U.S. Middle East and North Africa Broadcasting
International Satellite and Broadcast News Radio Networks Executive Search
Executive Director / News GM
U.S. Middle East News Radio & Interactive Networks
Based Washington, DC / MD / VA Region
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 global news, music and special programming to the Middle East and North Africa.
Based on desire to effectively communicate with the youthful population of Arabic-speakers in the Middle East by providing up-to-date news, information and entertainment on radio, internet, mobile and satellite platforms throughout the region, a new GM was sought with proven global leadership in broadcast and digital media to be based in Washington, DC.
A need to broadcast well produced accurate, timely and relevant news about the Middle East, the world, and the United States through internal and associated news and music content providers.
The news organization needed to maintain the highest standards of journalism, a free marketplace of ideas and 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 new GM would need to be well versed in the past, current in their practices and have clear leadership capabilities to take the Network into the future.
The goal was 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, 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 - News - 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, Chief of Staff and 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, TV & Radio Broadcasting, News, Music and Interactive Properties the firm was able to proceed with the search immediately to identify the new GM / Executive Director.
Filcro Media Staffing reviewed all the provided documents pertaining to the current structures of the organization on business, technical and creative levels. Tony Filson proceeded with a solid understanding of personnel, geographics, 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 Content Providers
- Program Development for Digital and Broadcast in Multiple Languages
- Program Acquisition
- Establish New Audience Metrics With Effective Analytics From Primary and Secondary Sources
- Change Management
- Training & Development
- International Budget Controls
- Adaptation of Technology for Interactive Platforms
- Cultural Diversity in Programming and Multiple Offices Globally
- Varied Audiences in Closely Located Regions, Across Multiple Continents With Distinct Preferences in News and Music.
Filcro Media Staffing’s Recruitment Solution
Media Staffing proceeded to Identify the "best in class" international radio executives in the United States, Middle East, Asia and Europe with substantial TV, Interactive, Music and News experience to supplement their proven Radio Network leadership success.
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.
The weighting of additional platforms took place after their core competencies were established in Radio, News & Music.
Broad acumen of international markets with broadcast distribution, engineering, programming, production, programming acquisition and co-pro, ratings analysis and audience development were basic criterion utilized from the onset. A proven record of success in building audiences with diverse music and news 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-functional teams, internal and external to the organization would be essential.
An executive capable ensuring that appropriate training, employee evaluations and counseling could be provided globally as this executive would be functioning as a “change agent” and needed to substantiate and report 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.
The GM | Executive Director Recruited
The executive hired had broad knowledge and experience with an international radio conglomerate and exceptional acumen in Middle Eastern media environments where he exhibited leadership. He possessed a clear understanding of geopolitical issues that can affect transmission, operations and programming in the MENA.
One of his main responsibilities in his role when recruited as Vice President of Global Content at a Satellite Radio Network was to be aware of what the media environments and political situations are in each of the regions he conducts business in. He exhibited a deep understanding of those environments and developed content plans that focused strategically sound, culturally sensitive and targeted programming to the specific country, region and demographic.
In the development of his international program(s) and content plans, he conducted copious research on the existing media environment(s) and consumer media behavior patterns in the region. With new channel roll-outs in Dubai and Bahrain he exhibited modality and efficacy that was flawless in meeting the organization's goals. The research analytics developed by him (primary and secondary), facilitated a sound understanding of what was available to consumers in those markets on the AM/FM dial and digital platforms. His determinations on how to structure content and programming lineups that were unique, compelling and able to drive substantial audiences in U.S. ; Middle East ; Africa and additional markets were all successful. 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 of our client company.
This executive fully understood the traditional and nontraditional media environments 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 services? All of these things were utilized to inform and to some degree dictate the overall content strategy, especially when determining methods of distribution. He was detailed with nuance and strategic initiatives.
This executive was fully versed in every form of technological 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 with adopted technology.
In the course of his travels to the MENA region he had done a significant amount of listening to the radio to get a first hand feel of content offerings and listening experiences. He knew what could be developed properly without changing consumer's habits to optimize adaptation of new programming.
This executive strongly believed that MENA consumers wanted a comprehensive understanding of the geopolitical issues affecting the world and his ability to differentiate news broadcasts with rich content and high production vales was an extremely important factor to him conducting business in the Middle East (or anywhere).
Throughout his past 10 years with his last employer in international radio programming he traveled extensively to numerous countries around the world and unequivocally 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 in and out of the MENA.
His strategic management experience in radio was vast and noted. In the early stages of his career he learned 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 and as a skilled executive, mentored others to do so too.
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. His ability to set “realistic” and clearly defined goals and articulate what constitutes success to an entire organization was praised by everyone who work with him.
The development of tactical plans detailing how strategy will be executed and the successful execution of those plans was highlighted by many. Every bit of programming and content he developed served one of two purposes: the acquisition of subscribers and or the retention of subscribers. He was focused.
This executive was not myopic in his understanding or business, technical or creative practices. In the his current 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. His objectives varied greatly, with extensive content planning sessions with each regional team, senior level management and potential third-party broadcast partners. Meetings with music industry executives, event promoters, content producers were the norm. This executive had the direct “hands-on” experience we were seeking.
His success transforming radio cross-platform assimilation, 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.
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 respected 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 the New Radio Strategies website - 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 market environments.
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 he was a proven leader and a “leader by example” he instilled a positive work ethic in those around him. In this regard, he was a needed change agent in an environment that could benefit from a successful motivator of people.
Hired After Extensive Review
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 one of the most qualified media executives in the world for this exceptional challenge.
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