Opinion

Q&A Damian Keogh

Damian-KeoghIn a piece that first featured in Encore, Val Morgan CEO Damian Keogh reveals his potential alternate career.

Who is the most powerful person in Australian media and why?

I’d say Kerry Stokes, slightly ahead of Harold Mitchell and Kim Williams. He controls the entity with the largest revenue across free-to-air, online, magazines and newspapers. On pure size alone, his influence and leverage over advertisers, media agencies and consumers is unmatched. Harold is still the king in media, slightly ahead of John Steedman, but Henry Tajer and Leigh Terry are the heirs apparent. Kim Williams controls News and that’s a big base to work from.

What one medium could you not live without? 

Three way tie: smart phone, iPad and the TV (with IQ). I get uncomfortable when I’m away from any of them for too long. I love the open access to information and my ability to control it via these devices.

Your one guilty media pleasure? 

Gold Class cinema. Reclining seats, food and drink brought to you during the movie. Big screen, big sound and a quiet, darkened room – the ultimate escape from the hectic pace of life.

The next big industry trend is… 

More algorithms. And people trying to get their privacy back.

If you weren’t doing this for a living what would you be doing? 

Closest to the best job in the world would be a successful Hollywood movie producer. That is living at the pointy end. Of course, one of the worst would be an unsuccessful Hollywood producer.

Your best piece of career advice… 

Work for a boss or a business that lets you grow and develop your skills, and always remember that if you’re not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.

If you could poach any one person, who would it be? 

Simon Rush, principal at Razor. Big strategic brain to drive business and knows all the best restaurants (home and abroad).

Would you recommend working in this industry to your kids? 

It’s too late not to. My daughter is working in digital media in New York. The media and advertising industry is great for young people. They just need to ensure they are constantly being challenged, and not just used for repetitive, mind-numbing labour when they are at entry level.

What is your favourite Aussie ad? 

I applaud and admire Australian ads that continue to build their brands on screen, in cinema and on TV. I really like the tourism ads in cinema, but right now I cannot go past the St George Bank ‘A Little Dragon in all of us’ spot, made by Saatchi and Saatchi.

Damian Keogh is the CEO of Val Morgan Cinema Network

Issue 18This story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit encore.com.au for a preview of the app or click below to download.

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