Careers in Broadcasting – Television

Engineering

Chief Engineer: Head of the technical staff, the chief engineer oversees all technical operations at the station, maintaining physical facilities and equipment. Typical responsibilities include hiring, training and maintaining a technical staff; recommending and purchasing new and upgraded equipment; maintaining and overseeing the budget for parts, supplies, contract services, capital equipment, engineering personnel, and operational costs.

Studio Engineer: Responsible for operating all of the equipment required for the production of a program, the studio engineer is skilled in cameras, audio consoles, lighting, video switching, and in some cases, character generation and graphics.

Master Control/Videotape Engineer: Responsible for the operating the videotape recording and playback equipment for live programs, during commercial breaks, and pre-recorded shows.

Maintenance Engineer: On-hand to repair, install, and perform any required maintenance or modification of the station’s electronic equipment.

Applied Technology: As the technical demands of television change, many stations have experts who deal with the computers, station equipment, and website development.

Production Electronic News Gathering (ENG): Individuals in ENG work alongside reporters to capture events on tape and produce live, on-scene coverage of breaking news stories. ENG crew members are also responsible for the operation of microwave and satellite transmission equipment.

ENG Editor: Edits tape taken by the crew and works with producers, reporters, and writers to build news programs from raw footage and feeds from network sources.

Executive Producer: Coordinates all program content and the presentation of broadcasts alongside the managing editor and news director. Producer: Organizes and develops local programs and is responsible for scripting, story development, booking guests, and overseeing field production and editing.

Production Manager: The production manager is responsible for handling all details associated with the actual production of local programming. Responsible for all technical and operational aspects of the department’s projects, he/she supervises and schedules technical, freelance and temporary production staff in addition to directors, floor directors, and stage managers.

Production Assistant: Assists all production personnel in the following areas: audio, camera and TelePrompTer operation, live playback and videotape editing.

Stage Manager: Represents the director on the floor/set to ensure everything is carried out smoothly and in accordance with the producer’s plan. He/she coordinates and manages positions, tasks, props, microphones, and cameras.

Graphic Artist: Responsible for organizing and producing on-air still and animated graphics for live newscasts, promotions, marketing and special projects.

Continuity Writer: Responsible for writing local commercials and promotional copy.

Sales

General Sales Manager: Oversees the sales department and handles all sales staff hiring, reviews programming, develops sales plans to meet station short and long-range goals, oversees billing, studies the station’s market, and approves all promotion campaigns.

National/Local Sales Manager: Responsible for enhancing national revenue by establishing and maintaining strong client relationships on both the local and national levels.

Account Executive: Sells airtime to businesses in a form of on-air commercials. Once a business agrees to advertise with a television station, the account executive is the key contact between the business and the station for all future advertising, marketing, and promotional efforts.

Marketing Director: Similar to an account executive. He/she also uses creative approaches to develop sales and marketing strategies designed to meet station revenue objectives.

Non-Traditional Revenue Director: Responsible for determining additional ways to add revenue to the station’s bottom-line other than selling airtime.

Promotions Director: Responsible for promoting the station and its programs and activities relative to both the station and the advertising client. He/she works closely with the program director and sales department to create public service events.

Traffic Manager: Responsible for “trafficking” all commercials and programming. He/she creates a minute-by-minute schedule for each broadcast day. As the link between sales and programming, the traffic manager assures that everything required to be on the air occurs at the correct time. He/she is also responsible for producing affidavits, or proof of airtime, for internal and external records.

Management

Owner/President: Owns the station, holds a station license from the FCC, and oversees all station personnel, and in particular works with the general manager to ensure that the station is following through with its sales and product goals.

General Manager: Works for the owner/president and oversees all station operations. Responsibilities include ensuring station compliance with company policies, administrative procedures and government regulations, as well as maintaining ongoing satisfactory relationships with network affiliates and cable systems carrying the station signal.

Station Manager: Works for the general manager and helps execute overall station operations.

On-Air

News Anchor: An anchor is the most visible member of the news staff. Bringing “up-front” reports to the viewers, the anchor is a complete journalist; familiar with reporting, on-scene live coverage, interviewing, as well as writing and producing news packages.

Field Reporter: A field reporter’s job is to be on the scene, gathering and verifying the most up-to-date facts through interview, observation, and research. Field reporters may specialize in one type of reporting such as local, federal, sports or entertainment.

Meteorologist: A meteorologist is skilled in meteorology and the tools necessary to retrieve weather information. He/she is required to write and edit his/her own segment, be comfortable in front of the camera, and be focused on delivering accurate regional weather reports.

Features Reporter: A features reporter often works independently on special projects involving multiple sources. These projects vary in length and may appear on either a daily or weekly program.

News & Programming

Assignment Editor: Responsible for gathering, filtering, and presenting the daily news and story ideas. He/she is also responsible for organizing the logistics of the camera crew and reporters, and arranging satellite feeds and live coverage.

News Director: Supervises the news department, integrating both technical and human resources to their fullest potential. Knowledge of legal and ethical aspects of news reporting is important in scheduling, making editorial decisions, and coordinating news coverage.

News Writer: A writer’s responsibilities include monitoring news feeds, researching, and writing news stories. He/she also may also book guests, coordinate video editing, and assist in producing assigned segments for newscasts.

Sports Director: Similar to the news director, the sports director handles the play-by-play coverage of local sporting events.

Program Director: Manages the program department and works closely with the general manager and the sales manager to determine that station policies are followed and that the station is delivering a quality product.

News/Associate Producer: Organizes and develops the local newscast in conjunction with the news team. And is also responsible for scripting, story development, booking guests, and overseeing field production and editing.

Administrative

Receptionist/Switchboard-operator: Handles incoming calls, greets guests, and performs a number of key administrative duties necessary to keep up with the day-to-day operation of the station.

Administrative Director/Assistant: Works closely with station management to ensure efficient day-to-day operation of the station. This person handles daily communications, monthly reports, and coordinates meetings, travel arrangements, and other duties as assigned.

Business Manager: Responsible for the financial management of the stations. Skilled in accounts payable and receivable, it’s the business manager’s responsibility to keep station accounts up-to-date by paying the bills, executing employee payroll, and receiving, recording, and depositing advertising payments.

Human Resources: Responsible for maintaining employee benefits and hiring procedures. He/she works with the station management team and other personnel to actively recruit, train, develop, and retain employees.