AVTN | NewsNet24www.AVTN.TV

2014 – 2018

  • Conceived and led the strategic direction of the £218 million multi-media Global News Network startup;
  • Projected first year revenues of £134.3m, rising to £314.5m by Year 4; and audience growth of 6.49%;
  • Planned Bureaus for London, New York, Singapore and Amsterdam, requiring >500 staff over 5 years.
  • Directed Research and Development to confirm concept viability from July 2010 to April 2014;
  • Headed P&L and Budget forecasting, identifying revenue streams, projecting dividends in excess of 6%;
  • Led funding rounds for Corporate, Tech (FAANG), Sovereign Wealth and Venture Capital Investment;
  • Leveraged News Network synergies with Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) Corporations;
  • Conceived global distribution strategy for EMEA, North America, LATAM, APAC and Oceania regions;
  • Defined Satellite, Cable, IPTV, OTT, Streamed, VOD, SVOD, UHD, HD, SD, and IP Radio strategy;
  • Led Digital Content, Programming, Scheduling and Production Management Strategy for the Network;
  • Specified Personnel, Production, Post-Production, Outside Broadcast requirements liaising with suppliers;
  • Championed the application of AI, ML and Blockchain in the Business and Newsroom to reduce costs;
  • Instituted flexible planning for Brexit, theEU Audiovisual Media Services Directive and Global Licensing;
  • Established productive relationships with UK & EU Government Departments, Licencing Regulators.
  • Presented as a Speaker at FOCUS 2017 Expo for the seminar ‘Show me the Money… After Brexit’.

LEQ Ltd (Phase 3)
2001 – 2018

LEQ logo

  • Incorporated LEQ in 2001 bringing Tony Covell (former VFG CEO) onboard as Managing Director;
  • Transitioned Production Management services, Rental, Manufacturing and Sales to Sales & Consultancy;
  • Completed budget and valuation documentation consulting for a £1.8m Film & TV Studio in China (2011);
  • Secured equipment and production service contracts for Moto GP, Germany (2003)and UK (2003-8);
  • Customised equipment and provided production training for an ITN/Accenture TV News Project (2004);

Standards Agreements (for VFG PLC & LEQ Ltd 1999 – 2011):

  • Successfully led opposition to anti-competitive agreements proposed by Industry Bodies in Film & TV;
  • Prevented breaches of EU Competition Law by advocating transparency and due process;
  • Averted foreclosure of manufacturing, and B2B equipment markets, avoiding Industry divisive litigation.

The Lightweight Equipment Co. (Phase 2)
1995 – 1998

LEQ logo

  • Established LEQ as a Production facilities company, purchasing equipment previously operated for VFG;
  • Secured product contracts from VFG Group Directors in excess of $500,000 between 1999 and 2001;
  • Won a £155,000 product contract to, provide production equipment for the Sydney Olympics (2000);
  • Saved a $225,000 product contract, sourcing an alternative equipment manufacturer, when a U.S. corporation breached a Chapter 11 Court Order to dispose of assets, avoiding lengthy litigation (2000);
  • Equipped BBC/IMAX production ‘The Human Body’ with 35mm High Speed and Vistavision Cameras.
  • Sourced 65mm Camera systems, and Laboratory availability for VFG plc, for IMAX’s ‘The Nutcracker’.
  • Conceived marketing materials and rental brochures setting price policies from (1999-2018).
  • Directed contracts for Broadcasting Corporations, Films, Independent, Streamed and Viral Productions;
  • Implemented a £250,000 product investment to launch the acclaimed Aerocrane camera crane in the UK.

VFG Ireland
June – Dec 1998

VFG logo

  • Contracted to establish VFG Group’s first International facilities, following an Irish Government invite;
  • Established greenfield operations in Ireland for VFG PLC inside a 6-month timeframe equipping facilities and employing personnel, ensuring a first-year turnover of £2.2 million.
  • Supplied ‘Animal Farm’ (Hallmark/TNT – Budget $23 million); negotiated ‘Ballykissangel,’ (BBC) away from competitors.
  • Represented VFG in meetings with the Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Trade Engineering & Electrical Union;
  • Made culturally sensitive changes to image, changing Orange to Green; registered vehicles in Ireland.

The Lightweight Equipment Co. (Phase 1)
1995 – 1998

LEQ logo

  • Founded LEQ to fulfil flexible contracts across VFG with accountability to the Directors and Productions;
  • Delivery of Management Roles and Special Projects for VFG across operations in: London; Pinewood; Shepperton; Manchester; Glasgow; Belfast; Bristol; Cardiff, The Isle of Man; Dublin; and collaborating with staff at Bow Studios; Los Angeles; Sydney; South Africa; and VFG Finance; reporting directly to the CEO.
  • Executed contractual oversight of international production equipment procurement and disposal for VFG;
  • Headed Operations and maintenance of specialist production equipment within the VFG fleet;
  • Accomplished Integration and standardisation of assets following acquisitions by VFG Group.

VFG PLC (Video Film & Grip Co. Ltd.)
1992 – 1995

VFG logo

  • Recruited by CEO Tony Covell as part of a core team of 12 original staff, establishing the company as a Production Facilities, Equipment Rental, Manufacturing & Sales Group, growing to employ >500 staff;
  • Delivery of a variety of flexible Management Roles and Special Projects reporting directly to the CEO, working across operations in all regions: London; Shepperton Studios; Manchester; Bristol; Cardiff.
  • Developed, implemented, and maintained the VFG rental brochure format from ’91 until ‘98, setting pricing policy, and conceiving the majority of marketing media, including the VFG ‘Voyager’ Campaign.
  • Capitalized on management opportunities as the company grew from SME to PLC, establishing itself as a major competitor and rival to ARRI and Panavision; with expansion funded by Venture Capital and later an IPO on the Alternate Investment Market (AIM)(1996; M&A included: Formatt; HTV Hire, Ronford, Camera Associates, GP Films, Film Game. Other business included Studios and a Finance Brokerage; while a £1.25m order with ARRI Lighting followed the purchase of Michael Samuelson Lighting and ELC; VFG also acquired 36 Local TV Broadcasting Licenses through its shareholding in The Local Broadcast Group.

1988 – 1991

Cinefocus logo

Management & Technical Apprenticeship

(In Conjunction with Secondary Education)

An Industry Leading Production Services, Equipment Rental, Manufacturing and Sales Company founded by Tony Covell.

Known For: Aliens, Clockwise, Wish You Were Here, Sign of Four, Caravaggio, Time, Riders to the Sea, Terrahawks, TV Networks; Commercials; Corporates; Pop Videos and Concerts.

My life experiences around the company began much earlier than 1988, Cinefocus was a childhood wonder-world and I earned my pocket money by cleaning cases, cabling, filters, and workshops; painting boards, frames and stacks of Paganinis; plus I made lots and lots of tea and coffee!

Professional Training

Los Angeles – January – May 1995

Panavision: 8 weeks training; plus, additional courses at Aaton, Chapman-Leonard, and Clairmont Camera Inc.;

Warner Bros: Gained invaluable experience with the production team of Network TV Show ‘E.R.’


Leeds Metropolitan University

BBC | BKSTS | GBCT | Kodak Inc. |  | Sony Corp. | Steadicam

Guild & Association Memberships

BKSTS 1992-1995

GBCT – Board Member 2002-2003 Member (1995-2008)

GTC 2003-2007