MEDIA PROFILE: Reaching for the stars - Johnny Clothier, managing editor, World Wide Entertainment News

Johnny Clothier, managing editor of World Wide Entertainment News, must be one of the hardest working showbusiness journalists.

Johnny Clothier, managing editor of World Wide Entertainment News,

must be one of the hardest working showbusiness journalists.



Not including repeats, WWEN - a subsidiary of Mentorn Barraclough

Carey - currently produces roughly eight hours a week of entertainment

programming, split into seven hours of television and one hour of radio.

Television output is led by daily shows the Ticket - an entertainment

magazine - and chat show V.I.P on satellite for NBC.



Channel 5 takes Exclusive!, a weekly entertainment magazine show

presented by Sarah Cox, and Movie Cafe, a film show presented by Julia

Bradbury.



WWEN also produces Star News, a half-hour programme which is broadcast

in Greece, Croatia, Russia, Spain and Austria, and a daily 13-minute

feed of TV entertainment features which can be built into other shows

and is taken by stations in the US, Australia, Europe and the Middle

East. There’s also Radio 5 Live’s entertainment news, in case that

wasn’t enough. Does Clothier have a social life?



’I didn’t for the first year I was here,’ he admits ruefully. ’I’m not

joking. People start by saying they haven’t seen you for ages then,

after a year’s absence, they just stop phoning you. By the time we had

our Channel 5 commissions up and running last year and the team was in

place and properly structured, it was easier to take time off. Until

then, I was standing up with a phone under each ear having three

conversations at once for more than 12 hours every day.’



By properly structuring the team, Clothier means ensuring that

TV-trained people knew how to conduct radio interviews and radio people

could develop an eye for pictures.



These days, WWEN sends out one team to interview a star, slices the

interview up into radio feature, TV feature and saleable footage. ’The

star is happy because the same interview gives them four exposures

across the UK and the rest of the world in TV and radio and we’re happy

because it keeps the cost of the programming way down,’ says

Clothier.



The nerve centre of the operation is the planning desk. This has a staff

of five, each one a specialist in one aspect of entertainment who

develops contacts in their chosen field and acts as the liaison point

for PR people.



’This makes our intake very simple, even if the way we put things out

seems very complicated,’ Clothier says. ’This way, PR people can make

one call and cover all the ground. It also makes my job easier because I

know who’s responsible for each part of the input.’



The constant need for growth looks set to keep Clothier busy for a while

yet. He has just overseen the launch of a web site that provides

entertainment news and is working on other ventures. ’There’s a network

roll out,’ he says mysteriously. ’It’s a potential information source

that we can make into something stand alone. We’re also working on a

series of archive retro specials.’ That period when he had a social life

appears to be rapidly coming to an end.



HIGHLIGHTS

1992 - Producer/director, Antelope Films

1993 - Freelance producer

1995 - Producer/director, Mentorn Films

1996 - Managing editor, WWEN



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