Lisa Hsia: Leading the Digital Revolution
On the Benefits of Working for NBCUniversal:
Where else could someone like me start out as a producer for Katie Couric, grow to be an executive at NBC News and then go on to run digital for Bravo, a cable entertainment network. The sheer breadth of strong brands, access to talent and growth opportunities are unparalleled.
One of the aspects I love most about working in digital is the constant exposure I get to our tech savvy young staff — they teach all of us so much about content consumption today. Bravo organizes a download each summer with our interns to learn about their use of media. That is always an eye-opener — and a guide to what’s coming!
I’m sure it’s different for different people, but for me, a person who’s worked here 18 years, it’s been a culture that has fostered close friendships and given me the chance to grow by working on an amazing range of projects from covering major events in the news division to forging new frontiers in the digital space at Bravo.
On NBCUniversal in Five Words or Less:
Creative. Innovative. Fun. Diverse. Opportunities.
On Bravo's Digital Platforms:
Bravo is blessed with an audience that is passionate about its shows. There is no better advocate for our brand than a Real Housewives fan with an opinion and their mobile phone in hand. So what I’m most proud of is being a part of making Bravo a leader in activating its fans — whether it be trailblazing in social TV or redefining transmedia storytelling across multiple platforms with Top Chef. We’ve learned that our fans are usually way ahead of us, so we follow a fairly simple premise in pioneering new digital frontiers — follow the users.
On Her Accomplishments:
This may sound a bit strange, but my ability to adapt to change in the media landscape. When I graduated from college, independent filmmaking was on the rise and there was plenty of funding, so I rode that wave, producing documentary and feature films. Then long-form newsmagazines had a run — Dateline was on five nights a week — and I got to be a part of that. The past seven years I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the growth curve of cable TV and digital.
On Her Career Path:
I wish I could tell you it was part of my well thought out five-year strategic plan, but it was honestly the result of a change in leadership at my old job at NBC News, where I was an executive. Lauren Zalaznick, whom I’d met once in an informational interview, reached out and gave me a chance. I thought I would work in TV production and programming, which was my previous area of expertise. But she said, "I need you to learn digital. That’s where the growth is." So I did. The good thing about being a journalist is that the experience teaches you to learn a subject — fast!
On What She Looks For in Potential Team Members:
A passion for the work coupled with a sense of curiosity. A collaborator. Tenacious — in a good way.
On Why a Recent College Grad Would Choose NBCUniversal:
Success anywhere depends on luck, timing, circumstances — and, of course, how good you are at your job. NBCUniversal is a great place to work and build a career. Look at some of the people who work here now who all started out in the NBCUniversal page program — Ryan Osborn, who is VP of digital innovation at NBC News, Soraya Gage, the General Manager of Education Nation, John Wallace, President of OT&S, Ted Koppel, Regis Philbin, Michael Eisner! They all started out here giving tours. Come — get your foot in the door and see what you can make of it!
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