Nicolas Portnoy, a 2016 graduate of the Media Ventures program, has recently joined RTL City, the new, recently opened Corporate Center of RTL Group. A media conglomerate based in Luxemburg, RTL Group owns stakes in 56 TV channels and 31 radio stations across Europe, reaching audiences around the world.
Being the son of a Belgian independent TV producer, Nicolas grew up with a passion for television, media and the audiovisual world. He produced his first series of video reports at the age of 12 and, together with his sister and friend, founded a production company of their own. At age 15, he produced his first multi-camera broadcast while studying at the European School of Brussels.
Nicolas moved on to do a Master’s degree in Business Engineering at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. His Master’s thesis, titled “Disruptions in the value chain of the audiovisuals: how a television channel can create and capture value” explored the impact that the internet and online platforms have had on the television industry’s chain of value, from content producers to content consumers. The thesis won Nicolas a ‘Prix du Mémoire’ award from Belgium’s Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA) in May 2017.
“Then I decided to follow my passion for media and TV in particular by going to BU,” Nicolas said. “In fact, the Media Ventures Master’s was an amazing opportunity to combine media, tech, innovation and business. Moreover, the bi-coastal aspect of the program, including two internships in Los Angeles, was a key trigger.”
During his time at BU, Nicolas volunteered to work at BUTV10, the university’s TV channel, where he worked as assistant director on Good Morning BU and on the 2016 election night (The Vote 2016). He spent the spring and summer semesters in Los Angeles, where he did internships at the Israeli production company Keshet International and at the RTL Group owned production and distribution company FremantleMedia. “Both opened my eyes to the global business of television and strongly developed my network,” Nicolas says.
At RTL Belgium, Nicolas recently completed a 10-week rotation at the Strategy department of RTL Group’s headquarters in Luxembourg. Now, he is spending a week at M6 Publicité in Paris, the sales house of Groupe M6, part of RTL Group, and his next stop will be a two-week rotation at the Programming, Production and Development departments of Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland in Cologne, Germany.
Working at RTL Group, Nicolas expects to further expand his network and enrich his professional experience, deepening his knowledge of different European TV markets. “What strikes me most here is the incredibly international context. It’s impressive to be able to immerse yourself in the group strategy of such an important player, moreover surrounded by such brilliant people,” said Nicolas.