ESC Client Spotlight: NewTV

 

ESC client NewTV has gone from a humble local television station in Newton, MA, to a community media center and industry game-changer over the past few years, and Executive Director Bob Kelly says ESC has played a role in the reinvention that elevated his organization.

“NewTV has become much more than a local community station,” Bob said. “Even as a nonprofit, we’re producing programs that are really far-reaching, connecting with for-profit and state entities.”

Bob made it clear NewTV’s productions aren’t working at the Wayne’s World level. They’ve moved far beyond, interacting with established production companies and cable channels on a national scale; and their accolades reflect the level of production—the organization is an Emmy-winning establishment that’s made deals with networks as big as The History Channel.

NewTV first partnered with ESC in 2010 for a Strategic Planning engagement. In addition to creating a five-year plan for the organization, the consultant team of Donna Davis and John Kogan—a Newton resident and lead for this project—facilitated NewTV’s thought process by managing a retreat held at Mount Ida College. This above-and-beyond style of work solidified Bob’s faith in ESC as a fellow nonprofit that certainly had his organization’s best interests in mind.

“ESC did a great job facilitating the strategic planning process and thinking it through,” Bob said. “It’s nice to have the caliber of ESC consultants at a rate local nonprofits can afford.”

During the course of the original ESC consulting project, NewTV leaders explored alternative revenue streams and asked themselves, “How can we compete with 900 channels?” The results of the project had such positive impact, Bob said, that the organization’s momentum combined with the constantly-changing nature of the television industry called for a rehaul of NewTV’s strategic plan after just 3 years of the original plan’s implementation.

Bob said there was no question about calling ESC back to revamp NewTV’s strategic plan in 2013, and he was thrilled to have ESC Consultant John Kogan return to lead the project.

“We called ESC back out of pure adaptability,” Bob said. “Five years happened in three—our goals and objectives for years four and five had changed.”

The comfort level of having John on NewTV’s second ESC consulting project paired with Bob’s confidence in his commitment to NewTV added to the decision that ESC must be the consulting service to reassess the strategic plan composed three years prior.

“John may come back and have a cup of coffee,” Bob said. “That’s the level of commitment he showed and continues to show to this organization.”

The latest ESC consulting project with NewTV wrapped up in February. Bob told us the recent work done by John and his ESC colleagues, Neil Golden and Les Goldstein, really got to the heart of the issues the organization faces. One of the key aspects of this consulting project was the consultants’ abilities to produce measurables for each year, and each quarter, of the next five years, and it’s left Bob and the rest of the NewTV with revived confidence in their actions.

“Bringing in ESC was the best thing we did for our future,” Bob said. “My peers—Executive Directors of Nonprofits—tend to think we can do a strategic plan on our own, and we could, but we forget about the sets of eyes that aren’t in the industry and aren’t working with our organizations every day. Someone who could see us from the outside is what we needed—someone not in the industry, not on the board of directors, and someone who is unbiased.”

If you are interested in learning how an ESC consulting project could impact your nonprofit organization, please contact our Director of Consulting, Ulea Lago, at ulago@escne.org or call 617-357-5550. ESC of New England offers a complimentary two-hour assessment visit for any local nonprofit seeking the guidance of senior-level and executive management and capacity building consultants outside of their organization.

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