Q&A: Roma Khanna

The TV exec keeps her finger on the global reset button

Three years ago, Roma Khanna took over as president of Universal Networks International and Digital Initiatives. Today, the London-based lawyer (who also sports an MBA) oversees the overseas portfolio of nearly 100 channels in 130 countries. A NATPE board member, Khanna will kickoff Wednesday's international sessions, but changed her channels for a moment to chat with The Hollywood Reporter's Christopher Lisotta.

The Hollywood Reporter: Do you have any specific transactional goals for this NATPE?

Roma Khanna: I attend NATPE as a global broadcaster. I'm looking to connect with suppliers and spend time with our global partners. Our distribution teams from my sister NBCU companies will have sales goals, I am sure, but for Universal Networks International my goal is to spend quality face time with our partners and see what is happening in the American markets.

THR: Will 2010 be another tough year?

Khanna: 2009 saw a reset in our industry, certainly from the broadcast side of things and the advertising markets in a lot of countries around the world. Now that we are reset, we have to get back to growth in 2010.

THR: How did things reset?

Khanna: In 2009 we saw advertisers in many markets around the world adjust the amount of money they spent on advertising and the timing of their spend. Going forward, I believe we'll see growth from the 2009 base, but in mature markets we won't be going back to pre-2009 levels of spending right away.

THR: How will the NATPE shift to Miami be a good move for you?

Khanna: It's a shorter flight for me, so I always appreciate that. NATPE has always been a market that's had such a strength with the Latin American companies and business folks that I think it is a natural thing to be on their home turf, which is Miami.