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An integral TV professional

With 43 years in the industry, the founder of Teleservicios is witness to the development and evolution of the television industry in Colombia. 

Richard Santa

Pedro López has been an innovator in television since the beginning of his professional life. That vocation has led him to belong to different areas within the industry that have allowed him to know in detail how it works in Colombia and participate in programs and companies that have marked the history of the medium in the country.

His connection to the industry occurred almost by chance. At the age of 19, when he was leaving school, he was going to wait for his friend Jaime Grisales at the reception of Colombiana de Televisión. He recalled that one day the manager of the programmer, so much to see him at the reception, said "put work to that boy so that he stops wasting time" and the next day he entered the production area.

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"This is how I alternate my studies at night with my work at Colombiana de Televisión, a company in which I worked for eight years as head of production, production manager and closing the cycle as assistant manager. During this period we managed to turn Colombiana de Televisión from being a small company to being the third programmer in the country," he said. 

After his work as a producer, he seeks to gain experience in sales to be a more integral professional and relate directly to the business environment. Therefore, he accepts to be a seller of Cenpro Television, with a fundamental challenge: to open a market in Medellín. He was also part of the commercial area in the National News and amd TV, which had the broadcasting rights of the program Los Picapiedra.

A lesson in humanity
In his 43 years of experience in the television industry in Colombia, Pedro López participated in different companies. In the 90s he was a founding partner of Producciones TVcine. Later he coordinated the special sports projects Cromavision, a leading company in the transmission of sporting events between 1989 and 1992 and at this time he was also a partner in the Universal Television Programmer, managing projects such as "I know who knows what you do not know" and "Universal Supercine". 

Another of the outstanding projects of his professional career was to found "Ritmo TV", the first satellite channel. He also created the Play TV strip, with which they saved the regional channel TEVEAndina from bankruptcy. Other successful projects he managed were the development of the K and Kmusic channels for Cablecentro.

Of all the projects in which Pedro López has participated, there is one broadcast that he will never forget. It was during the program "Things in black and white", in which there was a strong and heated political debate between two great contradictors who, even at the time of the broadcast, could be considered "political enemies". 

"It was a face-to-face between Alfonso López Michelsen and Álvaro Gómez Hurtado, it ended to the surprise of all of us who were in the studio in a hug of both that was out of camera. And as if that were not enough, they went out together to have lunch at the Gran Batel restaurant, a renowned place in the capital. That day I understood that you can have great differences in ideas, but this does not mean that you can not share a table and food. For me, it meant a lesson in humanity."

Teleservices arrives
After passing through different companies, in 1993 our Professional founded Teleservicios, a company specialized in bringing audiovisual equipment and new technologies to Colombia. To this end he brought the first non-linear editing system (AVID 8000), which operated on a MAC platform. 

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Parallel to other projects, he continued to do business in the audiovisual industry with Teleservicios. In 2012, this company focuses on the Rental business, on the rental of audiovisual equipment to production companies, television channels, advertising agencies, among other companies in the industry. 

Today Teleservicios has evolved from a family business to a reference company in the audiovisual sector, but keeping family members on staff. His son, Sebastián, is the Technology and Innovation Manager and his son-in-law, Andrés Rojas, is the General Manager of the company.

Commitment to the growth of the industry
The founder of Teleservicios loves technology and being a pioneer in bringing equipment, infrastructure and new technologies to Colombia. For example, he brought to the country the first XL1 cameras or the first DVCPRO equipment from Panasonic. "Both in Teleservices and in my personal life I like to go one step ahead and have innovation in my hands. That has made it easier for me to adapt to changes and quickly incorporate technology into my life and into the company."

In that sense, Teleservicios makes annual quotes for various audiovisual projects for USD $4 million only in the rental business, that is, equipment rental. Therefore, in recent years they have made large investments in infrastructure and technology. Parallel to these investments, they are inviting various investors inside and outside Colombia to develop new lines of business; identifying great opportunities and also the interest of investors to place their resources in the Latin American industry.

"We have a great commitment to contribute to the growth and development of the audiovisual industry in Colombia. The conditions are given, there is a great Colombian talent and the interest of investors. Our purpose is to put Colombian talent in the eyes of the world," he said.

On the future of the industry, he pointed out that television and in general, the audiovisual industry, has been transformed very rapidly and like all industries is challenged by the "digital boom". New formats, new technology, new business models, new creative processes, everything is influenced by the "digital". 

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"That's why companies need to continuously reinvent themselves, be in the trends, adapt to changes and take on new challenges. A company today of any industry but especially of the audiovisual segment, must have the flexibility and mobility of a school of fish, otherwise you become a museum piece".

Family and work, their passions
Although Pedro López was born in the municipality of Honda, Tolima, at the age of two the family moved to live in the city of Pereira. After finishing school, at the age of 18 he decided to go to Bogotá to develop his professional career and work. His life has always revolved around his work and, above all, his family. 

"The two great passions of my life have been my family and my work. Just this year we celebrated 40 years of marriage to my wife. We have two children: Sebastián who has followed in my footsteps in the audiovisual industry studying Film and Television Production at Full Sail and a master's degree in Spain. He was the first professional AVID editor in Colombia at the age of 16. My daughter is a lawyer from the Universidad de los Andes with a specialization from the Universidad del Rosario and an MBA. Viviana, who currently leads the legal area of P&G, is the person who guides me in legal matters. My two children have given me 3 wonderful grandchildren, with whom we share, play and have fun every weekend," he said.

He said he likes to maintain an active and healthy life. For this he usually walks a lot, jogs and swims. For example, once a week he climbs the Cerro de Monserrate in Bogotá. In addition, he is a loyal fan of Atlético Nacional, Tito Nieves, Héctor Lavoe and Grupo Niche. He also combines the usual activities of work with the game of Sudoku, because he likes to always have an active and exercised mind. "With sport I exercise the body and with the game of Sudoku, the mind."

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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