Super Fandom in the Digital Age
Moderated by Bravo’s Andy Cohen, host of Watch What Happens Live, this panel will bring together two of YouTube’s hottest stars—Tyler Oakley and Grace Helbig—with BuzzFeed’s EVP of Video, Ze Frank, to spark a discussion on what it truly means to cultivate fandom across platforms. We will share research highlighting how Bravo has successfully engaged with fans on all channels in real time, delve into lessons learned and discuss how to drive deeper interaction with your communities. The panel will also address the challenge of engaging fans in a constantly crowded media space.
Watch What Happens Live
Andy Cohen is Bravo's Executive Vice President of Development and Talent, a position he has held since November 2011. He is responsible for overseeing the network's current development slate, creating original content, developing innovative formats and identifying new talent. He also serves as Executive Producer on Emmy and James Beard award-winning "Top Chef," and “The Real Housewives” franchises.
In addition, Cohen is the host and Executive Producer of “Watch What Happens: Live," Bravo’s late night, interactive talk show that features guests from some of Bravo's most popular series, as well as from the world of entertainment, politics and pop culture. The series includes lively debates on everything from fashion, the latest on fans favorite Bravolebrities, to what celebrity is making headlines that week. Past guests have included Sarah Jessica Parker, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Patti LaBelle, Molly Shannon, Kristen Chenoweth, Tracey Ullman, Anderson Cooper, Ellen Barkin, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos, Diane Von Furstenberg, Lance Bass as well as several ‘Bravolebrities.’Cohen also hosts the network’s highly rated reunion specials and writes "Andy's Blog," posted daily on BravoTV.com, where he covers pop culture, television, media and his daily life.
Cohen started at Bravo in 2005 as Senior Vice President of Original Programming & Development and was upped to Executive Vice President of Original Programming & Development in December, 2010. Since then he has overseen an aggressive slate of unscripted series and specials including hits such as the Peabody Award winning "Project Runway," "Queer Eye," "Work Out," “Being Bobby Brown,” “Top Design,” “Make Me a Supermodel,” “Blow Out,” “Kathy Griffin My Life On the D List,” “The A List Awards” "The Millionaire Matchmaker," "Million Dollar Listing," “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist,” “Bethenny Ever After,” “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” and "Flipping Out."
Previously, Cohen was Vice President of Original Programming for TRIO (pop, culture, TV), beginning in July 2000. He was responsible for developing and supervising all of TRIO's original productions including the critically acclaimed original documentaries "Gay Republicans," "Easy Riders/Raging Bulls," "Brilliant, But Cancelled," and the original series "Pilot Season,” "24w/" and "Parking Lot."
Cohen received an Emmy award when season six of “Top Chef” won Outstanding Reality Competition Program at the 2010 primetime Emmy awards and has been nominated for eleven additional Emmy Awards as Executive Producer of "Project Greenlight," "Project Runway," "Top Chef" and "Queer Eye." In 2005, Cohen was awarded a Peabody Award for his role as Executive Producer of the TRIO documentary "The N Word" and another in 2008 as an Executive Producer of "Project Runway." He is featured regularly on “Today,” “Morning Joe” and “Joy Behar.” Cohen has cohosted “Live! with Regis and Kelly” and the 10:00am hour of “Today.” He has also been a guest on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “The View.” In 2011 he graced the cover feature for Hamptons Magazine, and was profiled by The New York Times, Glamour Magazine, Vanity Fair and People Magazine. In 2011 he was also featured in TV Guide’s “Hotlist” and OUT’s “Out 100” issue. In 2010 he was profiled by TV Guide Magazine. In 2009 he appeared on the cover of The Advocate and was profiled in New York Magazine, The New York Times, the LA Times, and Entertainment Weekly In June 2010, he was listed as one of TV Guide’s “25 Most Influential People in Television.” OUT Magazine put Cohen on their OUT 100 List in 2008, and named him "hottest blogger of 2006" in their annual "hot" issue and in 2007, Cohen was named one of Multichannel News’ "40 Under 40" innovative and formative executives at work today.
Prior to working at TRIO, Cohen spent 10 years at CBS News as Senior Producer of "The Early Show," overseeing the production of entertainment segments. Cohen also served as a producer for CBS News' "48 Hours" and for "CBS This Morning," where he produced live segments, celebrity profiles and covered breaking news including the Oklahoma City bombing, Hurricane Andrew, the California wildfires, and the crash of TWA Flight 800.
Born in St. Louis, Cohen is a graduate of Boston University where he received a B.A. degree in broadcast journalism. Cohen is currently on the board of directors for charity Friends In Deed and currently resides in New York City.
Internet Personality & Comedian
Based in Los Angeles, Helbig currently has over 1.6 million subscribers to her YouTube channel. With over 150 million views, Helbig features videos on her web series "ItsGrace," where she discusses topics of all genres including pop culture, cooking, relationships, fashion and her life's adventures. For the launch of "ItsGrace," she gained 1 million YouTube subscribers in only two weeks.
Most recently, Helbig starred in and executive produced the feature film "Camp Takota." She is also the female lead in a new Tracy Morgan pilot for FX. Helbig is currently collaborating with Embassy Row on her own internet/traditional hybrid show and working on a book.
YouTube Channel Star
Based in Los Angeles, Oakley currently has over 4 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. With over 141 million views, this self-proclaimed “fan girl” discusses topics ranging from his opinions and thoughts on popular culture including Darren Criss and Lady Gaga, to his support for “It Gets Better” and The Trevor Project. Oakley has been vlogging for over seven years, since his freshman year of college at Michigan State. The biggest LGBT vlogger in the digital space, his videos are saucy and hilarious.
EVP of Video
Internet legend Ze Frank joined BuzzFeed in September 2012 as the Executive Vice President of Video where he is focused on finding new formats in social video. A web pioneer since 2001, Mr. Frank is known for creating viral projects like "Earth Sandwich," "Young Me/Now Me," and "Chillout Song." In 2006, he created "The Show with Ze Frank," which was an early template for the modern video blog and he recently relaunched a videoblog called AShow with ZeFrank with the help of a successful kickstarter campaign. He has been named a top virologist in in Newsweek's Digital Power Index and his website was listed as one of TIME's "50 Coolest Websites." He is also a frequent TED talk speaker and a Webby award winner.