Endemol Shine UK Acquires Short-Form Producer, Digital Talent Agency

Endemol Shine UK is growing its online footprint with two separate acquisitions. The company says it has bought short-form and branded content production house Electric Robin along with digital talent management firm OP Talent. The companies will augment the existing commercial department which already includes digital studio Endemol Beyond UK; short programming creators ChannelFlip; and social talent agency FlipSide.

IndyCar champion Scott Dixon says talent alone is not enough in F1

High sponsorship demands of Formula One chasing young driving talent to sports cars

Four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon says that even his success in the US is not a ticket to Formula One.

As the 35-year-old New Zealander prepares for this weeks Rolex 24 at Daytona, he said the sports-cars arena has increasingly become a main outlet for professional racing drivers.

Having a lot of talent doesnt get you to the top on its own anymore, especially in single-seater racing, Dixon told the NZ Herald. In Formula One, theres probably only six or eight guys who are getting paid, the rest are bringing money.

If youre driving well and youre quick, long distance racing is a good option right now. The manufacturers are not necessarily looking for money, so they take the talent and thats why youre seeing an increase of young people heading in that direction.

Is Anything More Important to a Candidate Than Talent on TV?

Fifteen years ago, I was asked to manage my first major political campaign, for a US Senate candidate from Illinois who was personable and had a gleaming biography, as well the ability to raise plenty of money. Gery Chico had served as chief of staff to the mayor of Chicago, and both President Bill Clinton and the Chicago Tribune had credited him with leading a dramatic turnaround of Chicago’s public schools. Though a first-time candidate, he’d raised an astounding $4 million dollars.

When I asked his media consultant to gauge his chances, however, I was surprised by his response. “I can’t really answer that yet,” he said. “I have to get him looking into a camera. I have to see how he comes through the lens.”

Ever since a young and fresh-looking JFK defeated a more experienced yet nervously sweat-stained Vice President Richard M. Nixon in a televised debate — one that those who heard on the radio swore Nixon had won — we’ve known how important it is that a presidential aspirant be telegenic.

Since then, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, George Bush, Robert Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry, John McCain and Mitt Romney all lost to an opponent who was more likable on television.

Even now, in the Internet Age, this one attribute has never seemed more determinative. In fact, we’re about to find out whether there is any limit to the deficits that being good on TV can overcome.

As in 2008, Hillary Clinton began as her party’s overwhelming favorite. But outside of a couple of debates and that marathon congressional hearing on Benghazi, her stiff and calculated TV appearances have her trailing a “Democratic-Socialist” senator from a tiny state.

The avuncular Bernard Sanders may not have Hillary’s breadth of experience, but he comes across as a real person who is truly committed to his cause. Being yourself may not seem like a difficult trick, but doing it live in front of a lens is indeed a talent.

Donald Trump, of course, has taken the TV candidacy to a whole new level. Yes, a large slice of the GOP electorate wants a confident tough-guy more than they want a knowledgeable candidate. But without TV, Trump would be nowhere.

The camera doesn’t lie, but like a polygraph, it can be fooled if you’re good enough. As “Seinfeld’s” George Costanza once said: “Remember, Jerry, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”

As a former TV journalist, I can attest that most of television is manipulation — and Trump’s the master. At rallies, he crudely insults Democrats, rival Republicans, journalists and more, to the crowd’s delight. He absorbs his supporters’ anger, and reflects it right back to them. The cameras pick it all up live, beam it out to Couch-potato Nation, and the circus ringmaster’s poll numbers rise.

8 tips for recruiting cybersecurity talent

Good IT talent is hard to find. You know whats even more difficult? Finding good cybersecurity talent. Demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals is growing at an astonishing rate — four times faster than the IT jobs market and 12 times faster than the overall labor market, according to research from Burning Glass Technologies.

Unfortunately, supply isnt keeping up with demand, according to online cybersecurity training and MOOC platform Cybrarys Cyber Security Job Trends Survey for 2016. Of the 435 senior-level technology professionals who completed the survey between October and December 2015, 68 percent affirmed that there is a global shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. Only 13 percent of companies said there was an abundance of cybersecurity talent in their local areas.

Using the same old sourcing and recruiting tactics isnt going to work — what you need are, well, hacks who can help you better attract and retain critical cybersecurity talent and skills. Here are eight approaches to finding cybersecurity talent.

1. Create and maintain an active social presence

Were all familiar with social and professional networks — LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are your big three. You want to be there, but you also want to find social professional networks that are focused on verticals, like cybersecurity. You want to find forums, web sites, discussion groups, even Reddit can be a great place to start conversations, says Trevor Halstead, product specialist in Talent Services, Cybrary.
Cybersecurity pros differ from other IT talent in that their online presence will be much more guarded, much more specific and much more secure, Halstead says. They know exactly how vulnerable humans are on the Internet, so theyll be more careful with their interactions. You have to go where they are, on their terms, to even begin a conversation, he says.

