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Lesson Transcript

Kellie: Welcome to EnglishClass101.com. I’m your host Kellie.
Gina: And I’m Gina. And this is Culture Class, Season 2, Lesson 14 - Top 5 CEOs in British Media and Entertainment.
Kellie: In this lesson we will talk about the people in charge of some of the biggest companies in media and entertainment.

Lesson focus

Gina: Let’s get cracking with number five!
Kellie: You’re impatient this time! Our number 5 is Andrew Miller.
Gina: Andrew Miller is the CEO of the Guardian Media Group. The company was formed in 1907 and was then known as the Manchester Guardian. The name changed in 1993.
Kellie: Judging by the name of the company, I’m going to guess that GMG is a publishing company.
Gina: That is the main line of business, yeah. It publishes the newspapers The Guardian and The Observer and 72 different magazines including Auto Trader.
Kellie: I think everyone in the UK has probably seen an issue of Auto Trader.
Gina: Probably! There are other lines of business though as GMG also organises business events and conferences and produces software for the property industry.
Kellie: But its main line of business is the newspapers, right?
Gina: Right. The Guardian is highly influential and its online version is the third most read newspaper in the world. Together, the print and online versions have a combined readership of nine million people.
Kellie: Wow, that is a lot! How about the money?
Gina: You always want to hear about the money! GMG’s revenue in 2012 was £254.4million.
Kellie: I like hearing about the money! Let’s move onto number 4 - Adam Crozier.
Gina: After graduating with a degree in business from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, he worked for a couple of companies, and had a couple of football trials, before landing at Saatchi and Saatchi. He became media director of Saatchi and Saatchi in 1990 and then the CEO in 1995.
Kellie: You mentioned football there… I remember his name from something football-related.
Gina: Yes, that’s what he’s most known for. He became CEO of the English Football association and made many changes, including making English football more commercial.
Kellie: I remember many people not liking the changes he made.
Gina: That seems to be a theme… After leaving the FA he joined the Royal Mail Group and his main focus was restructuring as Royal Mail was loosing a lot of money. Under Crozier’s guidance, Royal Mail went from a £1.1billion loss in 2002 to a profit of £355 million in 2005.
Kellie: Why would anyone not like those changes? That’s an impressive turn around.
Gina: Some of the changes he made included redundancies and changes to work practises. The Royal Mail workers held a few strikes against his changes.
Kellie: And now he works for ITV plc?
Gina: Yes, he moved to ITV in April 2010.
Kellie: Right. Number three is the only woman on the list – Amanda Berry.
Gina: She started her media career as a student with Thames Television and later left her studies to concentrate on that job. From there, she moved to Duncan Heath Associates who are a theatrical agent.
Kellie: Oh, do they represent anyone famous?
Gina: The actor Christopher Lee and musicians Paul McCartney and David Bowie, to name just three. She became a director of the company but then moved back to television with London Weekend Television and later Scottish Television Enterprises. While with STE, she produced three BAFTA award ceremonies.
Kellie: And she now works for BAFTA, right?
Gina: Yeah, she joined BAFTA in October 1998 as Director of Development and Events and then became CEO in December 2000.
Kellie: She’s had a big influence on BAFTA.
Gina: Yeah, she changed the date of the BAFTA awards so that they are now before the Academy Awards and that really increased the profile of the award ceremony and made it more important.
Kellie: It’s now seen as a good predictor of the Oscars and an important ceremony in its own right.
Gina: She’s also increased the amount of charity work that BAFTA is involved with since she became CEO.
Kellie: Next on our list is number 2 - Rupert Murdoch.
Gina: Of course Rupert Murdoch isn’t British. He’s Australian born and has since taken American nationality, but he’s so important in British media and entertainment that we had to include him.
Kellie: Yes, he’s such an important figure in media and entertainment in many countries, I think.
Gina: I agree. In the UK, his News Corp company owns News UK. This company is a newspaper publisher that owns newspapers such as The Sun and The Times.
Kellie: Two very different types of newspapers!
Gina: They are, but they’re both owned by Rupert Murdoch. The Sun has the highest circulation of any daily newspaper in the UK and is the ninth largest in the world. Its daily sales figure is around 2.5 million copies.
Kellie: Most newspapers in the UK have distinct political leanings so having a circulation so large makes The Sun newspaper highly influential.
Gina: Murdoch’s other company, 21st Century Fox, owns a controlling 39.14% stake in the satellite broadcaster BSkyB.
Kellie: Didn’t he try to buy the whole company?
Gina: Yeah, News Corp tried to buy the remaining shares but had to drop their attempt after the phone hacking scandal.
Kellie: We spoke about that in lesson 12, didn’t we?
Gina: Yeah. It caused a lot of problems for News UK and the inability to buy Sky outright was one of them. However, even just a 39.14% share in BSkyB gives Murdoch a lot of influence and power.
Kellie: I wonder who can be higher than Rupert Murdoch.
Gina: You have the list, you tell us!
Kellie: [laughter] I just wanted to tease a little. The number 1 is John Smith of BBC Worldwide.
Gina: Smith is English but graduated from Harvard Business School. He started out working for travel companies such as British Rail and Sealink before joining the BBC in 1989.
Kellie: From trains to the BBC.
Gina: Interesting jump, huh? He became CEO of the BBC in June 2004 and the CEO of BBC Worldwide in March 2005.
Kellie: It seems that BBC Worldwide has really expanded over the last few years.
Gina: It has. Since Smith took over, the profits have quadrupled and BBC Worldwide is now the biggest non-US TV distributor in the world and the biggest TV operator in Europe.
Kellie: Wow, that’s impressive.
Gina: Yep, in Europe there are 360 million people who subscribe to BBC branded channels.
Kellie: The BBC has a great presence on the internet too. The BBC website is very popular.
Gina: It receives 60 million unique users and the Smartphone apps have had 25 million downloads.
Kellie: No wonder he’s number one with a track record like that.
Gina: The BBC may be limited in their remit in the UK due to being a public and non-commercial broadcaster as we discussed in the previous lesson, but internationally and online they’ve really expanded by running with new technology and opportunities.
Kellie: Attention perfectionists! You’re about to learn how to perfect your pronunciation.
Gina: Lesson Review Audio Tracks.
Kellie: Increase fluency and vocabulary fast with these short, effective audio tracks.
Gina: Super simple to use. Listen to the English word or phrase...
Kellie: then repeat it out loud in a loud clear voice.
Gina: You’ll speak with confidence knowing that you’re speaking English like the locals.
Kellie: Go to EnglishClass101.com, and download the Review Audio Tracks right on the lessons page today!


Kellie: I’m glad to hear it! Well, that’s all for this lesson.
Gina: See you next time!
Kellie: Bye!

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Hi Listeners! Who would you add to this list?