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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.
250 Episodes
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.
Tyler Brûlé is chairman and editor-in-chief of Monocle. Noted for the jet-set lifestyle journaled in his “Fast Lane” FT column, he launched the magazine in 2007, which has since evolved into a global brand with its own cafes, retail stores and a 24-hour radio station. He is the youngest ever recipient of the British Society of Magazine Editors' Lifetime Achievement Award. In this in-depth interview, Tyler explains how the 2008 recession changed the face of the magazine through an editorial shift towards entrepreneurialism, speaks candidly about the decision to move print production to Germany because of “volatility” in the UK market, and reflects on his experience of being shot while reporting from Afghanistan.
Greg Williams is editor of Wired UK. Starting as deputy editor after its relaunch in 2009, he took the top job in 2017. With a UK audience of 1.5m and 4m across the globe, it has grown into a multiplatform business with an award-winning podcast, consultancy and a successful programme of live events. In this in-depth interview, Greg argues the case for investing in longform journalism to tackle the growing anti-science movement, describes how Brussels is leading the fight against the ‘big five’ tech companies that are making “about $150 billion” from European markets every year from our personal data, and reveals how FinTech apps are making the biggest difference not in the west, but in emerging economies.
Raju Narisetti is professor at Columbia Journalism School, where he is director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship, a prestigious one-year economics and business programme for working journalists. After moving from his native India to the US in 1990 to study journalism, he spent two decades working for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and News Corp as a reporter, and later led their transformation into digital-first operations. In 2006, he was founding editor of Mint, India’s second biggest media business and its first newspaper to be published in the Berliner format. In this in-depth interview, Raju recalls the challenge of bringing brands such as Gawker, The Root and The Onion together during his time as CEO of Gizmodo, explains the notion of the “truth sandwich” when reporting dubious facts – and discusses his renewed optimism about the future of print journalism.
Jeremy Hillman is communications director at The World Bank. Formerly a journalist with the BBC, he spent a decade with the corporation; first as economics reporter, then New York bureau chief, and finally economics and business editor. He left in 2011 to become director of external communications at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, before taking on his current role in 2014. In this in-depth interview, Jeremy discusses the “white saviour” stereotype and the “incredible optimism” of developing economies, describes the challenges of modern philanthropy in tackling poverty, and argues that economic journalism is crucial to understanding in almost all areas of the media.
Media Masters - Will Young

Media Masters - Will Young


Will Young is a singer-songwriter and actor. Since winning the first series of ITV talent show Pop Idol in 2002, he has released six chart-topping albums and four number one singles. He is now co-host of the popular ‘Homo Sapiens’ podcast, a “queer Woman’s Hour” which has featured interviews with a string of well-known guests including Alan Cumming, Julian Clary, Margaret Cho, Clare Balding and Sam Smith alongside poignant stories from everyday heroes. In this in-depth interview, he explains why it’s important for him to live in the moment, describes what it’s like returning to music at 40 – and reveals the real reason he walked out on Strictly Come Dancing.
Lydia Polgreen is editor-in-chief of Huffington Post. Appointed in 2016, she oversees content and direction for the site, which has 170 million readers worldwide. Prior to her current role, she spent 15 years at the New York Times, where she covered conflict, democracy building and development in West Africa. In this in-depth interview, Lydia describes the “enormous responsibility” of upholding the legacy of the iconic brand, recalls how living through a coup in Kenya as a child inspired her to become a journalist, and argues that being a “queer black woman” gives her a stronger insight into diversity issues.
Professor Richard Sambrook is director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University. His first job at the BBC was in local radio. He then moved over to TV news as a producer and quickly rose through the ranks, securing a variety of roles including news editor, head of BBC Sport, director of news and finally head of the World Service. He also played a key role in the roll-out of 24-hour news, and the launch of Radio 5 Live. In this in-depth interview, Richard shares how he led the BBC’s response to the Hutton Inquiry over the so-called “sexed-up” Iraq war dossier, describes his role in lobbying for the safety of journalists worldwide as chair of the Frontline Club; and discusses his academic work, including a forensic analysis of the connection between fake news and press freedom.
Media Masters - Tina Brown

Media Masters - Tina Brown


Tina Brown is an award-winning journalist, podcaster and author. Previously editor of both Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, she founded The Daily Beast and has written two best-selling books. She also created Women in the World, the annual “live journalism” summit attended by global thought leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton and Melinda Gates. In this in-depth interview, she talks us through her legendary editorships, argues how podcasting fills the gap in the market for intelligent ideas  – and explains why she’s not interested in “empowerment venting”.
Media Masters - Ken Hertz

Media Masters - Ken Hertz


Ken Hertz is an entertainment lawyer and prominent Hollywood dealmaker. A senior partner in Hertz, Lichtenstein and Young, he counts Will Smith,, Gwen Stefani and Celine Dion among his clients. He also founded brand agency MemBrain, which advises the world’s most recognised brands, including McDonald’s, Hasbro and Intel. In this in-depth interview, he describes the brutal truth of the “fame lottery”, reveals what it really takes to make it in Hollywood – and argues that now is the time “where anyone can truly be anything”.
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