There’s an excellent profile piece in today’s Australian on Seven CEO Tim Worner.
It gives some good insight into Worner’s background growing up in Perth, early media roles, overcoming personal challenges, and the importance of family.
Of particular relevance are the quotes about Seven’s current performance and philosophy.
Worner, who moved from Head of Programming to network CEO last December, talks about a depth of schedule, telling Australian stories and having consistency for advertisers.
“We aren’t all over the place. We don’t have patches where we’re really strong and then fall off a cliff,” he notes.
He is a strong believer that live sport is at the core of Seven’s strategy.
“Free-to-air TV is going to become more valuable because it’s the one place where you can mass eyeballs and mass an audience and deliver a message to that audience. The most effective way of doing that is going to be big-event TV and live sport is absolutely at the forefront.
“Live sports events will be critical. Collingwood versus Carlton will rate well in 2012 and in 2017. But I can’t tell you, for example, if The Voice in 2017 is going to do the same numbers it is doing now. I suspect it won’t.”
The next statement gets to the heart of Seven’s philosophy, aiming for middle Australia and demonstrates why some shows that are too edgy, too niche don’t fit the Seven brand.
“We have said Seven would be a great home for the NRL. Part of our brand is that we are everyman, we are roast chook. Whenever we try something that is a slightly trendier version of chicken, it doesn’t work. When we go with roast chook, it absolutely hits the spot.
“We are comfortable in our own skin. We want to be the broadest possible network. We want to be the most Australian network. We want to be the network that the biggest number of 25- to 55-year-old women say is their favourite network. That’s us and we are proud of that. It might not be too groovy, but it’s a great position to be in the market.”