2. Engage young and entry-level talent

Chances are, youve got a stable of young, eager and energetic IT talent already working with your company. Dont miss out on the opportunity to mentor and grow those individuals with the company and develop them into seasoned cybersecurity pros, Halstead says.

Pique their interest early, and help them realize the potential to engage in challenging work, as well as growth and development. You can offer training, education and mentoring; you can partner with online and/or local cybersecurity training providers and send them to security-focused conferences and meetups, Halstead says. Youre going to pay for your talent to further their education and training anyway, right? Why not steer them toward security?

3. Consider not requiring a bachelors degree

Is a bachelors or masters degree really necessary for your talent? In some cases, the answer is no. If IT and security talent can prove they are proficient in the skillsets you are looking for, then whats holding you back from hiring them? Halstead says. This is where hackathons, bug bounties (offering prizes or other compensation to IT pros who identify and fix security flaws) and other competitions can be helpful in both attracting and screening potential cybersecurity talent.

Consider partnering with a site like online recruiting platform HackerRank, which allows companies to develop code challenges to test programmers skills. HackerRank recently launched a jobs platform with a limited number of companies to help connect developer talent with open roles; its a great way to gauge the skills you need against the talent pool available.

[ Related stories: Closing the cybersecurity talent gap, one woman at a time ]

4. Highlight your companys projects, tools amp; technologies

Your HR department should enlist the help of an unlikely ally in the search for cybersecurity talent — marketing, says Leela Srinivasan CMO at recruiting and applicant tracking system software company Lever.

Recruiting and marketing should be partners here, to make sure theyre standing out as a company and targeting the right people. There seems to be a huge awareness gap of the opportunities in the cybersecurity space, so make sure youre building your brand as an employer of choice for cybersecurity talent, she says.

That could mean emphasizing specific technology tools you use, blogging about how your team solved a security problem, or discussing how you integrated emerging security technologies, says Halstead.

5. Be a thought leader

Get your CIO, CSO and CISO (if you have them) to conferences, meetups and hackathons; blog regularly about cybersecurity issues and stay on top of the most pressing issues and vulnerabilities out there, says Halstead.

Position yourself and your company as a thought leader in this space. You can detail how these attacks might affect your industry, what kinds of skills and experience you need to defend against cybercriminals — start participating in these conversations, he says.

6. Dont rely on salary alone

Salary alone may not be enough to attract or keep the talent, but that doesnt mean you should be stingy, Halstead says. Cybrarys survey respondents revealed that 50 percent of companies pay their average cybersecurity worker $25,000-$50,000 per year, 21 percent said $50,000-$75,000 per year, 17 percent said $75,000-$100,000 per year, and 12 percent said that their average cybersecurity worker makes more than $100,000 per year.

Many cybersecurity pros want to be working in exciting and challenging areas of cybersecurity; most also know exactly how in-demand their skills are and know exactly what theyre worth, he says. It is well worth paying one and a half or even twice what you pay other IT roles to land talent thats critical for protecting data and defending against crippling attacks, he says.

[ Related stories: Dont overlook your biggest security flaw: your talent ]

7. Interact within the cyber security community on their terms

While you want to be involved with sites frequented by cybersecurity professionals, you want to do whatever you can to avoid heavy sales pitches, obvious marketing ploys or gimmicky actions — most IT professionals will see right through you, and you could end up getting blocked from forums or banned from certain sites. Engage with other security pros as a peer or, better yet, enlist security talent you already have to do some outreach. If you can offer a great place to work, autonomy, challenging problems and a decent salary, youll be ahead of the game, says Halstead.

You also can create company videos and virtual job listings; produce webinars highlighting your areas of expertise and your products; give talks at security meetups or participate in cybersecurity conferences — anywhere cybersecurity professionals go, you want to be there, he says.

8. Be patient and get creative

Finally, while the cybersecurity skills crunch is serious, its also a unique opportunity for companies to create fresh recruiting and hiring strategies, Halstead says. Be patient, and get creative. Remember, everyone is competing with one another and struggling to find the right fit from the same pool of available talent. Finding unique ways of getting in front of those people can be challenging, but it can also be energizing and even fun, he says.

Olivia’s Talent Is Strip Tease, But That Doesn’t Mean Anyone Should Shame The ‘Bachelor’ Contestant For It

Proving shes a little bit country, a little bit rock n roll, Olivia lets her wild side show on Mondays new episode of The Bachelor. According to ABC, the erstwhile news anchor steps out of her comfort zone (and a cake) to perform a showgirl-inspired routine at a talent competition held during a group outing in Las Vegas. But while fans will likely have mixed opinions about the performance, slut-shaming Olivias strip-tease talent should be the last thing on everyones mind.

