The Digital Enterprise Management Society’s August newsletter reported that they now own and operate UTM/TV.
To me, the word “own” evokes images of financial takeovers that involve bidding, stocks, and ludicrous sums of money, like when Google
acquired YouTube in 2006. Or when Facebook bought Instagram last April. Could one group of university students really purchase another?
Both UTM/TV and the DEM Society were created in the span of the last three years. First, in January 2010, UTM/TV became the only platform for independent video production at UTM when it released its first video broadcast. A little over a year later, two students, Mehria Karmizadah and Niwaz Mann, co-founded the DEM Society when they put together a team of managers, designers, developers, and content creators.
That winter, UTM/TV’s board of directors found themselves making a difficult decision: should they dissolve UTM/TV?
Many of the original team members were graduating in the spring. On top of that, their office space had been taken over by Computing Services, leaving what was left of the team with nowhere in which to produce their videos.
The board’s option at that time was to return UTM/TV to the proprietorship of its founder, Andrew Hamilton-Smith.
At the meeting, one of the board members, Eric Madan, made a suggestion. Madan had recently been appointed president and chief operating officer of the DEM Society. He proposed that the DEM Society acquire UTM/TV under its creative development wing.
In the past, the creative development team had focussed their energies on social media and blog-writing, but they also had the video-editing skills and the creative knowledge to manage a video broadcasting outlet like UTM/TV, Madan said. So why let it die?
When the votes came in, the board had approved Madan’s proposal. Madan appointed Mobolade Ekujumi and Ayman Shams, two former DEM Society members, the new creative directors of the reformed UTM/TV.
But the interesting question about the acquisition was the fate of UTM/TV’s content. How would the new leadership change the content? Or would the content change at all?
According to Ekujumi and Madan, a shift in content should be expected. In the past, Madan said, UTM/TV would have covered a campus event like Unity Through Diversity Week by attending the event and taking footage there, perhaps covering student interaction and interviewing attendees and hosts. This year, UTM/TV plans to create more content of its own that resembles promotional material more than it does news coverage. For example, for Unity Through Diversity, the team would come together to produce a creative video before the event, in the hope that it would build excitement.
The new content will also be shorter, said Ekujumi. The tradeoff is that the content will be more professionally edited.
Ekujumi also talked about introducing more comedy through student skits.
Undoubtedly, the fact that the DEM Society’s creative team are running it means their interests will also influence the content selection. For example, the team plans to use UTM/TV to advertise the DEM Society’s Young Entrepreneurs Challenge, a networking conference the team plans to host in 2013.