Vice President TV Programming and Production Operations
Search Vice President TV Programming, Production, Creative Development and Operations Based Boston, MA Search Firm Filcro Media Staffing - FollowingSportsExecutive Search Officer in Charge Tony Filson, Reporting toTV NetworkPresident & GM
Client A noted regional sports network with cross ownership of a Major League Baseball MLB team and a National Hockey League NHL team located in Boston, MA - USA.
The interests and corporate ownership of the Regional Sports Network RSN range from noted private entertainment executives to a major international print and media conglomerate.
The firm enjoys regional market dominance with sports team(s), sports venue, sports broadcasting and newspaper holdings. Through MSO, Satellite and Broadband distribution the client company was seeking to enhance and expand their National presence through the development and production of additional sports and sports oriented television programming.
Client Situation The President / GM as well as the CFO of the Network proceeded to identify an executive search firm to conduct a national search to identify a new Vice President of Programming. The President / GM based in Boston, MA met with the Filcro Media Staffing Office in Charge, Tony Filson in New York prior to retaining the firm and subsequently invited Filcro Media Staffing to Boston, MA to meet with the CFO and review the Network's facilities and relevant staff that would be under the direction of the new Vice President of Programming.
Executive Search Industry and Sector Inclusion
Network & Cable Television Broadcasting
Regional Sports Network
Sports Venues & Sports Teams
Network & Syndicated Television Programming Producers
Domestic and International Newspaper Holdings
The President / GM and the CFO, with the President / GM acting as the point of contact, identified Filcro Media Staffing and Tony Filson functioning as Officer in Charge of Search to conduct a national search to identify the proper Vice President of Programming.
Filcro Media Staffing is Retained
Filcro Media Staffing Officer in Charge of Search Tony Filson met with the CFO and GM and commenced with the search by first establishing a consensus of the CFO and GM as to the weighting of the operational, tactical, creative and strategic skills required. Based on Filcro Media Staffing’s experience with similar programming and development searches it was the opinion of Filcro Media Staffing that a proper pool of appropriate executives could be drawn from a multitude of National competitors based on the experience required and the compensation being offered.
Filcro Media Staffing’s Tony Filson was provided with organizational charts and overviews of operations, production, facilities, programming, budgets, marketing, sales and associated personnel in Boston, MA. The O&D Charting, budgets, equipment lists and marketing materials provided by the CFO provided great insight into what synergistic changes would need to be initiated by the new Vice President of Programming to meet projected programming goals.
The CFO and GM afforded Filcro Media Staffing autonomy during the initial phase of universe compilation and tiering The established hierarchy of desired skill sets and industry experience during universe compilation and tiering only changed once, with the key factors being a balance of development, operational, production, strategic and programming acumen that could be “attracted” based on compensation. The fact that Filcro Media Staffing reported to a single GM and not the entire ownership facilitated a clear line and the executive ultimately identified was presented during the first month of the search assignment.
Filcro Media Staffing was fortunate to have such an active GM and CFO participate during the search. The GM had over 17 years of experience with the Network. The cultural awareness of every department was extremely helpful in determining how effective this Vice President of Programming would be in an environment that was not heavily layered.
This senior most programming executive was being hired as one of the top 3 executives at this Regional Sports Network (RSN) to function strategically across all lines of business.
Due to current programming and co-production issues the search required a very well rounded Vice President who would play more of a strategic role then tactical with regard to creative development, production and branding of the Network as they worked with Network Sales and “The Teams” to leverage the MLB and NHL properties owned. On the tactical side this person also had to function in Production, Operations, Post, Engineering and Traffic. A person with very diverse skill sets and great scope would be required to handle all these responsibilities.