Us Weekly released a sneak-peek of Bachelor episode four on Monday, in which the ladies take part in a competition to be the opening act for Vegas ventriloquist Terry Fators show. (Fator is a former reality show winner, taking home top honors in Americas Got Talent in 2007.) I guess fans will have to wait to see which lady will win that coveted spot, but from the sneak-peek, Im gonna put my money on Olivia.

While I wouldnt exactly call Olivias moves Beyonce-worthy (okay, not anywhere in the realm of Beys dancing prowess), theres a certain awkward charm about her cake dance thats very Vegas. And very entertaining. Her cast mates, however, dont seem to feel the same way. In the same sneak-peek video, contestant Amanda can be seen saying, Im not really sure if jumping out of a cake and kicking your legs is a talent, so Im not really sure what Bens thinking right now. Ouch.

Meanwhile, the Twitterverse is already abuzz, calling her performance cringeworthy (and all sorts of other mean things which I wont repeat.) Thats a terrible response.

Disney’s “Newsies” brings extra, extra talent to PPAC

Original company, North American Tour of NEWSIES. (c)Disney. Photo by Deen van Meer.

By Kim Kalunian, WPRO News

Disney’s “Newsies” will back-flip its way right into your heart. With loads of toe-touching, pirouetting, leaping and even a terrific tap number, this true song-and-dance spectacular is packed with talent, catchy tunes and a heartwarming story.

The Disney film of the same name was a bit of a cult classic back in the early 1990’s. It starred a young Christian Bale as the dashing leading man, Jack Kelly, played in the national tour by Joey Barreiro.

Barreiro has a wonderful voice that marries that classic Disney prince sound with Kelly’s rough-and-tumble, New York grit. It’s with Kelly’s leadership that the newsies – the young boys who scrape together pennies by selling the day’s newspapers – decide to rebel against an increase in the price of their product at the hands of Joseph Pulitzer. But the idea of a newsies union strike comes from the affable, bright-eyed newbie Davey, played by Stephen Michael Langton.

It’s a classic pair in a classic tale: the brains and the brawn team up to (spoiler!) save the day for all.

The plot is all well and good, but the real magic of the show comes from the catchy Alan Menken score and the tremendous production numbers. The gang of Newsies belt their way through numbers like “Seize the Day” and “King of New York” all while deftly leaping, swiftly turning and showing off feats of strength and flexibility that would make any trained ballerina beam with pride. This ensemble of ruffians is the true star of the show, and their immense, combined talent is really something to behold.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Disney musical without a love story, right? Don’t worry. Kelly falls in love with Katherine, a society pages reporter who tries to make a name for herself by reporting on the newsies strike. It’s the kind of romantic arc that goes from chance meeting to nearly-married in just a few days, but it adds to the fun.

The whole show plays out on a massive moving set of twisting steel staircases that allow the show to reach high into the vertical spaces of the PPAC stage.

Overall, if you’re in the mood for a feel-good, family-friendly show with all the trappings of a Disney musical, kick up your heels and head on over to the Providence Performing Arts Center to see the national tour of “Newsies.”

Disney’s “Newsies” runs now through  Oct. 25 at the Providence Performing Arts Center. For tickets and information call 421-ARTS or click here.

Apple Car’s Need for Talent Crushes a Vehicle Startup

Applesefforts to develop a self-driving car have spurred the company to recruit engineering talent from a wide variety of rival tech giants and automakers. But theSilicon Valley giants pursuit of its own autonomous electric vehicle may have also put the nail in the coffin for an electric motorcycle startup.

Mission Motors, asleek motorcyclestartup that had set speed records for electric bikes,filed for bankruptcy last month.The startup had actually ceased operationsin May due to lack of funding and the loss of critical engineering talent,according toReuters.Derek Kaufman, former CEO of Mission Motors, saidApple swooped in to lure away key engineers with electric drive expertise at a time when the startup was attempting to raise a crucial round of funding. The loss of employeesspooked at least one investor who had previously committed and prompted more employees to leave.

Tesla and Harley Davidson also ended up with some ex-employees of Mission Motors. Yet Apple grabbed the most talent by recruiting six engineers from the startup,Reuterssources said. The Mission Motors engineers represented a team with specialized knowledge ofelectric drives, such as software algorithms to manage battery charging and cooling.

The poaching of talent is hardly new in Silicon Valley. Huge tech companies such as Google and Facebook have been acquiring startups to poachengineers and other valuable talent for years. Tech blogs havefrequently described the fate of the smaller companies in those casesas beingacqhired, theNew York Timesobserved in 2011.

