Media, Broadcasting & Sports Properties
Sports TV Network, Sports Teams & Sports Venue
TV Sports Programming and Sports Production Operations
Search Vice President TV Programming, Production, Creative Development and Operations
Search Firm Filcro Media Staffing
Officer in Charge Tony Filson,
Reporting to President
Client Sports TV network with cross ownership of a Major League Baseball team
The interests and corporate ownership of the Sports TV Network are diverse
The firm enjoys regional and national market dominance with sports team(s), sports venue, sports broadcasting and media holdings. Through MSO, Satellite and Broadband distribution the client company was seeking to enhance and expand their National presence through the development and production of additional sports and sports oriented programming.
Client Situation The President as well as the CFO identified Filcro Media Sports to conduct a national executive search to identify a new Vice President of Programming. The President met with the Filcro Media Sports and the Officer in Charge, Tony Filson in New York prior to retaining the firm and subsequently invited Filcro Media Staffing to meet with the CFO and review the TV Network's facilities and relevant staff that would report to the new Vice President of Programming.
Executive Search Industry and Sector Inclusion
The President / GM and the CFO, with the President / GM acting as the point of contact, identified Filcro Media Staffing and Tony Filson functioning as Officer in Charge of Search to conduct a national search to identify the proper Vice President of Programming.
Filcro Media Staffing is Retained
Filcro Media Staffing Officer in Charge of Search Tony Filson met with the CFO and GM and commenced with the search by first establishing a consensus of the CFO and GM as to the weighting of the operational, tactical, creative and strategic skills required. Based on Filcro Media Staffing’s experience with similar programming and development searches it was the opinion of Filcro Media Staffing that a proper pool of appropriate executives could be drawn from a multitude of National competitors based on the experience required and the compensation being offered.
Filcro Media Staffing’s Tony Filson was provided with organizational charts and overviews of operations, production, facilities, programming, budgets, marketing, sales and associated personnel in Boston, MA. The O&D Charting, budgets, equipment lists and marketing materials provided by the CFO provided great insight into what synergistic changes would need to be initiated by the new Vice President of Programming to meet projected programming goals.
The CFO and GM afforded Filcro Media Staffing autonomy during the initial phase of universe compilation and tiering The established hierarchy of desired skill sets and industry experience during universe compilation and tiering only changed once, with the key factors being a balance of development, operational, production, strategic and programming acumen that could be “attracted” based on compensation. The fact that Filcro Media Staffing reported to a single GM and not the entire ownership facilitated a clear line and the executive ultimately identified was presented during the first month of the search assignment.
Filcro Media Staffing was fortunate to have such an active GM and CFO participate during the search. The GM had over 17 years of experience with the Network. The cultural awareness of every department was extremely helpful in determining how effective this Vice President of Programming would be in an environment that was not heavily layered.
This senior most programming executive was being hired as one of the top 3 executives at this Regional Sports Network (RSN) to function strategically across all lines of business.
Due to current programming and co-production issues the search required a very well rounded Vice President who would play more of a strategic role then tactical with regard to creative development, production and branding of the Network as they worked with Network Sales and “The Teams” to leverage the MLB and NHL properties owned. On the tactical side this person also had to function in Production, Operations, Post, Engineering and Traffic. A person with very diverse skill sets and great scope would be required to handle all these responsibilities.
Challenges facing the new Senior Vice President
The Filcro Media Sports Recruitment Solution
Tony Filson functioning as Officer in Charge proceeded to Identify the "best in industry" Vice Presidents of Programming, Production, Operations and Senior Executive Producers with a proven record of success within and without of the Sports genre. Based on the client's need for an executive who could function in a hands-on environment it was essential that any myopic or “too specialized candidates” be eliminated from the onset.
NOTE: One of the executives presented for this search was considered the most profitable and prolific heads of TV programming in the World.
An executive capable of focusing on “operational” issues while “creatively” developing different types of quality sports and non-sports programming to strategically differentiate the Network from its competitors was essential.
The TV Network was looking to expand their affiliate relationships through enhanced programming and needed an executive who was accustomed to viability and ROI factors being as important as creative considerations for green-lighting programming, within a mature national broadcast company.
With such unusual access to the sports team (MLB) along with full production, operations and development autonomy, it was important that this new VP be able to mentor staff through every phase of the process to institute “Best Practices” that would enhance the operational, production and creative staff to the point that they could quickly become part of the “enhanced” product sought by management.
In order to convince the associated team, owners, sales and marketing heads that cooperation on every level would intimately benefit everyone concerned, it would take a mature broadcasting executive who could function tactically and strategically in every function as they developed new synergies across varied business lines and broadcast markets.
With the Network about to initiate a new build-out of production and broadcast operations facilities, this executive also had to have strong engineering and operations capabilities with regard to distribution, production and post-production facilities. The recent addition of full UHD capabilities and solid relationships with satellite and MSO distribution for same, required that this executive be able to capitalize on this substantial CAPEX going forward creatively and technically.
Almost every Major TV Network, Cable Network and developer of sports programming was profiled for this search. This search became one of the most extensive recruitment efforts the firm had conducted. Recruiting, screening and profiling over 200 programming and production executives from every major media market in the United States was critical in allowing this client to choose from a broad spectrum of competitors to institute the type of distribution and programming initiatives they were seeking
The President was setting exceptionally high standards for this executive and wanted someone who felt at ease with such a broad scope of responsibility. The President being an extremely talented marketing executive prior to becoming President of the Network always kept clear Sales and Marketing goals in mind through the entire identification process. The President never wavered or compromised in insisting that this new executive be as strong strategically as he was tactically and many talented sports and non-sports programming and production executives and executive producers were passed over until his “ideal” was identified.
Successful VP Programming Recruited
A Senior Vice President of Programming, Production and Operations form one of the worlds largest sports television networks.
A 24-year veteran in the television broadcast and cable industry, this executive joined the new Network following a five-year stint at Fox Sports. While at Fox Sports, he served as Senior Vice President, Production. He was responsible for the production and operational management of all live event programming for both the network and its 10 owned and operated regional networks.
During this executive's tenure at Fox Sports, he oversaw the development and production of many of the network's events, original program series and specials. Included were College Football, ACC Hoops, Boxing, Formula One Racing, Football, NASCAR, and even the Toughman World Championship series for sister network FX.
Prior to Fox Sport,, this executive spent 15 years with Tribune, he served in charge of Production and Executive Producer for sports and specials. His work covering NBA basketball and MLB baseball as well as original series, documentaries and specials earned him 17 regional sports Emmys.
As well as being an exceptionally talented broadcast professional this individual is a fine gentleman. On every level people spoke of his personal attributes along with his honed broadcasting acumen. This clearly is an executive who removed his ego from situations and was capable of functioning with exceptional integrity as noted by those who worked with him over the past 24 years.
The Officer in charge of this search was Tony Filson - Home