A Filcro Media Staffing Media Technology Executive Search Review - Tony Filson OIC
Director Global Distribution
Engineering and New Technology
Global Multiplex Multiplatform Channel Environments
Based New York, NY - USA
The Search Firm Filcro Media Staffing (FMS) with Tony Filson (TF) as officer in charge (OIC) reporting to Technology Human Resources in New York, NY - USA
The Client Company
Cable broadcasting environment of one of the the World’s largest media and entertainment conglomerates with global and domestic terrestrial distribution. This Multiplex is considered the World’s eminent technological leader and premium programming provider in the broadcasting industry with unsurpassed MSO and cross-platform dissemination modality. These 14 networks (as of search initiation) enjoy international market dominance and are SUB not advertising driven. This New York City based national executive search was “strategic” to assure the combined Networks and MSO’s continued global dominance with regard to broadcasting distribution and advanced operational technology.
Senior Director TV Network Global Distribution
Director Engineering and New Technology (DENT)
The Vice President of Network Technology Distribution (VPNTD) was referred to Filcro Media Staffing from corporate human resources. The VPNTD had searched for over six months through other executive search firms and was unable to identify an appropriate Sr. Director. Filcro Media Staffing was called in when the situation became critical for the Network(s) distribution and MSO properties based on affiliate adaptation deadlines of proprietary broadcast signal assimilation and dissemination.
With synthesizing technology through the entire global distribution chain form NOC to Affiliate(s) being of timely and paramount importance based on set-top-box (STB) and new CODEC roll-out, Time Warner required aggressive, creative and media focused recruitment indicative of Filcro Media Staffing’s recruiting modality and efficacy.
The skill sets, experience and media technology specific to global broadcast distribution required existed in few environments and there was virtually no success prior to Filcro Media Staffing being retained. Other search firms from inside and outside of New York did not produce results. Due to the immediacy and nature of the search Time Warner requested The Officer in Charge of Search (OIC) at Filcro Media Staffing be Tony Filson (TF).
It was the consensus of FMS-TF that a national search was not required based on Tony Filson’s knowledge of technology succession planning at two “ideal environments” to draw from that were located in New York City. However, additional national candidates sourced with proper technology leadership experience were also presented by Filcro Media Staffing to assure success if the “ideals” could not be attracted from within New York City based on a perceived compensation issue that ultimately was moot.
Media Industry and Media Sector Inclusions for Candidate Universe Recruitment
- Cable Television Network(s)
- Multisystem Operators (MSO’s)
- The Major Broadcast Television Networks - OTA
- Super Stations / Regional Station Groups / National Station Groups
- Broadcasting Industry Technology (IT & Engineering) Consulting & Vendors
Filcro Media Staffing is Retained
Filcro Media Staffing Officer in Charge Tony Filson and the FMS Director of Research spent time in person at the client’s New York City Executive Offices with Technology Human Resources. From the onset Filcro Media Staffing was familiar with the client technology culture and technological infrastructure from a business and IT perspective. Tony Filson created a engineering topography review to be utilized during identification and recruitment. Human Resources gave detailed guidance that was formulated in conjunction with the VPNTD to determine the desired experience, soft and hard skills. The departments culture was equally as important and presented challenges if the autonomy capacity of the new Director was lacking even if the technological acumen was above the mean. A search document was quickly established and the client’s “ideal” was apparent to Tony Filson from the onset. Filcro Media Staffing’s broadcasting focus and experience with similar TV network technology searches was utilized immediately to set a positive course of action and cadence.
Filcro Media Staffing was provided with an overview of all Network technical (IT) and (BO&E) operational facilities for terrestrial distribution. Based on the fact that this was a “multiplex” environment and few other competitors enjoyed their “current” technological superiority, a flexible compensation structure was understood that could be market driven to attract an ideal executive regardless of a competing Network’s nomenclature without running into parity issues within the same department. Filcro Media Staffing evaluated all distribution facilities as they relate(d) to the new DENT and affiliate issues to include security, budget, current and future CODEC development and vendor considerations for STB, VOD, Mobile and Wireless. The reporting line was not an issue as the position was strategic and required calling upon existing staff, departments and affiliates to work in synergy with the DENT to implement all “New Technology” and “Change Management”. This technology executive would have unusual autonomy based on their technological acumen and capacity to implement business initiatives.
This level of strategic autonomy is normally afforded to a VP of Technology within the client's competitors and we were recruiting and attracting a high-pot Director level executive.
The Network's objectives with regard to domestic and international Cable TV, DBS, HITS, OD, broadband, etc. were timely and to assure proper deployment and continuity of service we needed to identify an executive who could evaluate new distribution technologies and make recommendations based on past BO&E experiences. CMS distribution acumen created challenges as others in the industry were a full generation behind the client company.
The VPNTD was very “hands-off” during the identification phase and let Filcro Media Staffing function with unusual autonomy during universe compilation, recruitment, attraction and tiering. Human Resources played a very active role to facilitate attraction based on the firm’s recommendations and they ultimately provided the catalysts to bring the search to fruition.
Due to the Network(s) being six months behind schedule prior to engaging FMS, the firm gave FMS unusual latitude to facilitate very aggressive sourcing, identification and recruitment.
