A Week In My Life: Jamie Conway, CEO of Made Television

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

This week Jamie Conway, CEO of Made Television, runs us through a week in his working life. To suggest another senior media or creative figure for A Week In My Life, please email david@prolificnorth.co.uk

Monday 27 February

I travel two to three days a week and when I’m at home I usually wake up to RTE Radio One to keep in touch with things back in Ireland. If it’s a slow news day in Ireland, I change to the Today show on BBC Radio 4. After this, I take a quick glance through emails and the news headlines online and then I’m out the door within 15 minutes. BBC News and Google Alerts are the main sources I use for news and they’re awash with news of a mix-up at The Oscars today.

The week is off to a great start. Made in Tyne & Wear scooped a top RTS Award at the North East & The Border Awards on Saturday night and there are many congratulations coming through. The team was commended for its role in nurturing new talent and Made
With Pride, a show created for the LGBTQ+ community and TW News receive commendations.

Tuesday 28 February

I’ve been in the habit of making sure my phone is turned off when I go to bed at night. The temptation of glancing at it when I wake up during the night is really unhealthy and no matter how important we think we are, things can wait until the morning. There are no urgent messages waiting for me this morning, which means I can start running through my emails and WhatsApp.

I’m slightly OCD in filing my mails – once I’ve replied I file inbound mails so that I’m always working with an empty mailbox. The one thing that annoys me is when a conversation over something simple takes place over email. Generally, if it requires more than 3 or 4 emails on any issue with an individual I’ll pick up the phone as I hate the way email makes things drag out. Voice communication seems to becoming less important which is a concern. You can achieve more in 60 seconds on the phone than in 10 emails flying over and back.

We own six TV stations across the UK with two more launching in the coming weeks. This means I spend a lot of time on trains as it’s important to be in touch with the teams at each station. Our HQ is based in Leeds and I’ll be travelling from there to Cardiff and Bristol this week. I begin planning the next two days to make sure I’m making the most effective and efficient use of the time I spend there.

Wednesday 1 March

I take the early morning train from Leeds and make the most of the time I have to catch up on communication and write up some reports. I’m meeting with our Commercial Director, Tracy Eastwood who is basing herself in Cardiff this week. Tracy is keen to discuss some opportunities she’s developing with several new advertisers and I’m looking forward to catching up with her progress. Tracy joined us from the commercial radio network, Communicorp UK, where she was MD and she is buzzing with energy and new ideas.

Despite having a 4G dongle on a different network from my mobile I’m frustrated to be cut off on this and my mobile for several lengthy periods during the journey. The lack of mobile phone coverage on the main lines in the UK is a national disgrace and I’m still blown away that this isn’t something the Government is all over. Having lived in a number of countries in the past few years, this really frustrates me, given it’s so prevalent in the UK.

Thursday 2 March

Made In Liverpool claims bigger audience than MTVToday I’m in our Bristol office. I have a catch-up with David Emin, our Director of Commercial Content. David is working with The Great Run Company in a partnership agreement that will enable Made in Bristol to televise live coverage of the Bristol 10k and Bristol half Marathon. David is a very persuasive man and he’s determined to convince me to enter both races.

I also spend some time with our Station Manager, Steve Richmond. Steve and team are working on a new dating show to be hosted by Josie Gibson called ‘Getting Jiggy with Josie’. Filming starts next week and there’s lots of prep going on. The show will be aired in association with the new dating app, JigTalk, and will be screened across the Made Network from Spring.

It’s been a hectic couple of days and I’m looking forward to getting home. Can I really squeeze a 10K and a half marathon into my schedule?

Friday 3 March

I wake up to more news about Trump and his low opinion of “main stream media”. I actually think these coming years will be TV’s finest moment. If a major incident were to happen, people won’t go running for Buzzfeed or Facebook – they’ll look for a television or the website of a credible TV news organisation.

During the US election results last November, Buzzfeed claimed 6.8 million individuals watched the results on their platform. Yet, for every person watching on Buzzfeed, 80 were watching on CNN, 73 watching Fox News and 67 watching NBC. Digital is an awesome tool but it’s still in its infancy and the tendency to pump out impressive sounding numbers rarely tallies with actual deliveries of audience like TV can give. Financially, it’s analogue pounds versus digital pennies.

I’m in the minority but I think Facebook in particular has become incredibly hostile and an aggressive space for distributing information within one’s own bubble, rather than a fun place to share information and interact with friends and brands. I thought I’d regret deleting and get cold turkey but I’ve never regretted it and I find getting news direct from credible sources much better.

The day winds to an end and I’ve the weekend to look forward to. I’ve two tickets for Wales v. Ireland in Cardiff but every time I’ve been in Millennium stadium we’ve lost, so hopefully this will be different.