This Is What I Do: Paul Kanareck, FremantleMedia Ventures

Paul Kanareck explains how to balance strategy, commerce and Arsenal.

Paul Kanareck, FremantleMedia Ventures
Paul Kanareck, FremantleMedia Ventures

What is your job title?
Head of FremantleMedia Ventures.

What does your job involve?
Developing new businesses and fostering new investments that will help deliver FremantleMedia's ambitious growth plans.

What qualifications and experience do you need?
Entrepreneurial drive (which I have forged through a number of start-ups), grounded in corporate reality and pragmatism (I've worked at Channel 4, Vodafone and Rothschild). I also have a creative eye to see opportunities where others don't.

How do you spend a typical day?
I spend one third of my time driving the operations side of new businesses such as gaming, one third developing strategies and opportunities for future businesses, and one third meeting interesting companies and people to maintain the flow of new ideas. I then spend one 10th of my time (they never checked my maths when I was interviewed) keeping abreast of all developments online about Arsenal.

What's the best thing about your job?
The people. I know it's a cliche, but you have to spend the majority of your hours in the day with work colleagues. If you don't find their company challenging and stimulating, then you are probably in the wrong job.

What is it like working at FremantleMedia?
It's very exciting working for a large, international company that stretches from pure creative to pure commercial. We are refreshingly collaborative.

What keeps you awake at night?
My four-month-old son Spike. We've just taken his dummy away and he's going cold turkey.

Who helped you get where you are?
Ernst Malmsten, the founder of, showed me the limitless powers of chutzpah, while Michael Jackson, former chief executive of Channel 4, believed in me and backed me when I was having doubts.

Who do you aspire to be like?
My hero of the moment is Eric Daniels, chief executive of Lloyds TSB, for having the confidence to keep to the basic fundamentals of good business. He understood the importance of the basics at a time when all his banking competitors thought they had found a magic new formula for printing money. Media companies should heed this lesson so that they don't get too distracted by fads or the "next big thing".

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