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Interview with ROGER MALONEY

FOUNDER OF

UFRONT MEDIA

 

 

Ufront Media- What inspired you to start Ufront Media?
Roger-What inspired me to create Ufront Media is that wanted to showcase, interview and promote the all the new leaders within the media industry and put our their stories in front. The second reason is that I wanted to interview more people of color that are filmmakers, content creators, innovators in new technologies, education and much more because I noticed that many of them could not get press coverage until they reached the big celebrity status so I wanted to interview and highlight new people on they way to the top of their respected industries. Third, What started to happen was that has I started doing and getting more interviews I would get cals from Public Relations firms and they wanted me to interview their clients who were white guys who ran large to midsize technology, media, and Advertising companies. This gave me the ability to learn and see the difference between how they run their companies, how they got funding, and how these companies think strategically about ruling out their products in the marketplace and this was very different then how companies run by people of color.

Ufront Media- What inspired you to start Ufront Media?
Roger-What inspired me to create Ufront Media is that wanted to showcase, interview and promote the all the new leaders within the media industry and put our their stories in front. The second reason is that I wanted to interview more people of color that are filmmakers, content creators, innovators in new technologies, education and much more because I noticed that many of them could not get press coverage until they reached the big celebrity status so I wanted to interview and highlight new people on they way to the top of their respected industries. Third, What started to happen was that has I started doing and getting more interviews I would get cals from Public Relations firms and they wanted me to interview their clients who were white guys who ran large to midsize technology, media, and Advertising companies. This gave me the ability to learn and see the difference between how they run their companies, how they got funding, and how these companies think strategically about ruling out their products in the marketplace and this was very different then how companies run by people of color.

UFront Media- What are some of your thoughts about some of the big social news topics that has been affecting the entertainment industry?

Roger- Great Question, I have to news topics that I want to share my thoughts about the first one was the #OSCARSSOWHITE Movement I still feel that black people that work in the media Industry should fight hard to make sure that our films and tv shows get seen and even if it have more people of color working in higher management at movie and television studios so projects about our culture can be green lit. The next option for people of color within entertainment is to start thinking about creating our media ecosystems.

Media and the way it is consumed is changing so rapidly that it can be overwhelming. It is a challenge both as a consumer and a professional to keep up not only with the rush of information, but the constantly changing platforms, channels and technology associated with media today.

There are two general ways that an ecosystem view of media is practical.

For one, it helps individuals personally navigate and comprehend the media they use. Secondly, professionals — particularly in communications fields like public relations, advertising and marketing — can use an ecosystem model to conceive of where there audience is and how they use media. This will in turn affect how they craft messages and what type of media plan or campaign they construct.

That’s why social media platforms have worked to change their interfaces and peripheral products to keep users from jumping to other environments.

Google, for example, nicely integrates Google+ with all other Google products under its “one password, all of Google” slogan.

Facebook’s graph search and many of its own apps are ways to encourage users to stay there. Online portal Yahoo! recently purchased blog site Tumblr to add more younger users, who are fond of Tumblr, to the Yahoo! ecosystem.

Ecosystems also happen with hardware and devices. Apple has had phenomenal success by creating products and software that are well integrated, so users can synchronize content on multiple devices, such as laptop, tablet and phone.

The latest wave of ecosystem change is happening in television, with conventional TV series viewership on network and cable declining in double digits.

Now “channels” are appearing on everything from YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and Xbox. These alternative outlets are not just re-broadcasting old shows, but offering original content.

Some of this content will be device specific, as in the case of Xbox.

Of course, everyone must consider that even with media companies trying to own and control many parts of an ecosystem, in the form of what economists call vertical integration, there is still a lot of flow between ecosystem.

This usually happens in the form of sharing content and the social nature of modern media.

Much online content offers users the option to share an article or video or other content on multiple social platforms. This could be in the form of sharing a blog post or website article to a social platform, an Instagram or Pinterest photo to Twitter and Facebook updates or any content to a social bookmarking site, such as Delicious or Reddit.

Professional communicators need to encourage social sharing by their audiences and participate in this concept themselves to engage people in multiple media environments.

Mass audiences are rarely built in one channel, they need to be aggregated across ecosystem borders.

The elements we need to create our own media Ecosystem is the following;

1 We need to own more venture capital companies to fund more film, TV and webispodes projects created by people of color.

2. We need to own more advertising companies so that we can have brands that will do more integrated brand sponsorships in content created by people of color.

3.We need to create more social media platforms so that we can help promote and build digital audiences around our own content.

4. We need more black owned technology companies so that we can digitally connect to audiences more directly like what the bitcoin technology is starting to do in the financial world with Bitcon.

5. We still need more Black Owned Media Companies so that we don't fall in the trap of traditional black owned media companies have struggled for years to adapt to a digital world, but the pressure on black-owned media has been even more acute. Many are smaller and lack the financial resources to compete in an increasingly consolidated media landscape. Advertisers have turned away from black-oriented media, owners say, under the belief that they can now reach minorities in other ways.

