News & Journalism Executive Search Review
Top 20 DMA
Search TV Station News Director - OTA, On Line, Mobile, Social
Based San Diego, CA - USA
Search Firm Filcro Media Staffing, New York, NY
Officer in Charge Tony Filson, New York, NY
Reporting to Station GM and CFO
Client A noted leader in the broadcasting industry since the 1950’s, this station has offered the community news programming that is part of the fabric of life in Southern California. The GM and CFO both having a true commitment to serving the community and producing news content with high journalistic standards, retained Filcro Media Staffing to conduct the national executive search to identify their next News Director.
Client Situation The broadcast markets in Southern California have become increasingly competitive in the top DMA’s. The station's senior leadership wanted to attract a News Director that could reflect the stability, longevity and commitment to the community the station has been so proud of since the 1950’s.
With the advent of OTA, Mobile, Online, OEM and Social Media platforms playing more synergistic roles, management wanted to be proactive and set their own cadence as opposed to being reactive like others in this mature media market.
Industry and Sector Inclusion for Recruitment
- TV Networks - Cable & OTA
- TV Station Groups
- Local Stations
- News Bureaus
- Independent News Organizations and NGO’s
Filcro Media Staffing is Retained
The first course of action was understanding where the station has been, where they are now and then looking at the competing stations in the DMA to determine tactical and strategic needs to be #1 in the market.
With the Filcro OIC/TF the GM and the CFO reviewing the current newsroom staff, budgets, technology, production, programming and cross-platform initiatives a clear course of action with mutual consensus, was achieved quickly.
Filcro then proceeded to draw together the skills, acumen and industry experience required to accomplish the stations goals from a business and journalistic perspective. With the station and Filcro working together a document was created to attract the proper News Director who had the soft and hard skills required to be successful.
Some of the challenges Facing the new News Director
- Making the station's news organization #1 in a highly competitive market
- Building an esprit de corps with 70-80 talented news professionals seeking honed, mature and astute leadership.
- Acting as a change agent with regard to cross-platform initiatives and incorporating workflow that makes real-time news more relevant to the audience.
- Providing needed mentoring and leadership in a way that optimizes human resources and newsroom assets. Setting realistic goals and MBO’s that benefit all employees and the station.
- Achieving relationships with the diverse constituencies in the Southern California market the station serves.
- Becoming an integral part of the community from a news, information and advocacy perspective.
The Filcro Media Staffing Recruitment Solution
Filcro Media Staffing proceeded to recruit nationally, identifying the news executives appropriate from the top 30 DMA’s in the United States.
A short list of approximately 300 News Directors, Assistant News Directors, Bureaus Chiefs, Executive Producers and Senior Producers from all top 30 DMA’s was compiled and was utilized as the initial search universe. From the onset to the conclusion of the search, and addition 34 candidates were added.
The search criterion was separated into (6) distinct requirements and then weighted for autonomy on tactical and strategic levels. Filcro utilized a (8) part Harvard Profile that has been customized to work well with News and Journalism professionals in domestic and international markets.
After initial screening approximately 40 candidates were of interest.
With detailed scrutiny Filcro was able to compile a short list of (6) candidates. After written justification statements were submitted the initial search universe of 300 was honed to two ideal News Directors. One was located on the East Coast, the other in the Upper Northwest formally from Central California.
The Successful News Director Recruited
Ultimately an accomplished, noted News Director, Executive Producer and Bureau Chief from America’s top 1 & 2 DMA’s was hired.
Brought forward by the FMS OIC Tony Filson, the News Director is an accomplished journalist, broadcasting executive and noted mentor of accomplished news executives in our industry.
With proven journalistic and broadcast leadership from Washington DC to New York to Los Angeles this broadcasting executive is truly respected by everyone he has touched in his career.
With broad news programming, technology and honed management skills this news executive was recruited at the onset of the search. Through the vetting of 300 candidates identified nationally, he clearly was the most qualified executive to lead in this highly competitive market in one of the country's top DMA’s. Only one other candidate had the experience and acumen to remain competitive until the very end of the search.
The GM and CFO played key roles in what was truly a collaborative and transparent search that permitted participation by a broad constituency at the station. As each round of vetting took place, the GM and CFO were always available to discuss tiering and justifications for ranking each of the key candidates recruited.
The reputation of a broadcaster and their senior management team play key roles in attracting top talent. “At every phase” of the search, we were met with positive reactions from everyone in the industry about these two “gentlemen”. The search process was conducted in a such a way that each phase of planning, identification, recruitment, vetting and attraction was enjoyed by every participant.
The time to complete this national executive search from inception to offer and acceptance was 4 weeks ahead of the projected schedule. It was an aggressive cadence that was brought to fruition based on the GM and CFO being so generous with their schedules when our firm brought candidates forward.
Our firm looks forward to working with the station's management again.
The Filcro Media Staffing OIC for this News Director's executive search was Tony Filson based in New York City.
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