Charlie Mechem sits down with Steve Mosko, one of the most respected and successful executives in the entertainment business. Steve recalls moments throughout his 41 year long career in the entertainment business—from his time working with Charlie at Taft Broadcasting Company to his 24 years, which he spent with Sony Pictures Television, up until today in his position as CEO of Village Roadshow—as he reacts to anecdotes from Charlie’s book, “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer,” which can be found through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore!
Peanut Butter & Jelly Relationships
The world has changed from a linear world to an “on demand” world–people must be flexible and willing to change in this transitioning world. We no longer live in a CBS or NBC, linear, live TV, world. Rather there are great demands for streaming services. People have adapted to this format, it’s what they want, and the companies that adapt along with them have done well.
Take Risks, But Don’t Be Reckless
Steve talks about the premise of Breaking Bad and how at the time of its pitch, his boss believed it was the worst idea for a television show—in the end, the show ended up being one of the most impactful shows of this generation. While it was risky, he took a risk on his idea and ended up with one of the most powerful and original projects made by Sony. Charlie talks about a similar risk he took on investing in Entertainment Tonight—which is still on the air today. Taking measured risks can result in considerable reward.
Predicting the Future
When he was in college, Steve was captain of the Delaware Lacrosse team. At the time they had a goal to go undefeated in their season, to do so they trained hard every day—when they played their first game, they lost. This was a great lesson for Steve from a business standpoint. He learned that in order to be successful in business you need to put one foot in front of the other. You can have long term goals, but you must have short term goals along the way to reach the bigger goals. By the way, they went on to win their league championship.
Shoot for the Sun, but Enjoy the Ride
Be realistic about your goals in life and what you’re trying to achieve, advises Steve. As someone with lofty goals, Steve finds that he is always trying to shoot for the sun; however, he always reminds himself to try to enjoy the moments along the way—admire what’s popping up along the road during the trip, rather than just focusing solely on the final destination—you may be surprised, and happy, about what you find.
Build Strength at Your Roots
Recalling when he was a part of the Greens Committee at his golf course years ago, Steve mentions the tactics used to water the grass. One would think that watering the grass more would make it grow more, but rather, what you want is to make the roots fight for the water. By watering the grass less than you’d think, the roots fought harder and became stronger, ultimately making the grass become better and stronger. Looking at companies that overspend on projects, Steve finds that it causes an excess of assets that make the company become less self-reliant, ultimately causing laziness. He also recalls the awe he felt in his youth, and still today, for his grandmother who lived through the Great Depression. Steve implores what self-reliance she must have had in order to survive that—when she would cook for the family she would use every possible piece of the chicken in order to make the most of it. Self-reliance is what made her thrive.
What’s Really Important?
Steve has been in the entertainment business now for some 41 years and feels he has had a great career in the broadcasting business thanks to people like Charlie and Dudley Taft, followed by 24 years at Sony. From there he wanted to go into something more entrepreneurial, and so he has. He is now confident that the next ten years of his life will be phenomenal. In these coming years he hopes to seek out only what is most important: working with quality people, being with people that are passionate about what they do, and having fun. Today, Steve is the CEO of Village Roadshow, and feels he is surrounded by exactly this atmosphere. Steve sees Charlie as the perfect role model because of the way he treats people; he is just as friendly to the security guard as he is to heads of state–this has factored greatly into how smoothly Charlie has been able to transition through major changes in his career and life. In Steve’s eyes, the true key is to demand excellence, but always considering the humanity of the people you work with along the way.
If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit charliemechem.com or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.