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Barry Johnstone

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Barry Johnstone - Chairman EMG UK / Founder CTV Outside Broadcasts

Barry Johnstone was born and educated in Christchurch, New Zealand where he was an entertainer and ventriloquist in the 1960s.  He was an enterpreneur and promoted local music at both The Mecca Nitespot and The Scene, where he oversaw the rise of several very significant local bands.  Barry moved to London in 1970 - then from 1971 to 1980 he was International Director at Magnet Records.  In 1980 he co-founded a small post-production facility which was acquired by Carlton Communications and rebranded Carlton Television Facilities.  In 1981, Barry was appointed CEO of Corinthian Television or CTV and broadened its services in the mid 1980's to include Studios, Outside Broadcasting and Transmission/Playout.  In 1995 Barry bought back CTV from its parent company and in 1996 he renamed the outside broadcast division CTV Outside Broadcasts.  In January 2018, after 37 years as the head of CTV, he became Chairman of EMG's UK companies CTV, BRF and ACS and stepped down as CEO of CTV.  He was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2013 and in 2018 received SVG Europe's award for Outstanding Contribution to European Sports Broadcasting.  Over the course of his carrerr, Barry has had just three jobs.  After a 10-year stint in the record business, the perennial salesman has spent 33 years as Managing Director of CTV Outside Broadcasts, one of Europe's leading mobile-production-truck providers.  Since beginning work at age 15, Barry has had some remarkable adventures, but OB trucks have long been his love and have kept him focused throughout his three decades at CTV.

 
   

   
 

Since the 1980s, he has been a mainstay in sports and music production in Europe and has also developed a reputation among US, and world broadcasters as someone who can be relied on year-after-year.  For example, for 25 years, CTV OB has played a key role in helping ABC Sports and ESPN deliver the British Open to viewers, and during the London Olympics, CTV OB was at the center of the TV production of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, one of the most complex ceremony productions ever.  Barry has been making companies interesting since the mid 1980s, when he was working for Carlton in the UK.  Tasked with developing Carlton's mobile-production-unit business, he soon found that mobile units were to become the love of his life.  He got the opportunity to join a group of people that wanted to build a mobile-edit suite, which was quite unique.  One-inch tape machines had just been introduced into England, and it was decided that, if these machines were purchased and put into a truck, it would be possible to go around to all the network television stations and edit 10 times faster on 1-inch as opposed to what they previously did on 2-inch.

 
   
 

As Carlton grew, opportunity again knocked, and Carlton agreed to sell Barry their editing studio and post-production assets but not the OB vans, so, when he started his new company - Corinthian Television (CTV) in 1995, he had an enterprise with post-production and a studio, but no mobile-production units, but within a year, that all changed and Barry's life changed with it.  Success at the Open 25 years ago created a domino effect that made CTV OB the primary force in golf coverage in Europe.  In 1990, the company took over technical facilities for the Senior Open, another TWI event, and then, in 1992, European Tour Productions was launched as a joint venture between the European Tour and TWI.  CTV OB was again involved in a major European golf production and, in 1997, was awarded a five-year contract for ETP, allowing a fleet of OB units to be built specifically for golf coverage.

 
   
 

Over the years, CTV OB has accomplished many impressive technical feats as part of its technical contract for the Open.  Going all digital, all HD, and expanding the coverage to fully unilateral production are just a few of the notable milestones, but Barry says Open-related accomplishments stand out as ESPN's facility expanded to the point where it needed to be housed in large cabins.  Barry points out how far his ventures have come since the launch as they have moved away from trucks and into a purpose-built environment - it would have been hard to imagine in 1988 that his truck and support vehicle would fit inside the production facility we have now built.