Steve Mosko touches on Sony hack at Digital Entertainment World expo

Steve Mosko touches on Sony hack at Digital Entertainment World expo
Sony Pictures Television President Steve Mosko is shown against a "Breaking Bad" backdrop at Sony Pictures in Culver City in 2010. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, said the cyberattack against Sony in late November made the company "tougher" and "better."

"It was -- without question -- the most difficult thing both personally and professionally that I've been through in my life," Mosko said at the second annual Digital Entertainment World conference in Century City on Tuesday.


The hacking resulted in troves of sensitive information getting leaked onto the Web, including the personal details of current and former Sony employees as well as emails of Sony executives Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton.

U.S. officials believe that the North Korean government was behind the attack as retaliation for Sony's comedy "The Interview," which is about the fictionalized assassination of leader Kim Jong Un.

Mosko was one of the keynote speakers at the three-day conference, which features more than 300 speakers from the film, television, music and gaming industries. 

The hack came up after moderator Michael Schneider, executive director of TV Guide Magazine, joked about the conference's technical difficulties.

"I just got an email from conference organizers, they apologized about the video," Schneider said. "Apparently North Korea found out we were doing this."

Mosko said the most difficult part of the hacking was "certain people taking great joy in turning this into a roast. ... It's weird how people took great joy in trying to bring us down."

However, he said the hacking helped bring people at the studio closer together rather than tear them apart.

"We've got a great pilot season, we're launching great shows, everything is going great," he said. "I've never been more proud of [Sony] than I am right now."

Part of his pride stems from the recent successful launch of "Better Call Saul." The premiere of the "Breaking Bad" spin-off averaged 6.9 million total viewers, setting cable ratings records.

Though making a spin-off can be "tricky," Mosko said the new show "really took over itself."

Mosko also touched on collaborating with different platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Yahoo.

"We want to be in business with everybody," he said, when asked about future potential collaborations. "I think everyone has done a good job on these new platforms in terms of putting together quality content. I think that speaks to why it's growing so rapidly."

The Sony executive also made a point to highlight Crackle, the Sony-owned online video-on-demand service.

"It's got a bright future," he said, citing Jerry Seinfeld's Web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" and "Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser."


Ultimately, Mosko is optimistic.

"I'm just so happy to be in this business and love what I do," he said. "Having gone through [the Sony hacking], all I see is a glass half-full."

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