MADRID– Isabel Raventos is a contradiction in terms: a top femme exec in the Spanish TV industry. Recent examples could fit — legally — into a taxi.
Raventos, who heads up international and development at Endemol’s Spanish production and sales operation Gestmusic Endemol, is about to launch a full-scale overseas offensive.
Spain’s international TV presence started heating up in the ’90s when the biz expanded from straight program deals to format sales. The future, says Raventos, lies in production, which plays to Gestmusic’s core strength.
Gestmusic already has inked an output deal with high-flying Portuguese broadcaster SIC to produce three shows per season in 2001 and 2002. One is Gestmusic’s trash-glam yakker “Cronicas Marcianas,” another, “Those Crazy Little Ones,” is a talkshow fronted by preteens.
Raventos has an air of innocence, fruit of an easygoing charm. But she sports a formidable resume, including a master’s degree from the Harvard Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a stint as right-hand woman to Ramon Colom, director of pubcaster RTVE.
She’ll need all these qualities for Gestmusic’s immediate goals: program production for America’s Spanish-speaking nets; production coordination with Endemol’s offices in Latin America; producing specials for Mexico, Argentina and the U.S; a Mexican version of “Marcianas”; and Spain’s first production for Asia, “Century of Songs,” a co-production for Vietnam’s VTV that is set to air in spring.
“Entering such a market is a qualitative leap, a historical watershed,” Raventos says.