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March 31, 2009


Promos, teases, interstitials and the overall brand image of a station falls under the domain of marketing in television news. New technologies are making producing promotional elements easier and easier, as well as cutting costs dramatically.

The promotions staff is responsible for the overall brand image of the station or news organization, as well as the marketing of each show and their individual segments. At some stations, producers are assuming more and more promotional responsibilities.

Below are some terms unique to promotions:

Promos: Basically commercials for upcoming stories or newscasts that may be of interest to viewers. The logic has always been that the best place to market television is on television itself, where the target audience is already watching.

Teases: Cleverly written introductions to a newscast. They are also used just before a commercial to entice the audience to keep watching.

Interstitials: Station identification spots or public service announcements that may or may not feature talent from the station.

Following is the basic track for a marketing career in broadcast television:

  • Promotions Assistant (Median entry-level salary is $20,000)
  • Promotions Producer
  • Promotions Manager
  • Creative Director
  • Vice President

Production Track

An often overlooked, but critical group of people in television are the engineers and technicians. They build and maintain the technology that enables the broadcasting of video news gathered by reporters and producers. For example, live truck operators broadcast live shots from remote locations by beaming a satellite signal back to the station. Directors and associate directors are in charge of the technical elements of a live broadcast and direct the newscast according to the rundown developed by the producer. Graphic artists design animations and graphics as additional visual elements to help tell a story.

At this time, television stations are undergoing a significant change in terms of technology, shifting from analog broadcast equipment to digitally-based technologies. As a result, many broadcast technician jobs like camera operators, editors and some maintenance engineers are being replaced by these new digital technologies. Robotic cameras are increasingly being used in studios, eliminating the need for camera operators. Nonlinear editing systems are enabling producers to edit their own video, thus reducing the need for editors. In light of managing delivery systems based on bits and bytes, some in the industry go so far as to say it is now more appropriate to refer to broadcast engineers as IT managers.

Below is a typical career path for production in television:

  • Entry-level: Production Assistant (Median entry-level salary is $20,000)
  • Mid-level: Editor, Broadcast Technician, Associate Director, Live Truck Operator, Graphics Designer
  • Senior-level: Director, Engineer, Vice President


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