U.S. Middle East and North Africa Broadcasting
International Satellite and Broadcast Radio Networks Executive Search Review
Executive Director / GM
Middle East Radio and Interactive Networks
Based Washington, DC
Search Executive Director – Middle East Radio Networks
Search Firm Filcro Media Staffing - News Group
Officer in Charge Tony Filson
Reporting to President of Network
U.S. Global media concern disseminating across multiple media platforms seeking to upgrade their international radio broadcasting properties located in the U.S and MENA disseminating news, music and special programming to the Middle East and North Africa.
A mandate to effectively communicate with the youthful population of Arabic-speakers in the Middle East by providing up-to-date news, information and entertainment on FM, medium wave, internet, mobile and satellite media platforms throughout the region.
A need to broadcast accurate, timely and relevant news about the Middle East, the world and the United States through associated news and music content providers.
The news organization needed to maintain the highest standards of journalism, a free marketplace of ideas, respect for the intelligence and culture of its audiences while continuing a unique style that is upbeat, modern and forward-looking from a global perspective.
The goal is to improve the noted broadcasts 24-hours, seven days a week as an Arabic-language, and English network on multiple media platforms associated with unique programming of a very high quality. The need to originate broadcasts from studios in the Washington, DC area and Dubai, U.A.E. as well as news bureaus and studios throughout the entire Middle East was essential from a broadcast operations and engineering perspective.
Executive Search Committee Member(s) Industry and Sector inclusion:
- Broadcasting - Radio
- Broadcasting - Satellite
- Broadcasting - Internet
- Broadcasting - Television
- Broadcasting - International Music & Entertainment
- Broadcasting - International and Multicultural News & Information
The senior most human resource executive identified Filcro Media Staffing (FMS) and Tony Filson (TF) functioning as Officer in Charge of Search.
Filcro Media Staffing is Retained
The Filcro Media Staffing Officer in Charge of Search and client President, client Chief of Staff and client head of Human Resources all agreed on definitions for identifying the new Executive Director. Based on Filcro Media Staffing’s international recruitment experience and knowledge of the Middle East, Radio Broadcasting, News, Music and Interactive Properties the firm was able to proceed with the search immediately in global media markets.
Filcro Media Staffing reviewed all available documents pertaining to the current structures of the organization on business, technical and creative levels. Tony Filson proceeded with a solid understanding of personnel, geographic issues, budgets, immediate goals and long term planning for strategic development of the many diverse audiences served in the Middle East. Filcro Media Staffing conducted the executive search from New York City.
Challenges Facing the New Executive Director (ED)
- Programming - (7) Seven Distinct Radio and Online Channels as Multiplatform Multiplexes
- Program Development
- Program Acquisition
- Establish New Audience Metrics With Effective Analytics
- Change Management
- Training & Development
- International Budget Controls
- Adaptation of Technology for Interactive Platforms
- Cultural Diversity
- Varied Audiences in Closely Located Regions Across Multiple Continents
Filcro Media Staffing’s Recruitment Solution
Filcro Media Staffing proceeded to Identify the "best in class" international radio executives in the United States, Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Radio executives with Radio Network, Satellite Radio, Interactive Online Radio and Individual Broadcast Radio Stations and Radio Station Groups were all identified for initial universe compilation in and outside of the United States and The Middle East. A broad understanding and experience in international markets with broadcast distribution, engineering, programming production, programming acquisition, ratings analysis and audience development were basic criterion utilized from the onset. A proven record of success in building audiences with diverse music offerings in multiple languages was of primary interest.
This international broadcasting executive would have to manage and delegate globally while establishing a new set of performance metrics for creative initiatives and financial accountability.
Managing in multiple geographics in multiple languages and establishing continuity would be important to bring direct reports more in line with strategic initiatives related to convergence on satellite, online and RF platforms.
One distinct goal was to also identify an executive who could lead resource planning for domestic and overseas facilities and oversee major contractors for significant CAPEX. The ability to manage these cross-funtional teams, internal and external to the organization would be essential.
An executive capable ensuring that appropriate training plans, employee evaluations and counseling, could be provided globally as this executive was functioning as a “change agent” and needed to substantiate results that were sought by the President.
Functioning as a liaison to external organizations and governments on legislative matters concerning station operations would be essential as well as strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with high profile officials would be required.
Brief Profile Document: http://www.filcro.com/international-radio-GM.html
Successful Radio GM & Executive Director Recruited
The executive hired had broad knowledge and experience with an international radio conglomerate and specifically strong experience and acumen in Middle Eastern media environments where he exhibited leadership with a clear understanding of geopolitical issues that can affect transmission, operations and programming.
One of his main responsibilities in his current role when he was recruited as Vice President of Global Content at a Satellite Radio Network was to not only be aware of what the media environments and political situations are in each of the regions that he conducts business in, but to have a deep understanding of those environments so he can develop content plans that are focused, strategically sound, culturally sensitive and targeted to the specific needs of a particular country, region or demographic.
