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Chilean Business Manager Shares Advice On Running Successful Media

By Amy A. Ross

Making a media company financially sustainable in the current media environment is no easy task. It requires flexibility, knowing (and loving) your product and, ultimately, getting things done.

This was the advice offered by Jose Antonio Ferris, head of Corporate Business of Grupo COPESA, one of the most important media conglomerates of Chile.

MSLCE director, Pablo Boczkowski, interviewed Ferris last October during the International Regional Conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) in Santiago, Chile.

“It doesn’t matter if you are interested in film, TV, newspaper, entertainment; if you are a media executive you have to love your media as a consumer and you have to know what you are selling,” said Ferris.

According to the manager, a frequent struggle in the media industries is encountering Finance and Operations departments that are unfamiliar with the company’s product. Furthermore, organizations tend to resist changes as deep as those required to keep media companies afloat.

“The industry is going through a business model change and is totally upside-down. This means we are going to have to be very, very flexible,” said Ferris.

For the businessman, this requires constantly thinking of new ways to get things done and maintaining humility. It also means taking decisions that translate into effective change.

“In business, a manager is kind of like a doctor: you receive a patient, you make a good diagnosis, and once this is properly done, you put in place a treatment. In management the diagnosis is the easier part; what is really difficult is applying the treatment and getting things done,” he said.

Ferris highlighted that getting things done always demands pragmatism and trade-offs: it is better to choose something good that you can achieve than to choose something excellent that never happens.


View YouTube video of Ferris here.