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C21FM: Turn On, Tune In, Chill Out: C21FM is the content community’s radio station, streaming a mix of music, news and interviews 24/7 that put the global business in perspective. Tune in at 10am BST every day for a new block of programming, which is repeated throughout the day. On Fridays we repeat all of the interviews and music we’ve played during the week, and this block runs across the weekend. Pop out the player on the left and stream the station from your desktop. You can find us online at, on iPhone and Android through the app stores. Please connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Our hashtag is #C21FM. You can also get in touch by emailing [email protected]. Thanks for listening.



Today we hear from Insight TV CEO Rian Bester about how the 4K broadcaster is placing greater emphasis on acquisitions amid the pandemic, Waddell Media MD Jannine Waddell explains how the firm finished a new South Africa-set wildlife series under lockdown, and Anne Roder-Botbol from Never Ending Story details how the Belgian prodco created a digital interface that allowed one of the nation’s longest-running gameshows to remain on air.


On the C21FM Weekly Review Show, which runs between 10am on Friday May 29 and Monday June 1, we play highlights from a great week on the station. Tune in for a mix of music, news and interviews that put the global content business in perspective.

This week on C21FM we heard from Tomorrow Studios CEO Marty Adelstein about his new drama Snowpiercer and how his company has been impacted by Covid-19; Goldfinch CEO Kirsty Bell about the financier’s fund for UK prodcos; and Arrow Media’s Tom Brisley on how the firm shifted strategy to cope with lockdown.

We also heard from Alkemy X’s Andy Singer about how the New York prodco completed its latest TLC show as the pandemic hit and the broader impact on the US; Zinc Media’s Greg Sanderson discussed the group’s emergence from UK lockdown; and MultiStory Media’s Simone Haywood and Ana de Moraes on their new Netflix series, plus corona-proof programmes.

The C21FM Weekly Review Show also includes this week’s interviews with Insight TV’s Rian Bester, who discusses the 4K broadcaster’s focus on acquisitions; Waddell Media’s Jannine Waddell, who explains how the firm finished a wildlife series under lockdown; and Never Ending Story’s Anne Roder-Botbol, who reveals how the prodco kept a gameshow on air.

All of this together with a mix of music to keep you sane. Thanks for listening.



On the C21FM Weekly Review Show, which runs between 10am on Friday May 22 and Tuesday May 26, we play highlights from a great week on the station. Tune in for a mix of music, news and interviews that put the global content business in perspective.

This week on C21FM we heard from Stellify Media’s joint MDs Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy about their new lockdown-friendly format Snoop Dogs; Harbottle & Lewis partner Colin Howes assessing investor confidence; and Federation Entertainment’s Monica Levy about having to put coproductions on hold.

We also heard from Sagafilm Nordic CEO Kjartan Thor Thordarson about how Icelandic production is resuming and the country is opening up to overseas producers; Michael Carrington, director of entertainment at ABC in Australia, on the pubcaster’s efforts to help sustain the local production sector; and Painless Productions president Jim Casey on why quick-turnaround lockdown content will be short-lived.

The C21FM Weekly Review Show also includes this week’s interviews with BBC Children’s content boss Cheryl Taylor and head of discovery Stu Rowson about their kids’ programming strategy during lockdown; media lawyer Sarah Lazarides on restarting UK production; and Hit + Run founder Rob Shaftel, on what the US indie is doing to ensure it is best placed to return to production.

Rounding out this week’s C21FM interviews are Craig Jenest, co-founder of Five Films, discussing a raft of new shows to replace live sport production; Frank Sinton, COO of Tinopolis USA and president of A Smith & Co Dox, shares his experience of getting The Titan Games finished for NBC under lockdown; and JJ Johnson explains how he is keeping Sinking Ship Entertainment afloat amid the crisis.

All of this together with a mix of music to keep you sane. Thanks for listening.



18th May – 21st May 2020

We heard from Virgin Media Television Ireland director of content Bill Malone about the group’s three-phase strategy for getting through the Covid-19 crisis and managing its programme supply chain, including external drama commissions and output deal with ITV Studios.

In addition, Caterina Vacchi, head of production and distribution at Italian kids’ prodco Atlantyca Films, described how the firm raced to finish an animated programme as lockdown spread and the challenges it now faces in finding partners for its first live-action show currently in development.

Trioscope Studios’ Brandon Barr revealed a ground-breaking technique for live-action shows that producers might employ if the production hiatus is prolonged; Cream Productions’ CEO David Brady talked about where factual and unscripted production goes from here; and multi-Emmy-winning host, writer and producer Nancy Glass, CEO of Glass Entertainment, suggested how changes brought about by Corona Virus may be permanent.

