PBS Snapshot: Public Television Viewing in the Age of Netflix

The American PBS system completed its annual general meeting last week in Nashville, Tennessee. The theme was “Our Country: Our Stories.” The state of the PBS viewing audience was a key focus. I’m particularly interested in two stories: Is the PBS audience holding up in the age of Netflix? And, particularly, how are the Science …

Discovery CEO David M Zazlav earned $128 million in 2018

Discovery’s CEO David M Zazlav earned $128 million in 2018 That’s according to an executive compensation analysis published in today’s New York Times. Mr Zazlav’s 2018 payday was ranked #2 among all U.S. public companies. It was exceeded only by Elon Musk’s TESLA package ($2.8 billion).   Context Discovery’s producers typically earn 10% of the …


Recent stories that capture key industry trends: Fetishizing personalities in the Age of Netflix, and much more

This month’s coverage of the documentary and unscripted landscape is curated by your friends at Sunny Side of the Doc and DocumentaryBusiness.com. Fetishizing personalities: “The Inventor: Out For Blood” exposes the celebrity money cult led by Silicon Valley’s Elizabeth Holmes, founder of collapsed medical disrupter Theranos // The Guardian. Misogyny? That’s what a tech writer …

Munich DOK.Fest: The Master’s Pitch produced by Documentary Campus

Participating in the Master’s Pitch at DOK.Fest Munich was a highlight of my year. Documentary Campus and DOK.fest have developed a unique format that combines compelling pitches, feedback from a jury of international commissioners and experts, and valuable practical training. Case Study:  Richard Ladkani (Director / DOP) opened with an inspiring Case Study of the …

THE SIEGE OF MECCA: A Podcast with Producer Dirk van den Berg

THE SIEGE OF MECCA uncovers the violent event in 1979 that has shaped recent history, but that is still wrapped in secrecy. My Podcast / Case Study combo with Dirk van den Berg details how he and Pascal Verroust secured mainly European funding for their 620,000+ Euros project, beginning with a fast 150,000 Euros commitment …

The ZDF Enterprises / Off The Fence Panel at MIPDoc with Terra Mater’s Walter Koehler

My highlight for MIPDoc 2019 was moderating the panel with ZDF Enterprises’ Ralf Rueckauer and Off The Fence CEO Ellen Windemuth. The topic was ZDF-E’s acquisition of OTF, the leading independent factual distributor. OTF also celebrated its 25th anniversary at Cannes. We explored the parties’ motivations for the acquisition at this time of great change …