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Google exec Eric Schmidt to give MacTaggart lecture

International television festival speech to be delivered for the first time by a leading internet fi

This year's opening speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival is to be delivered by Eric Schmidt of Google.

Dr. Schmidt, the technology company's executive chairman, will be the first non-television figure to give the prestigious MacTaggart lecture in its thirty-five year history.

On Friday 26 August Dr. Schmidt will speak about the impact of the internet revolution and how the television industry can engage with new technologies. Broacasters have successfully branched out in recent years to on-demand services on the internet, such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD.

This year's festival co-sponsors are the Guardian newspaper and video website Youtube - also owned by Google.

Last year's MacTaggart lecture was delivered by BBC director general Mark Thompson, and in 2009 by James Murdoch of News Corporation.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.