Ch. 11 hires a licensing pro for new stock footage licensing department

Recognizing the revenue potential from licensing content assets from its immense 50-year old library, Ch. 11 hired licensing expert Barry O’Connell and formed a new department exclusively for stock footage sales.

O’Connell, manager of licensing and business development for the new WTTW11 Broadcast Archives, was initially brought in to clear music rights for the station’s syndicated “Soundstage” HD music shows.

His background includes 10 years in music licensing, with stints with in L.A. with EMI Capital Special Markets and in Chicago with now-defunct Platinum Entertainment. “Soundstage” music producer Joe Thomas ran Platinum’s River North Recording for a decade.

The “Soundstage” assignment that brought O’Connell to Ch. 11 has “rolled into new opportunities for licensing content, which includes footage from programs, stills and programs for syndication,” said O’Connell.

Before his arrival, sales activities for bBefore his arrival, footage sales were scattered through different Ch. 11 departments. The station sees stock footage sales as a profit center and has committed to putting a major emphasis on the new department.

So far O’Connell has licensed “a good amount of footage” from the original “Soundstage” series of the ?70s to “VHI: Behind the Music,” and to “E True Hollywood stories.”

“We have a lot of potential for sales in music shows alone,” O’Connell noted. “We have two seasons of 13-episodes each of ?Soundstage,’ eight years of the earlier ?Soundstage,’ and four years of the original ?Centerstage,'” he said.

“This is not to understate hundreds of hours of Chicago-subject footage, documentaries and programming with an incredible of subject matter,” he said.

O’Connell’s work is cut out for him. A central, online searchable database has to be created from the many databases in the Ch. 11 library, and records from each show have to be pulled into the system.

This summer, college interns will be hired as archivists to work on the database that O’Connell estimates will be fully functional within a year.

O’Connell’s phone is 773/509-5410. See archives.