Quinnipiac University

The Way Forward: The Future of Entertainment

Starts November 8, 2021 on 7:00 PM (ET)

Ends November 8, 2021 on 8:00 PM (ET)

Location Online Virtual Event

Headshots of Mike Hopkins and Anne Sweeney

Join President Judy Olian and Professor Fritz Staudmyer as they discuss the future of entertainment with guests Mike Hopkins, senior vice president for Prime Video and Amazon Studios and Anne Sweeney, former co-chair of Disney Media and former president of Disney ABC-Television. This is the first of The Way Forward series for the fall 2021 semester.

Meet the speakers:

Anne Sweeney

Sweeney is a member of the board of directors at Netflix, LEGO, the board of trustees at the Mayo Clinic, The Getty Museum and a dean's distinguished fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.  Prior to embarking on a new chapter in the entertainment industry in 2015, she was co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, which includes The Walt Disney Company's global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations group, as well as radio and publishing businesses.

In this role, Sweeney oversaw ABC Studios, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, and the ABC Television Network, which provides entertainment, news and kids programming to viewers via more than 200 affiliated stations across the U.S. She also oversaw Disney Channels Worldwide, a portfolio of over 100 kid-driven, family-inclusive entertainment channels, including Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Jr, Disney Cinemagic, Hungama, GXT and Radio Disney brands. Additionally, Sweeney's responsibilities included cable networks ABC Family, (now known as Freeform) and the company's equity interest in A&E Television Networks, and Disney's former publishing imprint, Hyperion.

In 2005, Sweeney led the industry into the digital era when the Disney/ABC Television Group became the first media company to put television content on new platforms. The group was the first to leverage iTunes, the first to introduce an ad-supported full episode player online, and the first to deliver an application for the iPad. Under her leadership, the Disney/ABC Television Group continued to combine high-quality content with strategic use of traditional and emerging distribution platforms to deliver compelling news and entertainment viewing experiences to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

From October 2000 to April 2004, Sweeney served as president of ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney Channels Worldwide, where under her leadership Disney Channel more than quintupled its subscriber base. In April 1998, she also oversaw the successful launch of the 24-hour channel Toon Disney (now known as Disney XD), and later the launch of SOAPnet in January 2000 and Disney Jr. in 2012.

Sweeney joined The Walt Disney Company in February 1996 as president of Disney Channel and executive vice president of Disney/ABC Cable Networks. Previously she was chairman and CEO of FX Networks, Inc., since 1993. During her tenure there, she presided over the launch of two basic cable networks, entertainment-focused FX and FXM: Movies from Fox, Hollywood's first studio-based movie network.

Before joining Fox, Sweeney spent 12 years at Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite in various executive positions.

Active in organizations both within and outside the television industry, Sweeney is a member of the board of The Getty Museum.  She has served on the boards of The Fulfillment Fund, the board of visitors for UCLA Anderson, AFI, the A&E Television Networks, Hulu, The Paley Center for Media and Special Olympics.

Sweeney has repeatedly been named the "Most Powerful Woman in Entertainment" by The Hollywood Reporter, one of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" by Fortune and one of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women" by Forbes. In 2008 she was honored with the Broadcasters Foundation of America's Golden Mike Award for Outstanding Contributions to Broadcasting, the Matrix Award for television from New York Women in Communications, Inc., as well as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership. Sweeney was inducted into the Cable Center's Hall of Fame in October 2007 and recognized by the Producers Guild of America in 2006 with the President's Citation for her efforts on behalf of diversity across the Disney/ABC Television Group. In 2005 she was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable "Hall of Fame," and in 2004 received the Muse Award from New York Women in Film & Television. She has been honored repeatedly by Women in Cable & Telecommunications -- as Executive of the Year in 1994, Woman of the Year in 1997, and in 1998 as the recipient of the Advocate Leader Award from WICT's Southern California chapter. In 1995 she received the prestigious STAR Award from American Women in Radio and Television. She was inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Advertising Hall of Achievement in 1996. In 2002 she received Women in Film's esteemed Lucy Award and has been awarded the Cable Television Public Affairs Association's President's Award.

Ms. Sweeney earned a BA degree from The College of New Rochelle and an Ed. M. degree from Harvard University.


Mike Hopkins

Mike Hopkins joined Amazon in February 2020 as senior vice president, Prime Video and Amazon Studios, overseeing all aspects of Amazon’s video entertainment businesses. Hopkins previously served as chairman, Sony Pictures Television (SPT), where he oversaw all television production, distribution and marketing operations globally for the studio, as well as SPE's media networks business. Prior to that, he was chief executive officer of Hulu, one of the leading premium streaming destinations in the U.S.

Hopkins has over 30 years of media experience and an extensive track record of developing and producing innovative television content, negotiating landmark distribution agreements and overseeing media businesses. He joined Hulu in 2013 and led the company in nearly quintupling its market valuation, growing its audience to over 47 million total unique users, and building its premium Hulu Originals programming slate, which includes Emmy-Award winning The Handmaid's Tale, Golden Globe-nominated comedy Casual, and fan favorites The Mindy Project, Castle Rock and Marvel’s Runaways.

Under Hopkins' leadership, Hulu expanded its business into the pay-TV space, launching a groundbreaking live news, entertainment and sports package, in addition to its existing subscription-on-demand service. Once known only as a home for next-day broadcast TV episodes, Hulu's content offering now also boasts live programming from over 50 channels including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN, FX, TNT, Bravo and more; thousands of on-demand television and movie titles, including exclusive current series like "This Is Us," "Designated Survivor," "Fear The Walking Dead," "Black-ish" and "Family Guy"; entire libraries of hit shows like "Seinfeld," "Golden Girls," "Curious George," "South Park," "How I Met Your Mother," "Futurama" and "30 Rock"; and popular movies from EPIX and a host of independent distributors.

Prior to Hopkins' time at Hulu, he was the president of distribution for Fox Networks, where he oversaw the distribution strategy, sales and marketing for the company's 45 linear and non-linear U.S. channels, as well as on-demand and digital extensions. His team also developed many of the television industry's leading authenticated and digital video products, including BTN2GO and Fox Now. Hopkins also served on the boards of Hulu, National Geographic Channels and The Big Ten Network.

Hopkins resides in Santa Monica with his wife and daughter. He serves on the board of advisors for the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he also earned his MBA. Hopkins also earned his Bachelor's from California State University, Long Beach.

Learn more here

Event Details
  • This event is open to the public
  • Registration is required in advance of the event
  • If you have any questions, contact Natale, Karla Jeanne: Karla.Natale@quinnipiac.edu
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