In the development of his international program(s) and content plans, he conducted a great deal of research on the existing media environment and consumer media behavior patterns in the region, with an emphasis on those in Dubai and Bahrain that exhibited his modality and efficacy relevant to the new organization's goals. The research develop by him both primary and secondary, facilitated a comprehensive understanding of what was available to consumers in those markets on the AM/FM dial as well as via other digital platforms, which in turn determined how best to structure a content and programming lineup that would be viewed as unique, compelling and able to drive substantial audiences in U.S. ; Middle East ; Africa and additional markets. His experience with radio in the United States, United Arab Emirates, the U.K., India, South Africa, Indonesia, Singapore, France, Greece and Italy all proved to be useful and within context of the goals needing to be brought to fruition with the client company.
This executive fully understood the traditional and nontraditional media environment in the Middle East. Insight into the latest consumer trends regarding the consumption of media, how prevalent are mobile devices (or other mp3 devices) in each market? Do people read and/or write blogs? Do they listen to streaming audio either on their portable mobile device or on their home PC? Do they download songs to their portable mobile device? Do they listen to audio channels that are part of their (or other) satellite TV service? All of these things were utilized to inform and to some degree dictate the overall content strategy, especially when determining methods of distribution.
This executive was and is fully versed in every form of assimilation and dissemination in his markets and those he would be creating that never existed in the Middle East before. He had a proven track record of enhancing current markets and building new ones at an impressive cadence.
In the course of his travels to the Middle East region he had done a significant amount of listening to the radio (including the Filcro Media Staffing client) in order to get a first hand feel of what the overall content offering and listening experience was and could be if developed properly.
This executive had a strong belief that a comprehensive understanding of the geopolitical issues affecting the world is an extremely important aspect of conducting business in the Middle East (or anywhere). Throughout his 10-year tenure with his last employer as a global leader in international radio programming he traveled extensively to numerous countries around the world and unequivocally he had an in-depth knowledge of the current state of world affairs that had been so critical in his success as a noted global broadcasting executive.
His strategic management experience in radio is vast. In the early stages of his career he learned the value of and the fundamentals of strategic management and planning at CBS Radio where he served in various positions at flagship radio stations in New York and Los Angeles. Over the last 10 years in Satellite Radio, first as the Director of Global Music Programming and later as Vice President of Global Content, he honed his strategic planning skills even sharper and as a skilled manager mentored others to do so also.
This executive had proven key strengths that set him apart from others recruited by our firm with equal geographic and market acumen. Filcro Media Staffing through the recruiting process contacted many executives who spoke of his modality, record of strategic efficacy and skills building and developing staff, as well as:
- The ability to set realistic and clearly defined goals and articulate what constitutes success to an entire organization.
- The development of a comprehensive strategic plan which enabled the goals to be met.
- The development of tactical plans detailing how the strategy will be executed.
- The successful execution of those plans.
There was no fluff in his world. Every bit of programming and content served one of two purposes: the acquisition of subscribers and or the retention of subscribers.
This executive was not myopic in his understanding or practices. In conducting the business of the Radio Network global content group he traveled extensively to numerous countries around the world including the United Arab Emirates, the U.K., India, South Africa, Indonesia, Singapore, France, Greece and Italy
The nature of his professional travels varied greatly, encompassing content planning sessions with the regional teams, senior level management planning sessions, meeting with existing and potential third-party broadcast partners, meetings with music industry executives, event promoters and content producers, producing and covering major content events. This executive had the direct hands-on-experience that we were seeking.
His understanding and success with transforming Radio cross-platform, integrating new technology into broadcast operations and implementing changes in media delivery confirmed his capacity to produce and disseminate appropriate content for multiple delivery platforms.
Under his leadership, the content was produced and disseminated in a very diligent, creative and forward thinking manner regarding the exploration of ways of leveraging content on other platforms.
This executive was also prepared to represent the organization to industry, government or public interests. At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in the U.S. or NAB Europe he was noted as a clear up and coming leader. As a member of the nominating committee for U.K.’s prestigious Brit Awards he had the distinction of being the first of two American broadcasters to be part of the committee. As a member of the Digital Media VIP’s, an affiliation of professionals hailing from various corners of the digital media world he met on a semi-regular basis to discuss issues of the day as well as an opportunity to connect with other members. He has also been a featured writer for New Radio Strategies website - a site where some of the best thinkers and practitioners in radio in the UK, USA and further afield share and discuss their views about the medium in the digital and global environment.
His financial acumen and the size of the budgets he managed as a fiscally responsible broadcasting executive were impressive. He managed varying levels of budgets as head of the global content group properly keeping the content at an extremely high level. Creating original content with limited budgets presents challenges but he met and exceeded every goal set by the board.
With strong media metrics and analytics he was able to make programming decisions with precision and properly utilize resources. Adjustments to programming based on research results were done quickly and properly.
As a manger and mentor of employees this executive had shown a clear capacity to build human resources in business, creative and technical environments. His ability to positively mange people globally was proven on many levels. Those we spoke with below, on and above line all commented on his exceptional management skills and were able to give clear examples of his success.
Clearly a leader and a leader by example he was able to instill his own work ethic in those around him. In this regard, he was a needed change agent in an environment that required a successful motivator of people.
The executive was hired after much scrutiny and review by the senior most executives of the organization.
This was a global search that spanned four continents, was initiated in Washington DC, conducted in New York and was completed from contract to formal offer in less than three months.
There was never any doubt internally or on the client side that we had identified, recruited and attracted the single most qualified and talented media executive in the world to take on this exceptional challenge.
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