represent the first generation of film narrative, television is the second generation, and he sees Quibi as becoming the third.
"What that means is, stories that are two to two and a half hours, with chapters, or act breaks, that are seven to 10 minutes long," Katzenberg told Lennox. "They are specifically shot and designed to be watched on the go."
Lennox peppered Katzenberg with questions about Quibi’s business and financial models, but the two industry leaders also shared common ground on being innovators, with Lennox playfully and knowingly quizzing Katzenberg about his legendary work ethic.
"I think, Randy, it just comes from the fact that work has always been a love and a passion for me," Katzenberg said. "I'm at my happiest when I'm doing things that are somewhere between improbable and impossible - that's my home address."
Viewers can get more insight on the conversation in an interview with Lennox and Katzenberg on ETALK, tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. And the Banff World Media Festival continues through Wednesday.