Students benefit from launch of new network for Northern TV development talent

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

University of Salford students are set to benefit from the launch of a new network that aims to help the TV development industry find the next wave of talent.

Dozens of students from production-related courses attended the launch of the new Northern TV Developers network at the University’s Media City campus on Thursday 8 December.

The network has been set up by David Leach and Fabian Taghian, development producers at MultiStory Media, a subsidiary production company of ITV Studios at Media City, to create a pool of talent of those actively working in development and those considering a career in the industry.

The concept for the network comes from the increased demand for TV development workers in the region and the new skillsets required for the roles given the pace at which the industry has changed over the last five years. The scope for the network is for those working or seeking to work in factual, unscripted television.

David said: “There simply aren’t enough people to fill the roles that development teams are after and the industry is struggling to hire the right people. We therefore want to encourage people to pursue a career in TV development at entry level whilst also attracting those further on in their careers.

“There has not been enough people coming in at entry level and the University is a great place to start in response to this as it continues to provide the talent in this field with two of our most recent hires both joining from Salford.”

A career in TV development differs from production in that it involves finding the idea for the show, writing and pitching the idea and then bringing it to production with the right budget and the right channel fit.

David said that TV development has experienced a big change in recent years with teams needing to be able to design and edit three-minute clips to align with the pitch and also be skilled in graphic design in order to provide a compelling brief to align with the pitch.

He added: “We want to create this as a space for employers to find the right people for the role. It’ll hopefully be that when employers are hiring, they’ll scope out the network as the first port of call to find likeminded people that they’ll already know. It’s about giving people the opportunity to build a relationship with the people that are then going to be wanting to hire them.”

Beth Hewitt, Director of the University of Salford’s Media City campus said: “It was a pleasure to host David and Fabian’s launch at our Media City campus and we’re excited about the possibilities that this newly established network holds for our University of Salford students and graduates.

“Salford has a well-earned reputation of providing great talent to the region’s media companies and we know that the students joining this network will continue that tradition and seize the opportunity to showcase their skillsets to future employers.

The network aims to have members spread across the North of England and David and Fabian are planning to have regular meetups and events in other northern cities in addition to producing a newsletter to capture the opportunities on offer within the industry.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.