Silicon Valleys more recent race to develop advanced electric vehicles and self-driving cars has only intensified the poaching of talent. For example, Apple and Tesla Motors frequently poach engineers from one another. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently sniped at Apple for its poaching predilection during an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt; he suggested Apple only hired the engineers who dont make it at Tesla and were fired.

In the case of Mission Motors, Apple apparently never offered to acqhire the startup wholesale for its talent. Some insiders toldReutersthat the motorcycle startup was already on its last legs when Apple poached the first engineers,an account former CEO Kaufman disagrees with.

Mission Motors may represent one of the moretragicvictims of Silicon Valleys insatiable hunger fortalent, but its notthe only casualty. Battery maker A123 filed a lawsuit against Apple for poaching critical engineering talent earlier this year. In fact, Apples relentless hiringofengineering talent related to electric vehicles and self-driving cars represented one of the first big tipoffs of the Silicon Valley giants bigger intentions.

Some startup employees who end up being poached or acqhired by Silicon Valleys tech giants probably wont complain about thepotentially more lucrativeemployment and opportunity to work on biggerprojects. But thequestion remains as to whether the world has lost out on somenew ideas or innovations whenever each techstartup, hollowed out by loss of employees or acquired purely for the talent on its payroll, ceases to exist.

Chicago’s tech talent often grows away

We have a natural talent drain, said Chicago-based entrepreneur and philanthropist JB Pritzker, managing partner of the investment firm Pritzker Group. We develop a lot of talent in Illinois, and the question is how much do you have available to that talent to absorb them into your economy, and how much of that talent needs to get up and leave because opportunity exists elsewhere?

Pritzker and others say the city historically has lacked sufficient tech-oriented companies, angel investors, experienced entrepreneur mentors and potential customers. If you want to keep entrepreneurs in Chicago, you have to develop all those things, Pritzker said.

Chicagos venture capital support doesnt compare to the Bay Areas and it also lags behind that of Boston; Seattle; San Diego; Austin, Texas; and Washington, DC, as well as New York and Los Angeles. At the same time, Chicago takes a back seat to other cities in terms of finance and media (New York), entertainment (Los Angeles), oil (Houston) and government (Washington).

Chicago really does not have a calling-card industry, said Aaron Renn, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research who moved to New York after spending 20 years in Chicago. Chicago does not have a lot of industries like that where you have to be there.

To be sure, Chicagos broad-based economy has its advantages. The city has avoided the dramatic slumps endured by such manufacturing-heavy Rust Belt cities as Detroit; Cleveland; Buffalo, NY; and Pittsburgh, and its not lacking in world-class figures.

Chicago is known for its envelope-pushing architects, including Jeanne Gang, who oversaw the citys much-honored, wavy Aqua skyscraper. Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless and the late Charlie Trotter have shown that you dont have to leave Chicago to be among the planets most celebrated chefs.

Ramp;B singer Jennifer Hudson and polarizing performer-songwriter R. Kelly remain in Chicago, as does Jeff Tweedys ever-adventurous rock band Wilco though superstar Kanye West hasnt looked back since leaving. Chicago-based indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg has been on a steady rise, even as the area no longer boasts such commercial filmmakers as the late John Hughes and Harold Ramis.

Such marquee names enrich the city in various ways; food enthusiasts fly in from around the world to dine at Achatzs Alinea, for instance. But, as Renn noted, those are not the fields that generate massive surplus tax revenue the way finance and the tech industry do.

So Chicago has been playing catch-up, launching the Pritzker-backed 1871 business incubator in 2012 and supporting other programs, such as the Techstars accelerator and UI Labs. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stressed the importance of luring and developing tech companies; the day after his May second-term inauguration, he spoke of creating a context where the talent wants to come, the (venture capitalists) want to be here.

Some successful startups have stayed, such as Braintree, an online payment facilitator bought by PayPal for about $800 million in 2013, and GrubHub, the popular web-based food-ordering company.

Chicagos most heralded tech company in recent years is Groupon, founded by a Pittsburgh native (Andrew Mason) and two Detroit-area transplants (Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell). Google unsuccessfully tried to buy that e-commerce site for $6 billion in 2010, and Groupon has struggled since its 2011 initial public offering. Lefkofsky and Keywell have remained active in Chicago founding the Lightbank venture capital firm, Chicago Ideas Week and the data-analytics company Uptake while ousted CEO Mason has relocated to the Bay Area.

A common complaint heard among tech folks is that Groupon didnt ultimately spawn a new pool of millionaires to invest in other startups, as Google and Facebook did. I actually think having Groupon associated as the Chicago success thing is probably not good for Chicago, said Kurt Mackey, Floras former business partner who moved to the Bay Area and launched the cloud database service Compose, which IBM bought for an undisclosed sum in July.