We heard from Amanda Rees, director of programmes at S4C, about how the pandemic has impacted her schedule and what she’s commissioning; from STV Productions’ David Mortimer about how the pandemic prompted his quickest commission to date; and from Danish producer Anni Faurbye Fernandez about launching her new company, Nevis Productions, in the current crisis.

Katja Hofem, German streaming platform Joyn’s MD, revealed how the pandemic is reshaping its approach to acquisitions and commissions; Banijay’s Carlotta Rossi Spencer discussed the need for escapist development; and Media Ranch CEO Sophie Ferron gave details of her new quick-turnaround formats.

11th May – 15th May 2020

This week we hear from writer Peter Bowker and director Fergus O’Brien about the impact the pandemic has had on new seasons of World on Fire and Gentleman Jack; Vox Pictures co-founder, producer and director Pip Broughton about her new fast-turnaround drama Lifelines; and Telidja Klaï of Belgian children’s brand Ketnet about managing lockdown.

With his new fast-turnaround drama Isolation Stories making its debut on ITV this week, writer Jeff Pope explains how the project came about and how every trick in the lockdown book was used to get it made. Znak & Co founder Natalka Znak discusses how the transatlantic entertainment and factual formats specialist is working to find solutions to shows that have been hit by social distancing restrictions. And Jupiter Entertainment president Patrick Reardon voices his hope that the coronavirus pandemic could trigger a rebound in unscripted television.

Back Roads Entertainment founder Colby Gaines and Intuitive Content senior VP Patrick Weiland, discuss getting back to work as the states of Texas and Minnesota open up. C21’s Canadian bureau chief Adam Benzine speaks with Hot Docs’ executive director Brett Hendrie, who has, like many events organisers, been forced to reimagine the documentary festival and move most of it online.

27th April – 1st May 2020

Robin Hilton, partner at media law firm Sheridans, discusses the considerable number of legal issues to be resolved before TV production and M&A activity can resume amid the Covid-19 crisis. Adam Cunningham, chief global strategist at Allied Global Marketing, shares his view that while there has been a 20% rise in users of streamers around the world during lockdown, the real task will be retaining them beyond free trial periods. He also talks about other challenges facing the streaming community and who will be the sector’s winners and losers. And Tony Havelka, CEO of Canada-based kids’ streaming platform Ameba TV, considers how to window free and paid content on the service.

Pubcaster Rai is responsible for up to 80% of Italy’s annual original drama output. Director of fiction Eleonora Andreatta tells Gün Akyuz how Rai has dealt with severe restrictions placed on production during the pandemic. Revised development and discussions are now underway with prodcos to develop the kinds of stories audiences will be seeking more than ever – stories of hope plus an emphasis on coming-of-age storytelling to help a generation of teens and younger adults understand the crisis. Ita O’Brien is changing the UK television industry with her work as an intimacy coordinator and her intimacy guidelines are shaping how sex scenes should be filmed. She discusses her role on shows including Sex Education, Gentleman Jack and Normal People with Drama Quarterly editor Michael Pickard, revealing how she is taking her work around the world. Avi Armoza is one of the most successful format creators in the world. So it’s no surprise that in the current crisis he already has a solution allowing producers and broadcasters to create high-octane shiny-floor shows using a new CGI technology that could cut the production budget in half. C21FM caught up with him to find out more about it, and how it is being used on his brand new format Beat The Grid.

Among other shows on his new slate, Jonathan Ford has a documentary called Superbug, a BBC/HBO copro that may just put fears about coronavirus in the shade. He is also taking out Liberty City, a project for Channel 4 in the UK about an FBI sting related to 9/11. With the 20th anniversary of the attacks coming in 2021, this is just one of the shows he hopes will cement a reputation quickly for Abacus Media Rights. He tells us about unravelling from Kew Media and the experience of launching a new company in lockdown. Banijay Group head of content Lucas Green has overseen a raft of programming designed to fill schedules in the current crisis, from Luke Alone At Home in Germany to comedy show Denmark Stands Together. The company is also producing The Free European Song Contest in Germany, on the same day Eurovision would have taken place. But he is also planning longer term for a time when audiences will crave a return to high-production-value shows that take the outside back again and working on high-end drama for when lockdown eases. C21FM caught up with him to find out more.

Ari Mark, co-founder of US indie Ample, is steering clear of lockdown-friendly programming, preferring to look ahead to what will follow. Creatively, he doesn’t find the opportunity compelling and, commercially, feels it will be over too soon. He does, however, have Nine Months With Courtney Cox set to debut on Facebook and a raft of other shows straining at the leash. He speaks to us about the challenges abroad and how he is meeting them. Christian Rank, head of drama at pubcaster DR, explains which scripted series are being hit by the lockdown and how event shows may be used to fill potential schedule gaps. The channel has had great success, however, with Denmark Sings, which is bringing the country together in difficult times. Meanwhile, Rank is anxious about being able to start production on DR’s 24-part annual Christmas drama, which is a cornerstone of the year-end schedule on the channel.

