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Enrique Jara set the stage for RTV's success

I worked for Enrique, while media marketing manager in London, for two years (1992-94). I knew he was being called to the rescue of Reuters TV by then-CEO and longtime friend Peter Job. Enrique would have preferred to retire to his farm in Uruguay after a long and successful career building Reuters brand and business in Latin America. He conveyed that preference to me and many others working at Reuters in London. But he felt it was his duty to help the company he loved and show loyalty to a friend in need.

Enrique was careful with the company’s money, which is why his expertise was needed with Reuters Television. As the new global MD of RTV, Enrique quickly put an end to its deceptive accounting practice of “internal charging” where different business divisions charged other units for services rendered. The practice made each division within RTV look profitable, Enrique told me, but then he learned to his dismay that when all divisions were prohibited from charging each other, the company as a whole was in a hole!

“You know, Jim,” he said early on in his assignment at the television news agency, “when you see money flying out the window, the best way to stop that is to put bricks in the window,” while gesturing like a brick mason filling in an open space. By the time Enrique was finally allowed to retire to his beloved farm, RTV was in a strong financial position - setting the stage for it to achieve and maintain its global leadership in video news coverage. ■