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Media Masters

Author: Media Masters

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Extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in the industry. Find out their tips for career success, and peek behind-the-scenes at their workplace. Candid, thoughtful and reflective - a chance to share the insight of those at the very top of their game. Presented by Paul Blanchard.
259 Episodes
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Media Masters - Bill Abbott

Media Masters - Bill Abbott

2019-07-1600:55:42

Bill Abbott is president and chief executive of Crown Media Family Networks – one of the most successful entertainment companies in the US and the team behind the Hallmark Channels. In his two decades with the business, it has expanded exponentially and now includes three top-rated channels, e-book publishing, a podcast and a streaming service with over 600,000 subscribers. In this in-depth interview, Bill tackles critics who call their content “saccharine”, and examines how their commitment to the ‘formula’ has delivered consistently high ratings; explains why they listen to feedback from focus groups when deciding storylines; and describes the brand’s success as the “best kept secret” in entertainment – in contrast to ailing mainstream TV networks, who have “lost their way”.
Heather Dietrick is chief executive of The Daily Beast. Previously president of Gawker Media, she was a key part of the legal team trying to save the company when they were sued by Hulk Hogan. In post at the ‘Beast’ since 2017, she is responsible for growing their reach, which already stands at 20 million. In this in-depth interview, she recalls how a billionaire with a grudge plotted the “litigation assault” on Gawker; discusses the focus on finding new revenue streams, and the first year of their paid membership programme ‘Beast Inside’; and argues how Trump’s war on the media has made ‘news neutrality’ impossible - for everyone.
Media Masters - Ken Bruce

Media Masters - Ken Bruce

2019-07-0401:06:54

Ken Bruce is a veteran radio presenter who has fronted the BBC Radio 2 morning show for over three decades. With nine million listeners, he is one of the most recognisable voices in broadcasting. In this in-depth interview, he takes us behind the scenes of his long-running show, sharing anecdotes about the genesis of PopMaster and plans to take the popular quiz on the road; explains why “feel and judgement” is more important to him than audience metrics; and admits that after hundreds of celebrity guests, the “greatest thrill” of his broadcasting career so far has been interviewing Basil Brush.
Dominic Smales is CEO of Gleam Futures, one of the biggest “digital-first" talent management firms in the world. They represent the brightest stars of social media including Tanya Burr, Zoe Sugg (aka Zoella), Pixiwoo, Grace Fit and Jack Maynard. In this in-depth interview, Dominic reveals how their talent is expanding into new areas like publishing and product creation, explains how to cut through the noise and stand out from the 25 million social media creators – and discusses how portraying “real lives” on social media sends a positive message around mental health.
Media Masters - Katy Searle

Media Masters - Katy Searle

2019-06-1900:55:42

Katy Searle is editor at BBC Westminster. With over three decades at the corporation, she has built up a wide range of experience on a variety of radio and television programmes. She has overall responsibility for political news and leads a 90-strong team, anchored in Westminster, who report from around the UK. In this in-depth interview, Katy describes the daily challenge of creating engaging political coverage to fight against ‘Brexit fatigue’, gives her take on the Tory leadership battle, and reveals how, in the face of criticism from all sides, the BBC decides which politicians to put on air – or not.
Media Masters - Alok Jha

Media Masters - Alok Jha

2019-06-1200:56:54

Alok Jha is science correspondent at The Economist. After studying physics and science communication at university, he spent 11 years at the Guardian where he launched their award-winning Science Weekly podcast. He presented over 300 episodes before leaving for ITV News, where he led their science and environment coverage. He is also an honorary lecturer at UCL, and best-selling author. In this in-depth interview, Alok describes the challenges of communicating complex scientific ideas to a mainstream audience, recalls the “incredibly frustrating” transition from print to broadcast, and discusses how “a stray thought” inspired him to write a book about water – the most unique (and important) liquid in the whole universe.
Debbie Ramsay is editor of BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra Newsbeat. The flagship news programme has been on the air for 45 years and has a weekly audience of eight million 16 to 24-year-olds, with 14 million more online through articles, videos and social media. Since joining the BBC in 2006 she has done “every job in Newsbeat”. In this in-depth interview, Debbie speaks out against critics who claim news must ‘dumb down’ to attract young audiences, describes how the “immediacy” of broadcast lured her away from print, and argues that the secret to Newsbeat’s longevity lies in telling “diverse” and “authentic” stories.
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is US business editor of the Financial Times. In his 21 years with the FT on both sides of the Atlantic, he has covered a range of editorial and reporting roles, including eight years as their global media editor. With an international network of journalists covering every time zone, it has a paid readership of over 1m with almost 80% online. In this in-depth interview, Andrew describes how he handles the “five speeds” of news from breaking stories to long reads, reveals the lesser-reported political events causing CEOs most concern, and explains why part of the FT’s job is to look for “the grit in the oyster” when it comes to predicting financial disasters.
Jeremy Darroch is group chief executive of Sky. He joined as chief financial officer in 2004 and took on his current role in 2007. Sky delivers television, broadband, mobile and pay-TV. With 23 million customers, it is Europe’s biggest entertainment business. In this in-depth interview, Jeremy discusses their plans for the future under new owners Comcast, talks about the responsibility of big business to act responsibly by “showing up” and paying their taxes – and recalls how the launch of the company almost took Rupert Murdoch “personally to the wall”.
Mark Borkowski is an acclaimed PR specialist, writer and industry commentator. Famed for his grand publicity stunts, he has been successfully advising celebrities and brands for four decades. Since first catching the publicity bug in 1979, his headline-grabbing stunts have included filling Selfridges with hundreds of naked people and gift-wrapping a helicopter for Harrods. In this in-depth interview, he argues that despite the proliferation of fake news, social media has made it easier to protect a client’s reputation; explains why artificial intelligence means PRs will be “redundant” within 15 years, and remembers the chaos he caused by setting a bunch of live scorpions loose in a BBC green room.
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