Host: Yang Lan is chairwoman of Sun Media Group, which has other businesses in media, online and more. I am very pleased to have her here at this table for the first time. Welcome.

Yang Lan: Thanks you, Charlie. Thank you for having me.

Host: Tell me how this started for you.

Yang Lan: It all started exactly 20 years ago, when I was graduating from college. At that time, the national television had its first open audition, for college graduates for its prime time variety show, called Zheng Da Variety Show. That was a show to introduce sightseeing around the world to the Chinese audience, who at that time, 99% of our population, didn't even have a passport. So it was a brand new exposure to the outside world, when China was opening up.

Host: Have you thought about that kind of career before that?

Yang Lan: No, not at all. My major in college was English literature and language in Beijing Foreign Studies University. When I was offered this opportunity, out of curiosity, I went, as well as another 1,000 girls. After rounds of auditions, I believe, it's after 7 rounds of auditions; I became the last one who survived it. So it gave me a really good start into broadcasting television. And the first show I hosted was a prime-time nation-wide show, which had an audience of 200 million every week. I did it for four years. That really gave me a pretty good start in the career.

主持人:这些数字让人惊叹。从美国电视的角度来说。中国的农业部长访问华盛顿的时候,我曾在这里采访他 当时肯尼迪中心正举办中国节,他们问我是否可以在中国播放这个节目。我在采访中说当然可以了。他们说,你会有机会被3亿观众看到,这个人数比我看到过的或一辈子在任何场合中遇到过的都要多。
Host: It's stunning to hear those numbers. From an American television perspective. I once did an interview with the Minister of Culture from China here. It was in Washington, where they had held a Chinese festival at the Kennedy Center. So they asked me: Could they re-broadcast it in China? I said of course at the interview. They said you probably would reach 300 million people, which was more people than I have ever seen or anything I have done in my entire life.

Yang Lan: But we have 1.3 billion.

Host: So then you began to…

Yang Lan: And then I quit my job to come to the States for a post-graduate study at Columbia University of New York, where I studied International Affairs. Upon graduation, I went back to Hong Kong to join Phoenix TV, the mandarin channel of Star TV Network. I started to produce my own show, Yan Lan 1-on-1, which was the first ever in-depth 1-on-1 interview show on Chinese television. I have been doing that, for, plus the days at Phoenix TV, 12 years. So over this time, I have interviewed more than 600 movers and shakers around the world. And many of them have been your guests too.

Host: Where did this entrepreneurial spirit that you have come from? The fact that you have not just had a career, but you also have engaged in creating businesses and enterprises along with your husband.

杨澜:嗯,那是10年前,2000年。我们一起创立了阳光媒体,在大中华地区的第一个卫星纪录片频道。因为那时候,我非常沉迷纪录片。我想这些能深度记录文化、历史和人文的片子会有持久的价值。但那一次尝试失败了。坚持了四年 原因是生意模式不可持续。因为我们设在香港,然而当时国内的落地证很少,所以频道没法拿到更多的广告费支持。
Yang Lan: Well, that was 10 years ago, the year of 2000. We co-founded Sun TV, which was the first satellite documentary channel for the greater China area. Because at that time, I was so obsessed with documentary. I think they have lasting values, give in-depth look into culture and history and people. But then that business had a flop. In four years' time, because the business model was not sustainable. The fact was we were positioned in Hong Kong, but then we had limited landing right into the mainland, which didn't give it enough advertising revenue basis.

Host: I think Rupert Murdoch at once was invested in the Phoenix Television, was he not?

Yang Lan: Yes, I think he is still part of the shareholders. So we sold the channel. We started to build multi-media integration into different aspects of the media. Television, website, and then big events, so on so forth.