The Fishbowl: Sarah Goldman, UKTV

The Fishbowl: Sarah Goldman, UKTV

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 is Sarah Goldman, director of advertising at UKTV.

Sarah Goldman has worked at UKTV since 2011 as director of advertising. She started her career in Sales at Thames Television, and has also held roles at Trinity Mirror (now Reach), The Economist, and UK Gold. Goldman also was a controller and then associate director for channels at iDS.

How often are you in the office in a typical week?

I like to be in the office on Mondays, as it’s quiet and you can get a lot done. Then Wednesdays and Thursdays are much more social and the magic of serendipity in the workplace happens.

What is a unique skill you bring to your job?

I spent a great deal of time as a kid watching TV. I was fascinated by the ads, seeing them as being every bit as entertaining as the shows around them, but I also loved the stories that TV told.

This translates into me seeing our industry through the eyes of the viewer. For me it’s all about the shows.

If you could work with any other media owner on a collaborative campaign for an advertiser, who would it be and why?

UKTV is currently working on an initiative around using our promotional airtime to “nudge” consumers into sustainability behaviour change.

We are in the process of securing a messaging partner, but I would love for my broadcaster friends to get involved. I can’t wait to share more details in the coming months.

Which deal in your career are you proudest of?

It’s not really a deal, but in my early years at UKTV, we noticed that drama gems from the BBC archive were performing very well on our channel, Yesterday.

So, I agitated for, supported and championed the launch of Drama which is now the biggest non-PSB channel in the UK.

What key thing has changed in conversations in the media and advertising industry this year compared to last year?

There seem to be even more conversations about FAST channels, with much speculation around how the US model will translate into the UK.

**Peer question** Who are your role models?

I’ve been privileged to have worked with so many great people.

In my early career, Mark Howe, who reminded us that we should never ever lose our sense of humour.

Then came James Wildman who showed us how supporting each other creates a high performing team.

And cream of the crop was Julia Jordan, who taught me that it was possible to have a career in advertising and be a successful mum and human too, things that I aspire to everyday (I still ask myself what would Julia do?).

And now it’s wonderful to have a new mentor in Sam Tewungwa, who proves that smart thinking and generosity of spirit can go hand in hand.

**Question set by Davina Barker, sales director at DCM. 

What’s your best advice for someone who wants a job in media sales?

Sell something you are passionate about — you’ll be authentic, and it won’t be hard work.

If you could learn any new skill from scratch, what would it be?

To play the piano — what joy.

What’s the bravest thing you have ever done?

Walked 100km of the Thames Tow Path, from Hammersmith to Henley in less than 24 hours.

**Peer question** What (if anything) keeps you awake at night?

Conjugating Portuguese verbs — although that is quite soporific…zzz

Question set by Ed Couchman, head of sales for the UK and Northern Europe at Spotify.

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