Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

World Congress: Five Big Takeaways by Dan Salerno

Dan Salerno shared his big Takeaways from the World Congress of Science & Factual Producers (WCSFP) which just wrapped in Seattle.

Dan co-produced the famous What’s the Buzz session (covered in our post here).

Here are his Takeaways:


  • 2023 was tough everywhere.
  • On panels and in meetings, stories of budget and commissioning cuts were ever present.
  • The impact on producers’ development activities are the most visible aspect.
  • Concerns about contraction in the broadcast and production sectors are on everyone’s minds.


  • And yet, there are opportunities.
  • Panel conversations highlighted the need for producers expand their target pitching platforms.
  • From YouTube to social media, and AVOD/FAST to sponsor driven funding, new paths are being forged for the future.


  • The European public broadcasters, particularly in France and Germany, remain a safe haven for independent production concepts.
  • One French indie eloquently spoke of being grateful for the support he receives in his home territory and his wish that others in the global marketplace could have the same opportunity.


  • With full disclosure of my role as co-producer of the annual What’s the Buzz opening session, along with Tom Brisley and Nathan Spencer of Arrow Media, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
  • The session widened the lens on programs of note to include popular factual, social media, sports and more, as well as highlighting some of this year’s trends and thoughts for 2024.
  • With over 500 attendees in the audience, the session featured content from a dozen countries and more than 40 broadcast platforms.


  • Our business remains one in which relationships and in-person meetings are the foundation of the future.
  • Scheduled meetings, random contacts, and conference coffees and events all offer the opportunity for something to happen.
  • Repeating our commentary on the value of conferences and markets, the value of serendipity simply cannot be overestimated.

Dan Salerno
Veteran programming executive for Discovery, Nat Geo, BBC and other industry leaders, Dan is a senior consultant serving global platforms, networks and producers. Contact Dan at [email protected].


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