Taylor Thoen reflects on 25 years of running Surrey-based BTV-Business Television

The half-hour weekly program is Canada's longest running business TV show.

The half-hour weekly program is Canada’s longest running business TV show

Taylor Thoen was a serial entrepreneur who was involved in founding companies from the age of 19. But slowing down might have led to the best possible outcome.

When she took time off from her various ventures to go on maternity leave, a friend asked her to help run a TV production company focused on entrepreneurs. That specific company didn’t last very long, but it introduced Thoen to what she thought was a fun industry.

“I sensed the gaps, took what I learned from that experience and created a TV show with the team that was left without employment,” says Thoen over a Zoom call. “I tweaked it to focus on business, met with the national programming director for Global and pitched him on a new show called BTV-Business Television. It sounds like it was too easy, but that’s what happened.”

At first, the half-hour show focused primarily on businesses in Canada, but it morphed into profiling publicly traded companies on the stock market and eventually moved to BNN Bloomberg.

“We’re really a digital marketing agency,” says Thoen, explaining that the legacy show is just one of the company’s offerings. It also has a CEO Clips brand which features one-minute interviews with executives. “If you watch Bloomberg, 40 to 60 percent of ads during market hours are our clients. The TV show represents about 20 percent of our revenue. We’ve continued to evolve and grow and add things.”

In her 25 years of running the company, Thoen has seen more than a few trends come and go as investors were keen to capitalize on the next big thing. “I’ve been around so long that I remember the dot com boom,” she says. “If you were a mining company you changed your name to ‘mining company dot com.’ A few years ago it was cannabis; everybody and their grandparents were going to be smoking cannabis. Then it was blockchain, which became cryptocurrency. The markets just follow these trends.”

What’s next? It might already be here. “[AI] is a really big one,” Thoen says. “ChatGPT came on with a storm. What is it now, 200 million subscribers? Wherever the money is pouring into, that becomes the trend.”

And you can bet that Thoen will keep moving with them too.