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September, 29

Advice from AMC’s Executive Suite

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AMC: From Pacer to PicturesOn the wing-tipped heels of AMC?s recent Emmy-grab with its retro-ad game series Mad Men, Charlie Collier, executive vice president and general manager of AMC, shares some professional insights with Diane Clehane at MediaBistro. The interview reminded me of a gag Jerry Rapp and I once penned for a TV-biz script in which a creative executive?s job description includes ?executing creativity.? This, however, doesn?t seem present in AMC?s culture (or cable in general these days) as it continues to supplement its library with original series ? good news for show creators and audiences alike.

Clehane: What lessons did you learn early in your career that you still find relevant today?
Collier: Number one ? begin as you intend to proceed. It?s something someone said to be when I was just starting out. She gave me my first management job at 24. She said, ?So many people are trying to fit some mold instead of doing what they think is right from the start.?

A refinement of ye olde adage ?Fake it, ?til you make it,? Collier?s ?Begin as you intend to proceed,? is sound advice, which I repeat here as a defense against those who may balk at my ?Citizen Kane? shtick. I intend to proceed with intention until I die a rich, lonely media mogul with a yen for sleds. (My sorry fate notwithstanding, I do think Collier?s is good advice for those navigating creative careers.)

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