Search President & GM
Based St. Thomas | USVI
Search Firm Filcro Media Staffing
Officer in Charge Tony Filson
Reporting to Incumbent GM | Succession Plan
The company's operations when Filcro Media Staffing was retained were located in:
- The British Virgin Islands
- Sint Maarten
- The US. Virgin Islands
Media Holdings Included:
Broadcast TV, local and long distance carriers, mobile telephone companies, Internet access providers, cable television companies, MSO’s offering quad-play, business telecommunications systems and a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper. Management offices relevant to the new GM were in West Palm Beach, Florida, Christiansted, St. Croix and The U.S. Virgin Islands.
The media company employed over 1,400 employees at the time of the search and was the largest private employer in Belize and the second largest private employer in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company was previously owned by Jeffrey Prosser who was the parent company's Chairman.
A search committee was formed consisting of the senior most Human Resource executive of the combined companies; the current GM and the CFO of the parent company.
The objective was to identify a new President & GM who could function as a change agent as the organizations media holdings were being restructured. All the transactions were noted, high profile and subject to regulatory scrutiny.
Industry and Sector inclusion for the ESC
- Broadcast Television
- TV Station Groups and Network Affiliates
- Cable Television
- Telecommunications | Telco and ISP
- MSO | Quad Play
- Newspaper Publishing
- TV Production Services and Origination
- Integrated Business Services
The (ESC) jointly identified Filcro Media Staffing to conduct the search and asked that Tony Filson function as Officer in Charge. Multiple members of the sub-co and parent company were aware of prior GM and CEO searches conducted by Filcro.
Filcro Media Staffing is Retained
Tony Filson worked initially with HR and the current GM to establish a consensus of the desired business, technical and creative levels for each sub-co or holding. The client, as an MSO provider and OTA CBS Network Affiliate had many areas where revenue could be optimized under the proper leadership and monetization was at the forefront of every conversation.
Filcro Media Staffing was provided with technical, strategic, operational, organizational, financial and creative overviews requested to evaluate all the firm’s hard and soft assets.
The current President / GM had clear “ideals” and goals for the varied media assets. Filcro Media Staffing’s experience recruiting for MSO’s, TV Stations, Station Groups and Network GM’s was valuable in providing guidance with regard to the positive changes the companies needed.
Knowing we would have to relocate a GM from the United States or LATAM, Filcro Media Staffing’s recruitment experience was instrumental in meeting the aggressive cadence set by ownership. There were mandates to conduct and complete the search for restructuring. Tony Filson utilized data from other GM searches so the head of HR could gain internal consensus to move forward with universe compilation based on five specific locations Tony Filson wanted to recruit out of. This was accomplished and completed the first week.
Establishing a hierarchy of desired skill sets and experience for universe compilation placed the “company cultural” at an unusually high-standing. Real leadership and mentoring skills would be essential in an environment with a history of optimizing human resources. The success of this search would ultimately be determined by a multitude of mentoring and soft skills that were equally as important as the type(s) of change management required in TV Network Sales, MSO Operations and to integrate and monetize the newspaper holdings with online assets.
Filcro Media Staffing was fortunate to have verbose input from HR and the current GM. The search was conducted as if we were looking for a “parent” who could gently and intelligently lead a broadcast network and MSO to the next level of growth on multiple platforms in domestic and international markets.
Due to unique geographics the search offered challenges. Also, an executive had to be identified who could function with limited TV network “sales operational” infrastructure until a new back-office Network sales function could be established. With the exception of current MSO and Newspaper integration, the entire sales-back office technology and work-flow needed revamping. TV, MSO, Telco, Online and Print integration would be challenging.
Some challenges facing the new General Manager (GM)
- Change Management
- Ad Sales Planning, Sale Operations and Sales Budgets
- MSO and OTA Broadcast TV Network Synergy
- Legislative Awareness
- Financial Management and OPEX Budget Controls
- External Revenue Partnerships After Restructuring
- Programming and Production Standards - On Air and On Line
- Community and Industry Relations
- TV Network Affiliate Relations Management with CBS
- Establishing Nontraditional Revenue Streams
Filcro Media Staffing’s Recruitment Solution
Filcro Media Staffing proceeded to Identify "GM’s" with a proven record of success in building and enhancing hard and soft assets in similar markets with comparable assets. The proposed restructuring of the TV Network and MSO assets was unique. The parent company spared no expense on infrastructure yet operation nuance was lacking to integrate monetization channels. Production and Post assets were considerably above the mean for similar stations, networks or production companies. Therefor, a person capable of capitalizing on this strength to develop and enhance other areas of concern would be ideal. There were production and origination capabilities that were ripe for proper marketing to multiple industries, ad agencies and producers of programming.
