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STEPHEN FLINT

Director of Operations World Wide Entertainment, Fremantle Media, UK
"I have worked in entertainment for twenty five years. In music; in broadcasting; and now in production and distribution. I always planned to work on the business side of entertainment. I have no talent for performance, but I can apply my business talent t"

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?

To see a new series launch successfully and make a huge impact with the audience. Being successful in key territories is essential. Also helping to produce better quality TV shows in emerging nations is very pleasing. After our guidance, producers often tell us they didn’t know they could make TV this well.

WHAT IS THE WORST PART OF YOUR JOB?

Working hard on a new production then seeing it achieves disappointing ratings. Often you can put your heart and soul into a new launch but a tough competitive slot can kill it straight away.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR PROFESSIONAL FUTURE?

Our company is strong in the industry but, as with many of our industry peers, we are suffering from reduced margins from the TV networks. My professional future is linked to the future of big network TV shows. If the TV audience becomes increasingly fragmented and fewer big hits are created, my future may take a different path.

But this fragmentation can bring new opportunities. At the end of the day, in this business it will always be crucial to spot a winning idea.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY EVOLVING?

I anticipate the industry becoming populated by either big or small players. – The middle ground will disappear. Producers, distributors and broadcasters are consolidating. It will be hard to be successful without scale. Big networks will need big hits. And those hits will be controlled by the biggest producers and distributors.

There will be room for small, lower budget entrants supplying to a dedicated, smaller fan base.

The big players in television will have to work out how to co-exist alongside digital rivals and regulators will have to work out appropriate regulation in a world where you can watch TV and YouTube with the main family TV set.

The business is hit-driven and my position is dependent upon our company having hits. My passion for the industry must be balanced with some financial security. But it’s hard to plan a long term career when, in this rapidly evolving TV market, success with TV shows is ever-changing.

Working in TV is always challenging but it’s what makes it so interesting to be part of!