Name: Alina Singer
Where do you work? Wargo French LLP
What is your current role? Corporate Partner, specializing in general corporate and technology matters
Share 3 personal facts so our readers get to know you
- I was born in the Soviet Union and speak fluent Russian
- Finished college when I was 20 and graduated law school when I was 23.
- I have a 3 ½ -year-old girl and a 16-month-old son.
Briefly, describe your career journey to cable television.
I started practicing at a regional firm in Atlanta and was there for a short time, but not as focused on the cable and telecom industry. In 2009, I joined Wargo French and started to do corporate work with MSOs and cable providers. I began to learn more about the sector and how it interplayed with customer needs and technology. We soon realized that we wanted to expand our network and meet other people in the industry. So, we became involved in WICT; we met and worked with in-house attorneys at the content providers, like Scripps Networks, which was a similar role, but a different focus from MSOs. For me, it’s been constant growth where I started working with MSOs, branched into content providers, and now the industry has changed and expanded with this new interplay into digital.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
Personally, my biggest achievement is my children. But professionally, it was when I became an equity partner with Wargo French in January 2016. That was a huge milestone.
On September 7th, your law firm, Wargo French, is hosting a discussion on “What’s Next with Innovation Accelerating Technology?” for the Atlanta WICT SE chapter, with you as moderator. Can you tell the readers of this blog a little bit about what to expect at the event?
The event will be set up as a fireside chat with panelists who are leaders in the cable and telecommunications industry. We will focus on what’s new in innovation and hear from companies, like Comcast and Cox, and folks who are in accelerator start-ups for the cable and telecom industry. No matter if you are an MSO or a content provider, you will want to hear about the new ideas and innovation because it’s a great way to keep competitive and consumers interested.
Explain Wargo French’s role in accelerating programs or technology?
We have seen growth in the number of deals with innovative new technology and new companies that bring in new technology. Wargo French’s role is to provide legal support for this kind of deal negotiations and discussions.
What kind of big ideas are we now seeing and why is it important to the cable industry?
From a content standpoint, there is a lot of movement into the cloud. It’s a big idea, and to some extent, it’s an improvement, as to how we have been doing business. Another new concept is digital content and how everyone is trying to monetize the advertising base. Then, there are strategic partnerships. That’s a big one. As we have all seen, and continue to experience, strategic partnerships are what is leading the forefront regarding the change. We know about Comcast/NBC Universal, now Scripps and Discovery, and Time Warner with AT&T discussion. There’s a lot of strategic partnerships and acquisitions that are at play right now that I think will change what we see in the cable industry.
Do you think entrepreneurialism in accelerating technology will drive the future of the cable industry?
I think entrepreneurialism is going to change the cable industry. We need a shot in that arm to bring something new to the industry. Big companies have been wary of start-ups because they are new and don’t have a lot of history or presence. But I will say now, especially for this industry, is the perfect time to be an entrepreneur and have a startup because it is revitalizing the cable industry and bringing out new ideas that may have been a little too scary if this industry was chugging along at the pace it was before.
What advice would you give someone in the cable industry looking to start-up an accelerator program?
Think about something that hasn’t been done before or consider new ways or new partnerships. That’s what I see that’s been successful in this industry.
WICT’s theme this year is “Be Fearless”. In what ways do you find that “being fearless” has helped you in your career or helped your clients?
The best advice that I can give is to follow your guts, follow your instincts. The people who are the most successful are the ones who stick to their guns and follow their ideas. They don’t give up easily.
If you are a WICT executive member in Atlanta on Thursday, September 7th, don’t miss Alina Singer moderating the “What’s Next with Innovation Accelerating Technology! discussion for WICT SE. The event takes place from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Wargo French’s office at 999 Peachtree Street NE, 26th Floor, Atlanta GA, 30309. For more information about the event, go to here.