An executive capable of focusing on “sales management team development” and “sales operational infrastructure” was essential. The client base and advertising agencies had to witness a difference in the way programming offered advertising opportunities that had not been available before. Building a credible and effective broadcast sales infrastructure that enhanced the platforms was critical. Filcro Media Staffing recognized that travel, leisure, sports and other areas were not capitalized on yet and great room was left for monetization. This awareness was utilized during the search to help attract the proper GM who could work creatively with TV producers, advertising agencies, direct sponsors and sports organizations.
This new GM had to plan, direct and coordinate the activities of the operation and implement policies governing the functions of the various departments to include: Sales, Operations, Production, News, Finance, Affiliate and Community Relations. Our firm needed to identify a GM from a similar market who was accustomed to being very “hands-on”.
Filcro Media Staffing saw great opportunities for what were cost centers in “News” that could be turned into profit centers. We had to make sure that the new President / GM had monetized these areas before with sponsorships, on-air and online advertising.
Establishing budgets and generating analysis of budget Vs actuals to justify variances and create growth projections for the businesses would require strong financial acumen. In some instances we looked to smaller station groups where working with “sister companies” to maximize advertising, viewership and ancillary revenue was the norm.
The GM we would identify also had to determine added value advertising opportunities through varied programming initiatives. The Network TV Station assets and its geographic could offer many advantages to the proper GM. A GM who could review, negotiate and improve programming acquisition was essential. Our universe of smaller “station groups” who had allowed greater GM autonomy with regard to co-pro and programming acquisition were targeted early in the search process. The ideal was a GM/GSM/ND/EIC/EP combination who would express the longevity we needed for continuity of management well beyond the restructuring of the parent company and the sub-co’s.
Successful GM / President
Identified, Recruited, Attracted and Relocated
A current (GM) General Manager who had also functioned as an (ND) News Director, (GSM) Sales Manager, (EIC) (OAP) Promotions Manager, (Anchor) On Air Host and (BO&E) Operations Executive in both radio and TV in larger markets. He was also the owner earlier in his career of a full-service advertising agency. He was experienced in every business, technical and creative area relevant to the firm with a proven track-record of fiscal success. He had spent considerable time working and living in a similar geographic.
This “hands-on” GM could lead by example and had a proven record of success in every area relevant to the proper function of a TV Station, TV Network and TV Station Group.
His ability to generate and improve revenue, mentor and increase sales in similar markets and much larger DMA’s would allow him to function as the change agent sought.
Based on the diverse markets, governments and cultures his prior political and broadcast acumen would be utilized to their fullest. His exposure to Governor, Lt. Governor, Local Political and State Legislators and the development of community programming that partnered the Station(s) was a good fit based on the TV Station / Network's multiple international markets. He had general and multicultural awareness and experience that was ideal. Working with federal and foreign government(s) on remote transmitter site construction and licensing, his experience could come into play based on USVI proximity to international markets for programming distribution, co-pro and origination.
The Network having some of the most sophisticated production and post facilities could also benefit from the new GM’s prior experience owning an advertising, marketing and video production company. His exposure to upscale advertising and production services for diverse clients would fare well with the advertising agencies and local ad sales (LAS) issues he would be addressing that required production and post services.
The New GM had strong experience with CAPEX development projects for new television stations in major markets and had implemented entire projects from initial budget to final build out. His licensing and technical planning acumen for cross border microwave systems, fiber optic networks and master control, including satellite uplink and downlink systems could be vital when the Network opts to enhance their own BO&E facilities or the MSO plant as new fiber cables were being made available through a government sponsored program.
The New GM also managed two network affiliate TV stations in extremely competitive markets. He developed business opportunities diversifying revenue streams as was required in the “ideal” of the client company.
Through relationships he developed in the industry when purchasing programming he could greatly enhance the bottom line through increased savings on programming.
His sales strategies to include budgets and mentoring of Sales Managers and Sales Support Staff would be another “ideal” as the Network had to establish front and back office sales infrastructure.
One of the most important and rewarding factors of this search was the unique cultural fit of this candidate to the organization. This executive, along with his family made a smooth transition from the West Coast to the USVI. This search was highly successful and positive for everyone involved. The restructuring of the company was now in competent experienced hands perfectly suited to express the many years of service sought by the parent company.
Cable TV & MSO
Multicast & OEM