I have shut down Michigan Avenue for a flash-mob; I have coordinated the largest two day event the United Center has ever seen; I have helped launch nationwide and lifesaving campaigns; and I have contributed to the production of some of the most inspiring shows on television. My name is Seth Zimmerman, and I am the Senior Research Coordinator for Harpo Studios.
I have more than 10 years of experience working in the entertainment industry, from booking concerts to writing and producing live shows at The Second City. The majority of my experience comes from my seven years spent with Harpo Studios. For five years I worked on research, development and production for the most powerful and successful show on television, The Oprah Winfrey Show. My primary responsibility was to take a nugget of an idea and help the producer develop it into an entire hour long episode. Shows were always produced on a tight deadline and required that I take on many of the responsibilities of a producer and associate producer.
For the past two years, I have spearheaded the research for the development and production of all the programming coming out of Harpo in Chicago. Last year there were more than a dozen different shows in production, each with their own unique set of needs and deadlines. It’s a job that requires many long nights where teamwork is absolutely necessary, and that is a setting where I have always thrived.
After five successful years at The Oprah Winfrey Show, I was asked to stay on with Harpo Studios to help create new content for the Oprah Winfrey Network and other digital initiatives for the company. Many of my old responsibilities – including managing a team of research coordinators – have carried through into my current position.
As the Senior Research Coordinator, I have not only been involved in the production of specific show episodes, but in the development of entire marketing campaigns. For Oprah’s Book Club and Oprah’s No Phone Zone, I met regularly with both the Marketing and Development teams to create inspiring and viral promotional campaigns from the ground up. To promote the final three episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show, I helped coordinate our social media promotions via Twitter and Facebook in addition to our first of many webcasts.
On top of my own production assignments, I am responsible for training and mentoring a team of junior researchers. It takes a highly organized mindset with exceptional communication skills to handle the pressure of working on multiple tight deadlines, and it is my responsibility to prepare them for the pace of our production schedule.
I am skilled in a variety of Microsoft Office and Google programs that are necessary to make an office run efficiently in addition to Lexis Nexis Due Diligence Dashboard, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, DT Search, Dalet, Dayport and the Oprah.com Plugger systems. I helped develop a new database used by Harpo Studios called User Communications that allows for the categorizing of our viewer emails. The User Communications database is now instrumental in finding specific topic-based emails from Oprah Show viewers.
I have been in the industry since 2001.