Dubbed the ‘boy wonder’ of British television when appointed director of television for the BBC age 39, Cohen already has a decade of success in television behind him.
Now organisers of the Salford Media Festival hope his apparently seamless rise through executive positions since leaving university will prove inspiring to a new generation when he delivers a keynote speech in November.
Academic lead on the festival and professor of media policy at Salford University, Seamus Simpson revealed Cohen would be one of the high-profile speakers involved in the event.
Simpson said the newly renamed festival (in previous years it was known as the Nations and Regions Media Festival) would be bigger, spread over four days, and hoped to speak to the next generation of media professionals as well as existing experts.
“We have a number of quite outstanding individuals confirmed for Salford Media Festival. This will be the first year in its current incarnation but it has been running for 20 years from the university.”
Cohen is expected to talk about programming issues and joins a list of influential speakers already confirmed including Cabinet Secretary for Culture & External Affairs in the Scottish Government, Fiona Hyslop MSP; American writer and producer, writer for ‘The Simpsons’ Josh Weinstein and Stuart Cosgrove, Director of Creative Diversity, Channel 4.
More speakers are due to be announced in the coming weeks.
Organisers say the broad theme of this year’s festival is ‘The future of broadcasting in an era of media convergence.’
They say: “The festival will focus on the challenging and inspiring context of media making in all its forms, from main stream broadcast to newer online, as well as emerging hybrid environments. The changing face of UK local, regional and national media is also contextualised and explained in policy terms in key sessions at the festival.”
Visit the website to book tickets and find out more.