Profiles in Canadian Media

Posted by | August 6, 2012 | Film/TV/Radio

Q&A: Gariné Tcholakian – Senior Producer, Digital Content for Travel + Escape at GlassBOX TV.

 

Q: What inspired you to become involved in media and how did you become involved in media?

GT: Connecting with people. Whether it’s engaging your audience online or connecting with viewers and readers in print or on television — storytelling is all about one thing: understanding your audience.

Q: You are the Toronto city host for NYC-based Mediabistro. How did you become involved with Mediabistro? Can you tell me a little bit about it?

GT: With media becoming both more fragmented and integrated than ever before, media professionals from all areas — digital, TV, tablets, newspapers, magazines, mobile, social media, as well as marketing, advertising and even PR — all need to cooperate if they want to reach their audience effectively. That’s what drew me to Mediabistro. First as a guest over 7 years ago and soon after being offered the position by its then-hosts Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory and Sufia Lodh as host.

Q: Any preference in regards to what channels of study/work are optimal in pursuing media career in Canada?

GT: Almost from the day I graduated over a decade ago now, I witnessed this industry going through seismic changes from traditional to new media. I held on tight and rode the wave starting out in television as a producer and as the industry quickly shifted into radio that reached an increasing mobile audience; then to an ever-expanding global audience as I moved into a greater role as a Senior Feature Writer for The Daily Star newspaper. This was followed by a move into niche markets as Associate Editor of the longest running city magazine in the country, Hamilton Magazine…then into digital, where I did it all and have continued to do so for the past 8 years.

If I were to look back 15 years ago when I started in this business, I would say one thing: Do what you love. In this industry, you have to be very nimble, but that doesn’t mean jeopardizing what drives you in the first place. The beautiful thing about the media landscape today is that there are so many platforms for creativity, expression and dissemination. The question is how fast can you keep up with these changes?

Q: What can one do to increase their chances of distinguishing themselves from other job applicants?

GT: Two things. 1) Recognize that this is a people business. Because of the cooperative nature of the biz, understanding the various needs from a large variety of media players will put the winning card in your hand. 2) Work your butt off. Be prepared for increased demands in an always changing, always connected social media world. 3) Think strategy. With every step you take, given the maze of engagement models around you, a sharp eye for strategy based on where the opportunities are is key. Regardless of how insurmountable the challenges before you seem, know that every challenge carries within it a silver lining of opportunity. A positive attitude will help you to see that.

Q: Do you have any career advice for aspiring young media enthusiasts? Anything they should know?

GT: Never give up. Ever.

To learn more about Gariné Tcholakian please click here. To learn more about Travel+Escape please click here.

~ Lewis Spring

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