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
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
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.
1992 - Producer/director, Antelope Films
1993 - Freelance producer
1995 - Producer/director, Mentorn Films
1996 - Managing editor, WWEN