All3Media CEO Talks Strategy Under New Owners Discovery, Liberty Global
Jane Turton talks acquisitions, growth in the U.S. and China and how digital players such as Netflix are affecting the business of the U.K.-based production firm.
Jane Turton, the new CEO of U.K.-headquartered production firm All3Media, which Discovery Communications and Liberty Global acquired last year, on Monday touted her company's growing international revenue, driven by the U.S., and discussed her strategy under the new owners.
Speaking at an industry gathering in London, she also discussed recent dealmaking in the production sector, led by the likes of ITV, saying that buyers are sophisticated and see increased scale in the production field as a key growth driver, before signaling the firm could strike a couple of deals in the future.
"They want to see us grow," Turton said about Liberty Global and Discovery and their goals. "I'd like to grow this business ... we simply want to be the best home for creative talent." She said she would like money from her shareholders to continue to invest in high-quality projects and wants them to understand that it takes patience and judgment calls in the production business. "We need their support for the long-term," Turton said.
Speaking at the Media Summit at BAFTA headquarters in London, Turton said the firm has mostly grown organically, adding that the Los Angeles production hub it previously created has been working well. Turton said the company has spent on talent, development and infrastructure, but has recently also bought Sam Mendes' Neal Street Productions. Without sharing more details, she signaled that she hopes to do a couple of further acquisitions in the near future.
Asked about criticism of American companies buying British outfits by some in the U.K., she said that sounds parochial to her. Getting money is "fundamentally a good thing" as it allows companies to "develop more programs" and employ more people, she said.
"We are still quite British as producers," Turton said about the company's approach under U.S. owners. But the new owners can help All3Media "get better outside this country." Said Turton, "We want to learn from the foreignness of our shareholders."
The CEO said that 56 percent of All3Media's production revenue now comes from overseas, including 25 percent from the U.S. Formats that have traveled to the U.S., plus there has been indigenous development," the CEO said touting "original U.S. productions, albeit with a British parent."
She said All3Media had seen growth in co-productions and more format sales abroad, with the U.S. being the biggest buyer, but Eastern Europe and China also have become interesting partners. Turton said that in China there are now five All3Media shows in local versions.
She also touted the growth that digital platforms such as Netflix have brought, saying that the company now gets a quarter of its distribution revenue from digital players.
Turton was charged with leading "the global production company into its next phase of growth and creative excellence." She joined All3Media in Oct. 2008 as director of business development and business affairs and deputy COO. In 2011, she was made COO. She has been leading All3Media’s business on an interim basis since September, when the firm's previous CEO left.