Which Path Will You Choose?
So you want to work in broadcasting, do you? We don’t blame you. We think it’s a blast. Full disclosure ‘tho: it does require specific skills and a willingness to give it your all. And there are jobs at every skill level.
Take a look below for starters. You’ll find listings for careers in:
- Emerging Media
In case you want to skip ahead, Click here to download our 41 Careers in Broadcasting Ebook.
Careers in Television
Floor Director – This is a terrific entry level position since you work directly with the talent and develop skills in live television production. This position cues the talent as to when to talk, points out which camera to face, and generally acts as the middleman between the producer and/or director in the control room and the talent.
Production Assistant – Another great way to start working in television because a production assistant gets to do many different tasks and is always in a position to be helpful. This position is also referred to as a “Utility” because they wrap cables, fetch supplies and equipment and generally pitch in with whatever needs to be done to make the production go smoothly.
One of the advantages of starting as a production assistant is the wide variety of experience you can get and the presumption that you’ll move up from there into an area of expertise.
Executive Producer – This is the person who oversees the entire broadcast, or department. The EP usually supervises the producers who write the scripts, guide the “talent” or anchors and reporters, and determine which elements of the broadcast air in what order. The Executive Producer is the “buck stop” person…in that he or she is ultimately responsible for what goes out over the air.
Careers in Radio
Promotions – There are two overall areas within promotions: People who represent the station out at events, and people who produce promotional messages about the station. Working at station event promotions is a great entry-level start, and radio stations especially hire many of these positions. Producing promotional messages usually requires some experience, as a higher-level of skill in editing digital audio files is required.
Morning Show Host – This is premiere the “talent” job in radio: the morning show is usually considered the most important broadcast of the day, therefore the morning show host(s) are the most promoted personalities.
Usually there’s at least one co-host, and lots of preparation goes into making the show entertaining and info-packed in between the songs, commercials and other standard elements of the program.
Board Operator – Once you know how to operate an audio mixing board, which is the first piece of equipment you’ll come to know in radio broadcasting, you can help out in this position.
A beginning board operator is usually paired with the host of a talk-type radio show, and this position keeps the talent on time with commercials, facilitates the playback of recorded elements, sometimes fields phone calls, and ensures a clean broadcast of the program.
Careers in Production
Videographer - In a broadcast news capacity, this person uses station equipment to record news events and other activities for the purpose of using the content in stories for the newscast. Often videographers are assigned to edit their stories as well.
Good videographers are part grip (they carry around and set up all kinds of equipment) and part artist (when time and circumstances permit, they can tell stories with pictures alone.)
Audio technician - The person in this critical position helps bring the event’s sounds to an audience. Lots of equipment that needs to be set up and monitored in this area, including devices to capture crowd noise, natural sound on the field, and the on-air talent.
Responsibilities also include setting up the off-air communication between producers, talent, studio and crew.
Switcher/technical director - This is the hot seat in the control room or production truck for any live event or broadcast. At the command of the Director, this person pushes the buttons to air specific camera shots, graphics, animated elements, replays, and more.
It takes lots of experience to get to serve in this position, and if you like an adrenalin rush in the middle of the action, this spot’s for you.
Careers in Emerging Media
Web Content Contributor - This covers just about anybody working in broadcasting these days – as it seems that all employees are being asked to contribute to the website. For radio personalities, it’s usually to update an individual “talent” page…with both written copy and pictures or video.
In news, you might be asked to write a quick blog on a story you covered, or an additional angle to the story for the website.
And the folks in charge know that video and pictures make the content richer and more “sticky”. That’s what adds value to the media website when the Account Executives work to sell ads on its pages.
Internet Producer - People in this position are generally responsible for an entire area of a company’s website, to make sure it’s current, relevant and sticky enough to help the metrics. This position requires strong writing skills, a decent knowledge of design, and video production skills.
The relevant research shows that anything visual creates more interest so the same skills required to produce quality broadcast television content applies here as well.
Social Media Coordinator - Many companies are hiring people in this category to help them carve out a meaningful, relevant presence on Facebook, You Tube or Twitter. Marketers have learned that these messages can be powerful if they’re done correctly, so a skilled professional who knows how, when, what to post can work some marketing magic…in a way that doesn’t cost the company money.
Besides, “old school” talent-types who think a tweet is still something a bird does, need to have this presence for their fans/followers, and often someone will be hired just to be that twitter ghost-poster.