6. We need more black owned Comic book companies that creates super hero of color and make sure that kids are exposed to them. We all know the when I was kid playing with toys like HE MAN and the Master of the Universe, Transformers, GI Joe and Voltron and collecting comic books and the experience of going to the comic book store and flash forward to becoming an adult see all these toy and comic book characters come to life on a large movie screens is so exciting and amazing to behold.  

Ufront Media- What are your plans for the Future for Ufront Media and yourself?

Roger- I️ want Ufront Media to be a news cable channel that creates the best one on one interviews with the new content creators you never heard of before. I️ would love to one day have Ufront Media become a cable channel like Vice Media or Bloomberg but still have that digital media company edge like Buzzfeed or Vox Media. I️ know that audiences get there news on various platforms so I️ want Ufront Media to be available every where. Second, the future plans for myself is do two things first to replicate everything I️ know in others and to stay on the cutting edges of everything that is new while still maintaining a strong sense of my History as West Indian Black man.

Ufront Media- Who are some of the media company's you admire and why?

Roger- The media company's that I admire the most is Disney because the company has done a great job to staying innovative with all the Disney properties they created such the parks, movies and products and when the Disney Company purchased PIXAR, Marvel, and Lucus Films under the leadership of Bob Iger all of those companies all made a strong impact financial for the Disney and they continue to create powerful stories and but they all stay true to their strong foundations. One of my favorite media companies is Marvel Studios because Marvel figured out their winning formula by starting their Marvel Cinematic universe with IRON MAN, Captain America, Thor and then the Avengers which were all connected and they all made alot of money. These films helped Marvel Studios become the most powerful movie studios in Hollywood for super hero content. Marvel Studios winning formula of creating a Cinematic Universe is so innovative that other studios are looking to follow Marvel Studios model to create their own Cinematic Universes and this success has helped increase the sale of the Marvel Comics books to increase their readership. So Marvel is winning because they stayed faithful to who their are as a brand and that is model for success I want to have with Ufront Media

Ufront Media- Describe one the biggest media executives you interviewed?

Roger- I had an opportunity during Advertising week to attend a panel called “The Adolescence of Content Marketing” with the guest speaker Mr. Jeffery Katzenberg CEO Dream Works Animation.

Mr Katzenberg said “Back in the 1950s when TV came along, it filled these gaps in the day that exist in our lives and whether those gaps were the free time people had before work or after coming home from work but before dinner, or some other time. That was the goal what early television did for our society.”

On the topic of Digital Media and Technology today-

As people continue to watch a lot of TV, he said, but with the arrival of new digital platforms, it’s opened up new “gaps” during which people are looking for something to do or watch. “Think of these [gaps] as the waiting time in our lives. There is an amazing amount of in-between time in which we find ourselves waiting — waiting at a bus stop, or for a train, or for a seat at a restaurant,” said Katzenberg. “What these devices have done is allowed us to fill that space. It started with texts and social media and casual gaming.

On the Topic of Content-

Jeffrey talked about his new partnership with Awesomeness TV a top YouTube Channel and the Creator Mr. Brain Robbins. He said that Brian is an amazing storyteller and he is producing high quality content and short form entertainment both in high quality production value and storytelling said Mr. Katzenberg. He said“Awesomeness TV will be the leader in tween girls programming and they plan to launch more channels targeting boys, kids and moms and these channels will be bigger than the Disney, Nickelodeon, and the Cartoon Network put together and he is very excited about this.”

My One Question:

Mr. Katzenberg talked about what inspired him and what the secret to his success was and he said “Always do what you love and try to go the extra mile in life, with your family, and your career. Second always go with your gut and your idea because when your idea is fresh and new it won’t make sense to engage social media with your first idea it too new but do engage and get feedback when you have an audience then you can get their feedback.”

After he answered the moderator open up the floor for questions and nobody wanted to ask Mr Katzenberg a question, so the moderator Michael Kassan then said this will be a great opportunity for anyone to ask Mr. Katzenberg a question and interview him so I raised my hand and the mic came over to me because I had one shot to ask a great question. So my question to him was as follows; Hi Mr. Katzenberg, My name is Roger Maloney of Ufront Media insights and my ONE question is that you stated that everyone should ask themselveswhat is the most beautiful thing to them? So when you find it? How do you build on that beautiful thing you thought about whether it be Travelling, Art or Music?

Then he turn to me and said what is the most beautiful thing to him is seeing and hearing kids laugh and he used that to find his passion and to build on what he is today. He continued to talk about how his former boss Michael Eisner called him in his office and took him to the window after they finished a meeting and pointed at a building and Michael Eisner asked “Do you know what they do in that building? Mr Katzenberg said NO and then Michael Eisner turn to Mr. Katzenberg and said Now it is your problem. Do something with it. Mr Katzenberg told the audience he didn’t have any experience in animation but he knew a good story when he heard it. He said that he never knew that his love for children laughing would lead him to run a animation studio that was created by Walt Disney himself. He also stated that instead of finding your passion you should build on your talentbecause that will lead you into your dream job and career. I walked up to Mr. Katzenberg and I thank him for give me the opportunity to ask the ONE that nobody wanted to ask him. He smiled and thanked me for being bold.

Roger- So for more information about UFRONT MEDIA go to www.ufrontmedia.com

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