Jane Turton’s TV diary

Jane Turton’s TV diary

By Jane Turton,
Thursday, 22nd March 2018
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In a week of bad weather and cancelled travel plans, Jane Turton is determined to attend her early-morning spin class

The temperature in London has plummeted to a 10-year low and the snow has arrived. Our top-floor o­ffice in Covent Garden has the most amazing views over Westminster and all the way round to the Gherkin and the Shard. It’s very beautiful in the snow.

To add to the chaos created by the weather, Prithi, my assistant, is in Costa Rica on a two-week holiday.

I start the week with a conference call to our German supervisory board. Germany is a strong growth market for All3, where we produce scripted reality, drama and entertainment shows.

I am due to fly to Cologne on Thursday to talk through the strategy with them – my flight is subsequently cancelled because of the weather.

On Tuesday, it’s tempting to pretend that the snow is too deep for me to get to my 6:30am spin class. However, the Calvinist Scot kicks in and I am soon in the saddle and peddling away.

I am a big fan of SoulCycle in the US and go to classes in Santa Monica when in Los Angeles. As well as middle-aged British TV execs, apparently it’s full of Hollywood celebrities, none of whom I ever recognise in the dark and in a state of complete physical exhaustion.

That evening, I leave the office in time to see my youngest child, Clare, before she returns to university.

We announce a new start-up, Unstoppable, on Wednesday. It’s a new drama company run by two very talented guys, Noel Clarke and Jason Maza, and the response has been fabulous.

I love the strategy and development parts of my job. I work closely with Steven Brown, our director of corporate development, and we both enjoy taking an idea, turning it into a business plan and working with others to make it happen.

Creating and executing deals with people who are exceptionally talented and passionate is really exciting and I’m proud of the deals we have done with companies such as Two Brothers, New Pictures, Neal Street, Story Films, Raw and Betty.

Operating reviews with the busines­ses in the group are always a highlight and, this week, Sara Geater, Angela McMullen and I see the Lime Pictures team, Claire Poyser and Kate Little.

We talk about how they plan to build their scripted business after the success of Free Rein on Netflix.

The US is a priority for us. In New York, we have strong production companies – Optomen, run by Maria Silver, and Lion, headed by Tony Tackaberry.

From London, Raw has made a new CNN series, The Kennedys, and they send me photos of the marketing campaign running in Grand Central Station. It looks like every step of the escalator and every platform wall in the station is covered with marketing material. It’s extraordinary.

Later that day, we make a call to the management team in Los Angeles. We are looking for a new CEO to run our West Coast studio and, next week, we will meet the search company to discuss progress.

The business there comprises creative teams from Studio Lambert, Objective, Main Event, Studio Ramsay, Maverick, Woodman Park and IDTV, plus the support and post-production they need to produce series for cable and broadcast networks.

That evening, I go for a drink with Neil Duncanson, who runs North One – it’s always great to catch up with him.

I start Thursday with a meeting with Louise Pedersen, CEO of All3media International. Seeing her is always a pleasure.

She tells me all about the scripted upfronts they held last week for their buyers, showcasing dramas such as The Widow, Kiri, Informer, Collateral, Requiem, Mystery Road and Blood.

After a management meeting, I sit with Sara and Angela to go through our 2018 order book and the draft agenda for our board session with Discovery and Liberty Global at the end of the month.

Friday, and it’s back to spin for an end-of-week blast before preparing for Los Angeles next week. I have dinner that evening with my husband, Graham, in a nice restaurant near us in Barnes.

Jane Turton is CEO of All3Media.

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