Karin Heijink, VP of channels and products at Viasat World, is pleased the pay TV broadcaster has extended its reach due to the lockdown, and is changing her acquisition and scheduling plans. The acquisitions-led channels business is managing to run with little disruption at the moment but she believes a rise in viewers will not make up for the dramatic fall in advertiser revenues. She says the big winners in the portfolio have been the movie channels and is inspired by how many producers have been using archives to create compelling new series in what was once a genre frowned on by the business. Concerns about freelancers, and how they’re better protected by the industry in the future, are front of mind for Lion TV CEO Tony Tackaberry, who operates out of the US. He says he’s pitching more than two months ago because there is increased appetite for fresh ideas. But his biggest issue is forecasting, and while he hopes that some shooting will begin again in June, is expecting to review this on a monthly basis.

20th – 24th April 2020

This week on C21FM, we found out how ITV Studios plans to roll out Nippon TV’s Red Carpet Survival to the international market from Mike Beale and Tom Miyauchi; how producers are dealing with disruption to earnout deals as the pandemic takes revenue out of 2020 from Wiggin’s Michael Brader; and how the AVOD (advertiser supported video on demand market) is booming from Watch 4’s Chris Sharp.
We heard from kids entertainment and educational start-ups Azoomee and Hopster, which have both seen a surge in usage under coronavirus lockdown, with the former’s Estelle Lloyd ramping up acquisitions of social emotional learning content and Hopster’s Miki Chojnacka seeking arts and crafts shows. And TV2 Denmark director of programmes Lotte Lindegaard told us the business has been coping with the pandemic, since one of its employees was the first case in the country. And Jonathan Webdale spoke to Patrick Walker, founder of Uptime a next-generation learning app that feeds curious minds with curated videos from the world’s leading experts.

Charlotte Reid, head of lifestyle and entertainment commissioning at Discovery UK & Ireland discussed keeping a calm head in the crisis, and what new shows she’s commissioning; Stephen Stewart, MD of Northern Ireland prodco Green Inc, about how he’s managed to keep production going, with social distanced production on his ongoing Crime Call series for RTÉ; and Steve Langdon, director of partnerships at Parrot Analytics, shared the findings of his new report into the most popular genres since Covid-19 lockdown in the US and Europe last week.

Writer/producer Jed Mercurio discussed Bloodlands, the first drama to come out of his HTM Television joint venture with Hat Trick Productions; Nathalie Biancolli, director of acquisitions and international fiction at France Télévisions, talked about her new 1pm movie slot; STV head of broadcast Bobby Hain searched for a Zoom TV format; Amanda Groom, MD of The Bridge, suggests Asia could kick-start production’s recovery; and LADbible head of original programming Ben Powell-Jones takes us inside his fast-turnaround series Corona Diaries.
We heard from UK producer Claire Mundell, whose Syncronicity Films is responsible for, among others, the award-winning The Cry. The Scotland-based company is currently focusing on development and hoping that when the lockdown ends it will have used the time creatively to create a new slate of programming. Laura Marshall, CEO of Icon Films, discussed the challenges of putting all her factual productions on hold. PBS chief programming executive and general manager for general audience programming Perry Simon shared his strategy to rethink his schedule and work with more international partners.

ACF Investment Bank president and CEO Thomas Dey offered his perspective on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting M&A and finance in the independent production sector, while ShortsTV CEO Carter Pilcher gave his take on the launch of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s Quibi. Formats veteran Phil Gurin told us how he’s using the crisis to nurture a new kind of creativity while Dermot Horan, director of coproductions and acquisitions at Ireland’s RTÉ, and Stephen Mowbray, head of international at SVT in Sweden, explained how these public broadcasters are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, adapting their schedules and the gaps that they’re looking to fill.

We got up close and personal with former Facebook head of partnerships in EMEA and Uptime founder Patrick Walker, who shared his experience of contracting and recovering from Covid-19. Propagate’s Ben Silverman discussed the challenge of redefining global production in the current crisis, while also sharing the music his family is listening to in the first of our Lockdown Playlist segments. ITV Studios’ Ruth Berry gave us her perspective on how finished tape distribution is providing channels around the world with programming alternatives as new production is paused and Drive’s Lilla Hurst outlined the challenge programmers are facing as the business adjusts to a new normal.

We also had the first in a regular series of global updates with Adam Benzine’s Letter From Canada, which assessed the impact on cornonavirus on the country’s television business. We were also delighted to present The Soundtrack Jukebox, an hour’s joyous trip into fabulous film music, TV music hosted by Jonny Trunk, one of the world’s leading soundtrack collectors.



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