Interview of the week : Head of Scheduling and Programme Planning
This week we have chosen to feature Adam Russell : Head of Scheduling and Digital at a London based TV broadcaster and content provider .
Alfra TV setup TV channels worldwide and give customers a platform to distribute their content via digital networks.
My career background is in presentation scheduling and programme planning working for a range of broadcasters including Setanta Sports, Balance TV, Virgin Media and BBC.
How long have you been doing what you have been doing?
I have been in my current role for 2 weeks. However, I have been working in the broadcast and media industry for coming up to 10 years.
How did you get into this : what did you do before?
My career has primarily been in television scheduling and programme planning. I have worked for major broadcasters including Virgin Media, BBC and Setanta Sports whilst also with a few niche channels including Body in Balance Television.
How did you start your career in this sector?
After finishing Uni I knew that I wanted to work in television. Whilst temping I continued to look for a job in the media and applied for any job that would allow me to get a greater understanding of the broadcasting industry.
What tips would you give someone who was interviewing in your company?
Be yourself and be prepared. You must be prepped to answer the questions asked of you, but equally be prepared to ask questions of your employer. If you haven’t got questions about the role, are you sure you really want it?
What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the trust and confidence shown in me by my employers. I am given a task and trusted to get on with it. All ideas are welcome and considered. In terms of presentation scheduling, you know that your actions will play a big part in what the viewer sees on screen. It’s a big responsibility.
What are the challenges faced in the role?
Being a small company you have lots of responsibility. You must trust your own judgement and courage in your convictions. Things can change very quickly and you need to adjust quickly.
Why do you think some people are more successful than others when they do your job?
In scheduling, primarily you are the last link between the broadcaster and transmission. Scheduling can be monotonous but it is imperative that you have a high attention to detail and you can cope under pressure. Everybody makes mistakes, but it is ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. The successful ones are the ones that can meet deadlines whilst minimising and correcting mistakes.
What 3 adjectives would you use to describe the type of person/ skills needed in your job?
What is the highlight of your career to date?
Negotiating a new Satellite and Playout including new scheduling software with increased functionality
What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt in your career so far?
Not everything will go according to plan. Its how you deal with the challenges that you are faced with at work that will make your career. Keep a level head and prioritise. Enjoy what you do and the people you work with. It becomes much harder when you don’t enjoy it
Who has been your biggest influence on your career to date?
My biggest influence on my career so far has been my MD. He gave me the opportunity to work on projects on my own and allowed me to define my own path within the company.
What are your predictions on how your role will evolve in the next 5 years ?
I think that my role will be more about putting content onto Connected TVs as opposed to traditional broadcasting methods.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into your sector?
Don’t give up…There are plenty of jobs out there…. Boyce get a lot of them 🙂
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