Vice President of Music and Production
FOX Broadcasting Company
Listen to "Mamie on Hip-Hop Music on TV" below.
This month’s installment of "Amplified" is about women of color conquering the entertainment corporate sector. Each sharing their own unique and inspirational words of challenge.
She knows all about the successful union of music and television, and she knows it well enough to call "all the shots".
As FOX Broadcasting Vice President of Music and Production, Mamie, not only possesses an extensive musical lexicon, she is also cognizant of its impressions, its message, and its impact in the programs in which they are placed.
In turn, the right musical selection in a scene or television spot helps to convey a positive emotional response to the viewer. The right emotions pique interest, which is paramount to the overall success of a well marketed on-air promotion.
Mamie is responsible for managing the creative production on the promotional marketing campaigns for FOX television series, specials and live event programming.
Think about all the hits shows on FOX; American Idol, 24, Prison Break, FOX Sports, House, The Simpsons, The OC, Family Guy, and others.
What they all have in common are creative writers, excellent talent, directors, savvy technicians and the leadership of Mamie Coleman.
The Flow would be inclined to say that our readers watch at least one show on FOX since it is the highest-rated broadcast network among young adults.
Mamie not only creates the "sound" of FOX, she is the "sound" itself, based on her bold decision making, tactical maneuvering and eclectic musical expertise.
She works closely with the TV show execs, production companies, major record labels, recording artists and agents to secure talent and acquiring production materials for FOX award-winning on-air promotion campaigns.
More importantly, Mamie Coleman is a maverick and a trailblazer: an innovator.
The California State University Northridge alum and Radio, Television and Film major, started as a Junior On-Air Radio Producer for FOX Broadcasting Company.
From there she became an assistant to Executive Producers,Martin Lawrence and Sammart Williams at the Martin show. She was later appointed as Manager of Production and kept on grinding toward her current position.
Mamie Coleman takes time out of her extremely busy schedule to talk to The Flow.
TFM: As one of the few women of color who are executives at a major television network, how does it feel to be a trailblazer in your craft and an inspiration to others?
MAMIE: Honestly, I never thought of myself as doing anything but my job and trying to be the best at it, so it’s an honor to be considered a trailblazer at a major network. Being one of a few[young] black female executives at FOX, I feel proud when I drive on the lot and attend meetings having something to bring to the table knowing that I’m representing women and people of color. That’s an honor and it feels great!
TFM: How did you personally become involved with FOX Broadcasting and what is your background in the industry?
MAMIE: I was attending California State University Northridge majoring in Radio, Television and Film. During my spring semester break I thought it would be good to visit Atlanta and New York to check out their music scene. You remember, Jack the Rapper? (Music Conference).
TFM: Of course!
MAMIE: I started going because I was really interested in music and it turned out to be very rewarding on a couple of levels and a great place to network. One year while traveling from Atlanta to New York I ran into a couple of producers I had met at Jack the Rapper and ended up at Yo’ MTV Raps.
In the audience was the head of FOX On-Air Promotions. We met and hit it off immediately and continued to keep in touch through my spring break. When we returned (home) to Los Angeles she basically hired me on as an intern, which was cool because at that time there weren’t that many interns that were of color at FOX. I felt I was just handed a huge opportunity by a[black] female executive who saw something in me worth investing in and hired me on at FOX. At that time there were several black shows on FOX like Martin, In Living Color and Living Single,making FOX one of the trailblazers in broadcasting black hit shows. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of television and produce. However, I had to do it I was determined that I was going to do it.
MAMIE: I finished up my first year of internship with FOX and learned a lot about music and promotions and just dealing with producers on a day to day basis. Then ironically, one of the producers I met and worked for at Yo’ MTV Raps was one of the lead producers on The Martin Show. Which says you never know when networking will pay off, whether it’s just fooling around at Jack the Rapper, or simply trying to make the right connections…it WILL pay off!
While working on Martin I cajoled my way into getting an interview for a writer’s assistant position. I got the job and I worked very hard and was then offered a position as an assistant to the show’s Executive producer Sammart Williams and as stand-in for Tisha Campbell. After the Martin show ended, I ironically got a call from FOX for an opening in the same department I interned in and was soon promoted to a manager position, then director, to my current position, as Vice President of Music and Production.
TFM: Wow! That’s quite a story.
MAMIE: It’s been an interesting road. In my experience the problem is that a lot of people want to start out at the top and you can’t do that in this business. You have to pay your dues by starting from the ground and working your way up. You have to establish relationships with assistants, managers, and different people and remain humble. This is the mistake we as [black]people make by not being humble. Not giving back and not networking.
TFM: What does a normal day for you consist of and how do you go about keeping the music content on each on show fresh and current?
MAMIE: My day usually starts around 8:30-9:00AM making contact with east coast music labels and et al music issues. By10:00AM, I’m heading into my first daily meeting with our producing staff to review our on-air reels. I’m in charge of music and making sure that the content is legally set for broadcast standards to air on our network and our affiliate stations. We adjourn and my fun begins depending on the marketing campaign, which can consist of everything from In-house trailers, the Internet (Myspace, Yahoo), Radio and On-Air promotions.
My staff and I are considered the nucleus of the whole marketing team. We have a lot of departments that depend on us for legal advice, research and other media clearances. I’m on iTunes most nights until 2:00AM, reviewing Pop, Rock and Hip-Hop, listening to all genres is the ONLY way to stay on top of what’s fresh, new and trendy.
TFM: What are you most proud of regarding your career?
MAMIE: I’m most proud of the fact that I am one of a few minority females executive in the business. I’m proud of my hard work paying off in 2003 when I won The Rupert Murdoch Global Excellence Award. That was like the height of my career being recognized as an outstanding employees at FOX, which is to say I must be doing something right.
TFM: What advice can you give women and minorities in their quest to follow in your footsteps in television?
MAMIE: I would honestly say to keep it real, remember where you come from. Always be professional, maintaining humility and you will go far in this business. Network, network and network! Don’t allow anyone to detour or discourage you from what you want to do in the TV or a music industry. Be committed and take bold steps in whatever it is you are trying to achieve. Keep pushing, although one person doesn’t like it somebody else will. Communicate with people, whether they’re Black, White or Latino. You have to keep the communications lines open and network, albeit via internet, events, face-to-face interactions. We have to stop hating on one another and help each other to grow in our craft. A simple hello at a music conference opened up a world of opportunities for me here at FOX.
Stop expecting to get something [before] you pay your dues. Stop thinking you’re above everyone because you have a degree or you know several people in the entertainment business. Humility is the key that opens doors. Women and minorities join organizations….give back. Be a mentor. Don’t allow anyone to detour or discourage you from what you want do in TV or the music industry.