Juan Otero

Otero oversees the strategy and implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives across Comcast NBCU in five focus areas: governance, workforce, procurement, programming and community impact. He’s a big believer in working internally and with third-parties to evolve and authenticate the company’s efforts. His best advice for someone entering the industry? “Accept nothing as status quo and be nimble. Rigid flexibility and being a continuous learner are the keys to success. It’s also important to figure out what you’re passionate about. If you’re a continuous learner, and you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll never become stagnant in terms of your brain power.”

A February 2018 UCLA study revealed that of the 45 new scripted shows approved for 2017-18 across broadcast, cable and digital platforms, only four were from creators of color, all of whom were black. What is your reaction to this report?
At Comcast NBCUniversal, we are always challenging ourselves to do better. These types of reports help us all collectively reflect not only on the moral imperative of being more diverse and inclusive, but on the business priority of ensuring that we reach all of the audiences we serve. The changing demographics of the nation need to be factored into all of our business decisions. Comcast NBCUniversal’s numerous talent development programs are great examples of our efforts to step up our game in changing the current state for talent in front of and behind the camera, including the Diverse Staff Writer Initiative, Director Fellowship Program, and the Late-Night Writers Workshop.

What’s your best advice to someone just entering the video content/distribution industry?
Accept nothing as status quo and be nimble. In my 11 years in the telecom/tech/media sectors I have seen the revision of these sectors numerous times, and each time, I have had to recognize that the current state of the industry is at best a temporary moment that will have to be revisited over and over again. Rigid flexibility and being a continuous learner are the keys to success. It’s also important to figure out what you’re passionate about. If you’re a continuous learner, and you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll never become stagnant in terms of your brain power.

What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
The explosion of online programing, the changing viewing habits by different age groups, and the colliding business models are few that come to mind. And while, these seem dramatic, they are part of a larger narrative that drives the industry – change is constant and positive if we use it to drive results.

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