Some of the biggest challenges facing the new Technology Director
- Strategic implementation on a Network and global affiliate level
- Continuity during new distribution technology implementation
- New business development with non-technical partners
- Representing the Network to the industry from the Network’s point of view
- Domestic and international PPV / VOD and new business development support
- Maintain Network technology leadership in the broadcasting industry
- Gaining Internal and External consensus with regard to vendors and affiliates
- Cross platform multicast for the entire family of muliplex Networks & products
Filcro Media Staffing’s Solution
Filcro Media Staffing proceeded to Identify “best of class” technology executives from major U.S. television networks that shared facilities and resources that contained “multiplex” environments for substantial cable TV and OTA Network technology holdings. There was no doubt that very few technology executives on the Director’s level existed in the United States with the “perfect” experience or knowledge. An additional technology executive was identified in Hong Kong as a safety net but the cost of relocation was prohibitive and our ideal was the New York candidate. The Asia based candidate with equal acumen and experience was second tiered.
Through the identification, recruitment and screening process the executives sourced were so specialized and their environments so specific based on “technology”, that the only logical criterion for precluding executives had to be based on strategic limitations as opposed to tactical. What differentiated these strategic executives, and was seen as a solution for the client, was a “perfect” hard and soft skill mix that others had overlooked. Access to O&D charting and awareness of technological capabilities and vendor relationships of the targeted companies was essential here.
The “Peter Principle” could not come into play for this executive looking at a 5-10 year plan based on technology and succession planning. There would “always” be something new to learn and teach others technologically internal and external to the organization. The ecology of this executive had to match the ecology of the client technology being rolled out for implementation and the development of new systems in BETA. Noted as one of the most advanced technology environment in the industry, the new technology executive would have to present as a someone who loved and respected technology well beyond the norm.
The distribution and IT issues with vendors and affiliates required an executive who could function as a facilitator, advocate and catalyst for new technology initiatives to drive revenue on the PPV and VOD side. The media engineering, soft skills and new business development implementation required a very well balanced executive who could advocate for the firm to vendors and the broadcasting community as a whole.
The affiliates were so fragmented from a technological perspective that the new executive had to play a role that allowed vendors into each affiliate to roll-out new technology that enhanced distribution and new business initiatives by corporate mandates that could ultimately benefit VOD / PPV & proprietary revenue streams that were previously not monetized. The mix of MSO and Network interests created many experience and skill set variables.
Specific technology and broadcast IT vendors can be very challenging to work with and required was a person who was current on cutting edge broadcast software and hardware issues who could speak with a vendor, affiliate and the industry as a whole to “leverage the Network(s)” in such a way that a “new standard” could be implemented to cause others to financially take technology initiatives that would ultimately benefit the Network and the affiliates. This capacity to sell and evangelize new technology was essential as hundreds of millions of dollars of technology buy-in was hanging in balance.
Effectiveness through transparent persuasion based on technological, budget and media business acumen would be essential.
Successful Director of Distribution and Advanced Technology Recruited
A Director of Distribution Technology from a Major TV Network.
This executive had an intimate knowledge of every technological tactical and strategic aspect of the position. It was apparent to everyone involved in the search that this was a “high potential” person who could facilitate the future of Network Technology for our client. However, the unusual cultural fit was also excellent. He was able to assimilate easily into the new organization and bring with him numerous global industry contacts and followings that immediately benefited the Network. His broadcast IT and Engineering acumen were equal to his skills in quickly gaining internal and external consensus of those he collaborated with. This was a passive candidate, who had to be recruited and attracted by Filcro Media Staffing and the OIC.
The new broadcasting technology executive having extensive engineering experience was also an accomplished business executive who would be able to implement the Network’s “New Business Revenue Streams” through successful enhanced implementation of VOD / PPV and proprietary projects that would be facilitated through increased affiliate technology adaptation and new CODEC development.
His ability to facilitate monetization through technology was proven. He was skilled at selling advanced technology he conceptualized, built and brought to fruition internal and external to the organization.
This executive was so familiar with the “broadcasting community” as a whole that he was also a fit to “Chair” appropriate groups that would benefit the Network’s attempt to set a new standard for distribution technology on a terrestrial level.
This media technology executive's strength was developed from a very hands-on but not micromanagement approach in his previous environment. His thought provoking demeanor that made others feel at ease as opposed to being under pressure, was very refreshing. He had an unusual ability to make others feel as if they had found the solution, even if he had to step in to put out the fire himself. This strong soft skill set in a “technology environment” facilitates a more collaborative process when he is involved and everyone seems to be more productive with his “positive reinforcement”. His technology acumen is so astute that in his previous environment vendors looked to him for leadership when rolling out new products. His exceptional soft-skill sets were “ideal” based on mentoring required across multiple business lines internal and external to the Network’s technology environments. His strength with vendors was essential as he had to evangelize large technology spends all the way down the affiliate chain.
This executive scored very high on Filcro Media Staffing’s proprietary technology and behavioral profiles. The balance of hard and soft skills was apparent, and confirmed, in person and on paper.
With this broadcasting technology executive coming out of a major competitor of our client company, Human Resources was very helpful in attracting their “ideal” though creative incentives that avoided any parity issues. When a media technology driven hiring entity has the resources to facilitate a mission statement of global technological superiority and leadership, Filcro Media Staffing performed with aplomb to meet their critical demands.
The cultural fit of the new executive placed HR at ease when it came time to use the tools they had set aside from the beginning to attract their “ideal”. Since this TV executive was identified in the same city, there was no need for relocation.
The executive experienced a smooth transition to the new Network and is performing exceptionally well on all levels. He has become a vital and respected member of the company and he is looked at as a leader of technology and new business development in the global broadcasting community. He has also been promoted in advance of the client’s initial succession plan.
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