Some of the biggest challenges facing the new Senior Vice President were
Production, Post & Operations Facilities Build-Out
Financial Management and Budget Controls of Programming and Production Costs
Internal and External Marketing and Sales Relationships with Programming & Production
Brand Development through On-Air Production Values
MLB and NHL Ownership
Optimize Sports Marketing Across Media Platforms
The Filcro Media Staffing Recruitment Solution
Tony Filson ofFilcro Media Staffing proceeded to Identify the "best in industry" Vice Presidents of Programming, Production, Operations and Senior Executive Producers with a proven record of success within and without of the Sports genre. Based on the client’s need for an executive who could function in a very hands-on environment it was essential that any myopic or “too specialized candidates” be eliminated from the onset.
NOTE: One of the executives presented for this search are, as of 2013, considered the most profitable and prolific heads of TV programming in the World.
An executive capable of focusing on “operational” issues while “creatively” developing different types of quality sports and non-sports programming to strategically differentiate the Network from its competitors was essential.
The Regional Sports Network (RSN) was now looking to expand their affiliate relationships through enhanced programming and needed an executive who was accustomed to viability and ROI factors being as important as creative considerations for green-lighting programming, within a mature national broadcast company.
With such unusual access to two professional sports teams (MLB) & (NHL) along with full production, operations and development autonomy, it was important that this new VP be able to mentor staff through every phase of the process to institute “Best Practices” that would enhance the operational, production and creative staff to the point that they could quickly become part of the “enhanced” product sought by management (Baseball and Hockey Team Ownership). In order to convince the associated teams, owners, sales and marketing heads that cooperation on every level would intimately benefit everyone concerned, it would take a mature broadcasting executive who could function tactically and strategically in every function as they developed new synergies across varied business lines
With the Network about to initiate a new build-out of production and broadcast operation facilities, this executive also had to have strong engineering and operations capabilities with regard to distribution, production and post-production facilities. The recent addition of full HD capabilities and solid relationships with satellite and MSO distribution for same, required that this executive be able to capitalize on this great expenditure going forward creatively and technically
Almost every Major TV Network, Cable Network and developer of sports programming was profiled for this search. This search became the single most extensive recruitment effort the firm had conducted since 1985. Recruiting, screening and profiling over 200 programming and production executives from every major media market in the United States was critical in allowing this client to choose from a broad spectrum of competitors that already enjoyed the type of distribution and programming initiatives they were looking to implement
The GM was setting exceptionally high standards for this person and wanted an executive who felt at ease with such a broad scope of responsibility. The GM being an extremely talented marketing executive prior to becoming President & GM always kept clear Sales and Marketing goals in mind through the entire identification process. The GM never wavered or compromised in insisting that this new executive be as strong strategically as he was tactically and many talented sports and non-sports programming and production executives and executive producers were passed over until his “ideal” was identified.
Successful VP Programming Recruited
A Senior Vice President of Programming, Production and Operations form one of the worlds largest sports television networks.
A 24-year veteran in the television broadcast and cable industry, this executive joined the new Network following a five-year stint at Fox Sports Net in Los Angeles, California. While at Fox Sports Net, he served as Senior Vice President, Production. He was responsible for the production and operational management of all live event programming for both the network and its 10 owned and operated regional networks.
During this executive's tenure at Fox Sports Net, he oversaw the development and production of many of the network's events, original program series and specials. Included were College Football Saturday, ACC Sunday Night Hoops, Sunday Night Fights, Formula One's return to the U.S., Hardcore Football, Totally NASCAR, and the Toughman World Championship series (for sister network FX).
Prior to Fox Sports Net, this executive spent 15 years with Tribune Broadcasting. At WGN he served as Director of Production and Executive Producer for sports and specials. His work covering the six-time champion Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, original series, documentaries and specials earned him 17 regional sports Emmys. He began his television career at KTLA-TV (Los Angeles) in 1982 as production manager and later also became producer/director for the station.
As well as being an exceptionally talented broadcast professional this individual is a fine gentleman. On every level people spoke of his personal attributes along with his honed skill sets. This clearly is an executive who removed his ego from situations and was capable of functioning with exceptional integrity as noted by those who worked with him over the past 24 years.