Liberty Global

Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries on growth strategies new and old

Liberty Global’s decision to sell its stake in All3Media was “bittersweet”, said its CEO and Vice-Chair Mike Fries. The telecommunications giant and its partner, Warner Bros. Discovery, are in the process of selling the production and distribution company responsible for Fleabag, Gogglebox and The Traitors. But the sale had “nothing to do with the business itself – we love Jane [Turton] and what All3 does.

'Calm, gentle and gracious': a profile of Liberty Global's CEO, Mike Fries

The last time that the CEO of Liberty Global, Mike Fries, spoke at the RTS Cambridge Convention, in 2013, he would have faced the long journey from his home in Denver, Colorado, the HQ of his long-time colleague and Chair of Liberty Global, John Malone.

But, this time, Cambridge is closer to home. After years of flying to Europe two or three times a month, Fries and his wife and daughters are now just down the road from the new Virgin Media O2 offices in Paddington, living in London’s leafy Holland Park.

The horn of plenty: TV in a hyperconnected world

The panel (L-R): Hugh Dennis, Sue Unerman, Jim Ryan, Simon Pitts and Ben McOwen Wilson  panel (L-R): Hugh Dennis, Sue Unerman, Jim Ryan, Simon Pitts and Ben McOwen Wilson (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Comedian Hugh Dennis aired the thoughts of many trying to navigate the new television landscape when he introduced this session. In a video diary shown to conference delegates, he was seen stuck inside a room for a month. His task was to watch all the content available to modern audiences. 

“Watching telly used to be so easy,” he complained. “Four channels, maybe five – everyone watched the same thing in the same place at the same time, unless your family was at the cutting edge of technology and had a VCR.” 

Where next for RTÉ?

RTE's Dee Forbes

When Dee Forbes arrives in Dublin to take up the position of Director-­General of Irish national broadcaster RTÉ, she will be the first woman to hold the post and the first to come from outside the organisation in almost 50 years.

Moreover, Forbes, currently on gardening leave as President and Managing Director of Discovery Networks, Northern Europe, will be returning to Ireland on something like half her present salary.

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AMC Networks' Josh Sapan on deal-making

Josh Sapan

AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan lays claim to having the world’s largest collection of antique lightning rods. "They’re architectural and a form of industrial art. I just got captivated by them," he explains.

One or two of them can be found lying around his office on Penn Plaza, a few blocks from the Empire State Building, alongside examples of another passion. This is his collection of panoramic photographs of people and places from the last century.