The Fishbowl: Karin Seymour, Sky Media

The Fishbowl: Karin Seymour, Sky Media

The Media Leader’s interview series asks the media industry’s top salespeople 10 revealing questions, drawn from our fishbowl. The questions will be drawn at random and contain some tricky posers set by the commercial chiefs themselves.

This week, it’s Karin Seymour, director of client and marketing at Sky Media.

Karin Seymour joined Sky Media in 2022 after more than 13 years at News UK.

In her previous company, Seymour held a variety of leadership roles covering client, strategy, partnerships, agency and sales.

What podcast do you regularly listen to and why?

I love lots of different types of podcasts, from news, politics, media, true crime to smart, funny people who are great storytellers (I thoroughly recommend Smartless for this last category).

My current new favourite podcast has just launched. It’s called Electoral Dysfunction and is hosted by Sky News’ Beth Rigby. In it, Beth discusses what is really going on in Westminster with Ruth Davidson and Jess Philips. They are brilliant and have all the inside knowledge, and they also clearly get on really well. It’s a fascinating listen, especially with everything that has happened over the past few years — and in an election year.

Why are you passionate about media?

As a self-confessed telly addict, I grew up watching some brilliant TV ads (“Accrington Stanley? Who are they?”; “You’ve been Tango’d”; and I can still recite the entire Alphabites ad) and I fell in love with the creativity of them.

As a career to work in, I love the variety of the industry and my role — you get to work with so many different sectors, solve problems, come up with ideas, have stimulating conversations and make a real difference to both businesses and the society in which we live.

Without advertising, there would be no news journalism holding power to account. Advertising contributes billions of pounds to the economy and Sky as a business is working hard to contribute to solving the environmental crisis.

And all while working with great people. I have made some of my best friends working in media and we get to have fun while working.

Who’s the best media salesperson you know?

I am very lucky to have worked with some of the best salespeople in the industry and my style has elements stolen from all of them.

If I had to pick, I’m going to cheat and give two names. I don’t think Dom Carter (executive vice-president, The Sun) would forgive me if I didn’t say him. I worked with Dom for 16 years and he is a formidable salesperson.

The other would be Stephen Miron (soon to be ex-CEO of Global), who was my commercial director when I was at The Independent. As a sales leader, he was incredible. I always say he could motivate anyone and anything.

What keeps coming up in conversations with clients at the moment?

Two big interlinked topics that keep coming up are data and effectiveness.

Using data to create effective and efficient campaigns is something that comes up with every client. As a subscriber business with a 4m-strong panel, we have the highest-quality first-party data and some incredible measurement tools that operate through the funnel, from brand uplift metrics to data-led web attribution and sales attribution tools.

These enable us to have really interesting conversations with clients about how Sky can not just deliver on their media but also on their business objectives.

What are three words that people often use to describe you?

Smart, determined and compassionate.

If you could have any other job in the world, what would you do?

When I was younger, I always wanted to be an actress, so I would have to say that. I think that’s why I love presenting so much!

Peer question: What’s your favourite business-related quote?

It’s a Jack Welch quote that I read in his book Jack: Straight from the Gut many years ago and it stuck with me.

“Get closer to the darker shade of grey. There are rarely black-or-white answers. More often than not, business is smell, feel and touch as much as or more than numbers. If we wait for the perfect answer, the world will pass us by.”

Question from Simon Kilby, managing director, Bauer Media Advertising

Peer question: If you could live in somebody else’s shoes for one day, whose would you choose?

It’s the woman of the moment, but I’d love to spend a day in Taylor Swift’s shoes. I’d love to know what it’s like to step out on stage in front of thousands of people.

Question from Ryan Rummery, head of podcast sales, international, Spotify; former commercial Dax director, Global

Peer question: You’re in charge of the line-up at Glastonbury. Choosing any artist, dead or alive, who are your headliners?

I have the cheesiest taste in music, so this could be the least popular Glastonbury year ever.

I’d have to go Prince on Friday (I was lucky enough to see him at The O2 and he was incredible), Kylie on Saturday (huge Kylie fan — I’ve seen her many times) and Michael Jackson on Sunday (my partner and I had tickets to see him the year he died and he was someone I always wanted to see. His music was the soundtrack to my youth).

Question from James Cornish, vice-president of international sales, Vevo

Peer question: What is the most fun you’ve had doing this job?

There are too many times to pick just one time. It’s a cliché, but it’s true that what makes media and has made all of my jobs the most fun are the people.

I am fortunate enough to have worked with some wonderful and hilarious people and we’ve had some great times together.

Three of my dearest girlfriends are from my time at The Indy. My colleagues from my time at News UK are a hilarious group of people I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with. Now, I am lucky to be part of the loveliest team at Sky doing a job I love.

Question from David Wilcox, commercial director, News UK Broadcasting

Read more Fishbowl interviews here and see what media’s top salespeople say about working in the industry and what concerns their clients. To suggest an interviewee, contact ella.sagar@uk.adwanted.com.

Media Jobs