Inside the World of TV Programming: Silvia Majeská's Journey and the Impact of CME Content Academy
In linear TV programming, everything can change in an instant because Nova is live and can react to any current events. And since it broadcasts 24 hours a day, the deadlines are uncompromising, there is no time to pause as viewers have to be entertained at all times. Silvia Majeská, Program Director of TV Nova and Markíza Groups, thrives under the pressure. The 38-year-old from Bratislava loves her job and loves the challenge. “We move fast,” she said. “You can’t have a ‘black screen’. You have to deliver.”
Silvia is also one of the guest lecturers at CME Content Academy. The academy is designed to develop talented newcomers into the scriptwriters, showrunners, and TV producers of tomorrow. TV Nova and TV Markíza created CCA together with The Television Institute, to not only train students in the television industry but to allow them to work long-term for the two broadcasters.
Silvia thinks the Content Academy gives students a big advantage over other schools, mainly because they have a chance to learn from the best in the business.
“These are top professionals who run leading channels and create the most successful content and programs in the country. Top executives, creators, producers, marketers, you name it,” she said. “From the outside, you don’t get to talk to these people. But here, you see how they think and ask them questions…”
Silvia’s role includes developing programming strategies and content strategies for both television channels and streaming platforms. She oversees the scheduling of program line-ups, coordinates broadcasting, and acquires domestic and international content.
Silvia credits an internship with MTV Networks in New York for opening her eyes to the excitement and challenge of the television industry.
“I had an amazing boss at MTV,” she said, “and she gave me access to learn a lot about programming and acquisitions. I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do in life.”
Silvia studied at the University of Akron in Ohio, USA, majoring in international business with a minor in consumer marketing. After working for Dale Carnegie Training in New York, she returned to Slovakia in 2007. She began her career at TV Markíza and steadily climbed the ladder to her current position.
Her guest lectures at the Content Academy focus on the context of why students are creating their content and for whom. She says most students are interested in the creative work of scriptwriting and showrunning and they tend to focus on the content they like personally. While some niche channels focus on narrow content, TV Nova and Markíza are mainstream commercial channels where success is measured in hundreds of thousands even in millions of viewers.
“Our most successful content is targeted to a mass audience,” she said. “We don’t just select any type of content.”
She explained that for TV Nova or Markíza, the mass audience tends to be from villages and small towns and it skews more toward females.
“Successful content for us can reach a million viewers in Czech,” she said. “Like procedural crime series on Nova – find a body, catch a killer. Case solved in one hour of easy viewing. .”
To learn how to create content, students need to watch a lot of content. Silvia stresses that aspiring producers and screenwriters would benefit from paying close attention to existing local content.
“Even if young creators aspire to produce content for digital platforms rather than linear tv, they will still be in an environment of local content on the local market,” she said. “So it’s important to watch local content to understand what masses watch, which genres are trending, what type of storytelling and pace.”
She also tells students that the television industry has many benefits.
“It’s never boring, never the same. It’s constantly evolving, dynamic, creative, and fun.”
The Content Academy will soon start taking applications for its third cohort and she urges anyone with talent to apply. The key, she said, is to work hard.
“We’re searching for young people who are willing to roll up their sleeves,” she said. “Between linear TV and streaming, there’s so much need and desire for new content right now. There’s a lot of room in this industry as there is always a need for new stories, and I haven’t seen one person who has potential and passion who hasn’t moved forward. The sky’s the limit, so come and join us!”
Author Andrea Bisconti