Roughly 4,000 broadcast platforms are currently operating in Europe, and according to the European Audiovisual Observatory in Strasbourg, France, that number is expected to grow to 7,000 in the next two years. Staffing this explosion with competent managers is the raison d’etre of the European Television Management Academy (ETMA), a new media training program based near Strasbourg.
With seed money from the Regional Council of Alsace, ETMA director Paul Pauwels has spent the last two years setting up the academy, which will launch with a one-year continuous education program this fall for programmers, producers and managers already working in the field. The course is designed to accommodate 20 students initially, working around a busy executive’s life with eight Wednesday to Sunday in-class sessions in Strasbourg spread out over the year.
In fall 2009, ETMA plans to roll out a full-time post-graduate program for students with bachelor degrees looking to pursue a broadcast career. Tuition fees will be US$16,000 for a one-year course and US$24,000 for the two-year version. Pauwels says the goal is to grow the post-graduate program to 50 students over the next five years, but ETMA will cap each class group at 20 students to maintain an intensive, high-quality educational standard.
The program itself will focus on three key components, including editorial direction, marketing and financing, and the daily management of a broadcast platform, which will deal with new technology, convergence and digital content distribution.
Pauwels plans to bring in faculty and lecturers through affiliations with established universities that have renowned media programs, and these partnerships will also serve as the foundation for concurrent masters programs for undergrads. The academy has already linked up with the The Media School at Bournemouth University in England, and Pauwels is also talking to The University of Strasbourg and other universities in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway and, in particular, Eastern Europe, whose domestic TV and media industries are undergoing a major revolution, he says.
Recruiting industry experts to lead classes is just as much of a priority for Pauwels, who wants to ultimately provide students with a network of personal contacts in the industry. ‘We’ll invest money in alumni networking, making sure that people stay in touch with each other so that we create a European union of media managers who have learned the same values and techniques and can help each other out,’ he explains.