How we nearly passed on Friends, and why my stained glass windows made me defect to Channel 5: Dawn Airey, the season finale of THE BIG SWING Podcast 😃😢
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Dawn Airey is one of the British media's most brilliant leaders.
She has proven time and again just how talented she is - from launching and running Channel 5 to selling Getty Images, and now chairing the FA's Women's Super League and Championship - Dawn is an incredibly accomplished woman.
So for the season finale of THE BIG SWING PODCAST, there was no better guest to invite to share their stories with me.
And nobody gives good stories quite like Dawn 😂
She told me how the offer of a brand new Ford XR2i sealed the deal in her early days at Central television.
And I nearly fell off my chair when she revealed that as head of Arts and Entertainment whilst at Channel 4, Dawn almost passed up the opportunity to buy Friends.
But it was how Dawn's leaky stained glass windows drove Dawn to leave her beloved role at Channel 4 and accept the offer to become the first-ever director of programmes at Channel Five that lit me up!
LISTEN TO THE FULL SEASON FINALE EPISODE BELOW:
Dawn is a legend.
She has been at the top of ITV, Sky, Channel 4 and most famously Channel Five where she was the debut Director of Programmes before becoming CEO and Chair of the Board.
And that’s before heading off to Yahoo!, before becoming CEO of Getty images and then moving upstairs into board roles at Thomas Cook, EasyJet and the FA, leading the development of women’s football.
In this special episode, Dawn shares some of the ups, downs and sheer craziness of her media career at the top of the tree, and explains why:
⁃ She learned early on to be happy feeling uncomfortable in new roles
⁃ Why the truism that “nobody knows anything” is part of the fun of working in media
⁃ How the tech culture of radical 360 assessments every quarter gave her new skills to help lead her teams
In the week that has seen International Women's Day, and the debacle of cancel culture finally taking hold at the BBC, it was my pleasure to deal with one of the smartest and most positive leaders in media.
Let's all celebrate Dawn.
It's not goodbye 😢... We'll see you again soon 😃
Thanks so much for listening to THE BIG SWING PODCAST over the last few months.
It's been a delight to enjoy fascinating, revealing conversations with so many brilliant creators and entrepreneurs.
I want to say huge thanks to the team - Exec Fred Casella, Sound Designer Will Horrocks and the top-class team at Spirit Studios, and Producer Lauren Abery.
It's a privilege to work with you.
If you'd like to catch up on any of the episodes we've delivered, you'll find them all here:
We'll be back after the Easter break with a brand new season of remarkable stories.
In the meantime, if you've enjoyed, disliked, or become frustrated with the podcast, we would LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK!
Let us know who we should feature in season two
How we should best distribute the show
What one thing we could do to make it better
Thanks again, and have a great week!