As if supporting one of Charter’s largest management areas in the West Region (1.25 million customers and 1200 employees) wasn’t enough, Bakare goes above and beyond outside the office. He was recently appointed as a Trustee of the University of California Riverside Foundation, was just named to the Southern California Minority Supplier Development Council’s board and is a founder of the Tilga Scholarships, which has provided 24 scholarships and counting to help minority students complete their collegiate education. His advice to those just starting out: “Being open to change and willing to move as opportunities arise give people who are new to the industry greater exposure and a higher career projection.”
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?
Although our industry has made significant progress on diversity in recent years, the report shows that we still have a way to go in creating a truly inclusive culture. I am hopeful that the success of films like Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians will motivate studios in Hollywood to take more risks and fund more projects by people of color.
What’s a recent example of a step forward for diversity in the industry?
The release of films including Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians are a big step forward for diversity in Hollywood. They can help destroy the myth that movies with diverse casts or leads don’t do well internationally.
What’s your best advice to someone just entering the video content/distribution industry?
This is a very exciting industry for anyone who thrives in a changing environment. As a distributor, we are constantly creating new experiences for our customers and anticipating how they would best like to consume the content we distribute. Being open to change and willing to move as opportunities arise give people who are new to the industry greater exposure and a higher career projection.
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
The emergence of OTT (Over the Top) IP video providers has dramatically changed the video distribution landscape by providing consumers with a myriad of options for viewing content. At Charter, we now offer Spectrum Stream, our IPTV video product that allows customers to access their video subscriptions without having to rent or purchase a cable box. Our new Spectrum Guide also allows us to integrate Netflix as an app into the Guide and provide a seamless search capability to our customers across linear channels, on demand and Netflix.