Realscreen Summit preview: keynote speaker David Haslingden

During the weeks leading up to this year's Realscreen Summit in Washington, DC, look for profiles on of some of the top speakers appearing this year. Today, we take a closer look at the CEO of National Geographic Channels International, National Geographic Channel US and Fox International Channels, David Haslingden.
January 12, 2009

Nearly 20 years ago, David Haslingden had yet to collect any titles as prestigious as CEO. Rather, he was a senior associate at a law firm in Sydney, after receiving his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law degrees at Sydney University and a Master’s of Law degree from Cambridge University in England. He came to the television industry in the early ’90s, holding positions such as senior VP of business development at New Limited in Australia where he was responsible for the company’s television and cable investments, including FOXTEL and Network Seven. In 1994 he moved over to STAR TV – News Corporation’s multi-channel satellite television network across Asia, the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East – where he was executive VP. He joined NGCI as CEO in 1999 when he was tapped to oversee the second phase of the channel’s development.

When Haslingden came on board, NGCI programming was available in 50 million households in 57 countries, with channels in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Europe. Since then it has expanded into Asia, India, the Middle East, Canada, Latin American, Africa and the U.S. and the channel’s programming reaches over 270 million homes in 167 countries in 34 languages. He added a CEO position at Fox International Channels (FIC) to his resume in 2001 and another at Nat Geo Channel US in 2007.

‘Our strategy has always been global,’ Haslingden told realscreen in 2007 upon the 10th anniversary of NGCI. ‘Our early goals were to get distribution in every major market as quickly as possible and, on the content side, to build enduring connections with our viewers.’

On February 2, Haslingden will give an optimistic keynote on what he views as the sunny climate for non-fiction production despite the fragmented media landscape and the somewhat gloomy ad climate.

For more info on this year’s Realscreen Summit, taking place from Feb. 1-4, visit .

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