Pilgrim Media Group’s Craig Piligian Named Next TV NY Innovator of the Year

Craig Piligian, founder and CEO of Pilgrim Media Group and executive producer of The Runner on go90, has been named the first Next TV NY Innovator of the Year. Piligian will be presented with the award as part of the closing session at the Next TV Summit & Expo NYC during the 4th Annual NYC Television and Video Week taking place Oct.17-20. 

Joining honoree Piligian for the “case study” panel on The Runner will be series host Matthew Patrick, and Brian Angiolet, senior VP of consumer products at Verizon, who oversees the company’s video initiatives and consumer product portfolio. The closing keynote discussion will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 4:45 p.m. and moderated by Melissa Grego, executive producer of Next TV Summit & Expo and former editor-in-chief of Broadcasting & Cable.

Next TV is the go-to conference, expo, and networking event for members of the TV, media, entertainment, and technology business community. 

“This year we have another exciting lineup for Next TV that will offer data and insight to the recent trends and future of television and unmatched networking opportunities,” said Louis Hillelson VP/group publisher of Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News. “Plus, we couldn’t be more honored to have Craig accept the first ever Next TV Innovator of the Year Award.”

This year’s inaugural Innovator of the Year Award goes to the founder and CEO of Pilgrim Media Group and executive producer of The Runner on go90 for his reimagination of The Runner, which was conceived 16 years ago by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who also serve as executive producers on the groundbreaking series. Piligian and team this past July launched a broadcast quality, reality-competition show/social media experiment that aired live, three times daily for 30 days, setting new benchmarks for programming on go90.

Piligian has been a recognized leader in unscripted television for more than 20 years, creating some of the industry’s most enduring, recognizable and influential series including American ChopperDirty Jobs with Mike RoweThe Ultimate FighterGhost HuntersTop ShotMy Fair Wedding with David Tutera,Fast N LoudWicked TunaWelcome to Sweetie Pie’s – which has earned two NAACP Image Awards – and documentaries Lindsay and Michael Sam, among many other series. In the scripted arena, Piligian has produced several original movies for television, emerging from his multi-year picture deal with Lifetime, forged in 2010, including Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial in Italy and Abducted: The Carlina White Story, which earned a 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing In A Motion Picture and a nomination for the 2013 Humanitas Prize. His first scripted series, Recovery Road, aired earlier this year on the Freeform network.

The award recognizes Piligian for his forward thinking as an industry leader and for his innovative approach to television production.

Joining Piligian on stage during the closing session to discuss The Runner are host Matthew Patrick (MatPat) and Brian Angiolet, who will provide their unique insights into the strategy, process and impact of The Runner, and the industry going forward.

Brian Angiolet is an industry expert in commercial strategies and implementing new consumer content offerings including video and mobile advertising. Brian brings expertise and solutions specific to the customer voice and creative problem solving, valuable tips for those planning to launch and drive the performance of new products into the market. 

Matthew Patrick (@MatPatGT), also known as MatPat, operates YouTube channels The Game Theoristsand Film Theorists, as well as livestreaming channel GT Live. Patrick has acquired an outstanding fan base featuring 10 million subscribers and 50 million monthly views across these properties. His YouTube Red series Game Lab has recently been nominated for the Streamy's for best non-fiction series and Best VR video.

Moreover, expect an inspiring kickoff welcome session planned with EPIX CEO Mark Greenberg and keynote Q&As with Sony Interactive Entertainment VP / Head of PlayStation Vue Dwayne Benefield and AT&T’s SVP of strategy and business development Tony Goncalves. Throughout the day, attendees will hear from speakers at Google, Hulu, Turner, BBC Worldwide North America, Yahoo, New Form Digital, Covington and Sucherman Group to name a few. The full Next TV agenda can be found at http://www.nexttvsummit.com/nyc-agenda/.