John de Mol, founder of Netherlands-based media companies Endemol and Talpa Media, believes ‘TV will never disappear’. On Friday, De Mol was interviewed by journalists Jeppe van Aubel and Lauren Heeremans for the UvA’s student interview platform, Room for Discussion.
‘In two years time, you’ll be watching the shows I’m developing right now,’ said De Mol. While he concedes future generations may not watch as much tv as previously, De Mol is convinced it will remain relevant. ‘When you’ve got two kids and a mortgage, I’m sure you’ll enjoy sitting in front of the tv at night.’
When Van Aubel asked whether De Mol enjoys unlimited power as a media tycoon, he brushed the thought away. ‘It’s the audience who has all the power. Viewer ratings are my score card.’ Asked about whether he ever thought his business would fail he said, ‘I've never faced bankruptcy.’ Nor, he says, does he think he’ll ever suffer from a burnout. ‘I know what I’m doing, and I keep control over everything.’
De Mol also told the audience about his dreams: a fourth (or fifth) Emmy Award and another international success show like Big Brother or The Voice. Does he have any political ambitions? Not really. ‘Politics in the Netherlands is about making concessions. I’m not very good at that.’