Screen Forever: Running Ten Network

Giving details of Network Ten’s upcoming Upfront, new chief executive Paul Anderson was a feature interview at Screen Forever

You can read more about the Screen Forever conference here at Mediaweek, including presentations from ABC director of television Richard FinlaysonEndemol Shine Australia’s Mark and Carl Fennessy, and John Edwards’ 2015 Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture.

Ten Network’s new chief executive Paul Anderson was one of the feature interviews at Screen Forever on Wednesday.

The TV chief said he would be hosting around 800 people at the annual upfront for TEN, ELEVEN and ONE tonight in Sydney where six major new programs would be unveiled.

Asked about previous mistakes made by management, Anderson said there was no one thing he could point to, but perhaps a range of minor things. “We are no longer looking over our shoulder… and we now run our own race,” he explained.

Asked about the decision to appoint a finance person to run the business, he noted he didn’t need to be a creative person as well, pointing out there are other better qualified people to chose content and then program it.

Of the recent deal which saw Foxtel invest and Ten take a stake in MCN, he noted the latter could have the biggest impact on the business. “Between Ten and MCN, we have 42% of the TV audience each week.”

Anderson also joined the chorus of media executives calling for changes to the media laws. “The media rules have to go, but it won’t change anything dramatically for us.”

As to building their own in-house production capability, he noted they already co-produce some programs – Living Room and The Great Australian Spelling Bee.

He implied they were not about to outsource their news service, even if News Corp Australia does take control of Sky News Australia.

Anderson confirmed the broadcaster also had no plans to retry a breakfast TV program after their recent failure. He did note though how successful Studio 10 was for the business.

Anderson also said he was reluctant to dabble with programming, although he noted some people wondered if the channel gave up on The Renovators too quickly several years ago. TEN has had some real success persevering with formats that come good in their second and third years.

He also implied TEN would not be talking to Foxtel about buying one game of AFL every week.

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