Have you ever wondered why some TV shows air on one network at a certain time in one city, then when you travel to another city, the same show comes on at a different time on a different network? I never knew why that was. Then, Robert, one of the Marketing Producers at WTVM News Leader 9 explained to me how that works. Network shows, such as “Good Morning America” and “The View”, show at the same time on every ABC network station. Local shows, like the news, are produced locally and air at particular times. Then, there are the syndicated shows, like “Kelly & Michael”, and “The Ellen Degeneres Show”. These are shows that are produced nationally and are purchased by local networks to fill syndicated time slots. That’s why they don’t play on the same network and at the same time in every town. It just depends on which station purchases the show.
You might be asking: What does this have to do with the marketing department? Great question! The Marketing Department is in charge of all promotional and commercial materials for WTVM and WXTX. This includes commercial production, as well as informing the TV audience about what is coming up on the station.
Robert works for the part of the Marketing Department that promotes the actual shows that are coming up. Because TV shows come from national and local sources, he has to coordinate the information and set them to air at the correct time. For example, network shows can come with their own promotional spots that need little more than to be aired at the right time slot. Syndicated shows also come with their own promotional spots, but the specific information about when the show will air needs to be added. Then, there are the local news shows. These shows have promotional spots, called topicals, that the anchors record, and the marketing department produces everyday in the studio.
I was able to help Robert write the script for one of the topicals for the day. The story was about a rise in gun permit requests in Muscogee County, and the spot needed to be 13 seconds long. Here’s what we came-up with:
“Are new legislation proposals causing a spike gun permit requests in Muscogee County? We’ll have new information from the probate office and bring you the latest on this story.”
Robert creates daily topicals for WTVM News.
Robert plans the daily news topicals with one of the news producers.
On Wednesday, a major storm system came through the area, which made it an exciting day to work in a local news station. Regularly scheduled programing gave way to the meteorologists who kept the locals up to date on Tornado watches and warnings. That was the day that I got to work with Jerry and Mike. They are also Marketing producers, but they work in a different part of the department. Rather than working mostly with news and programming, they work with the sales department to produce commercials and promotional spots for local businesses.
Mike creates a promotional piece for WTVM business partners.
One of our tasks for the day was to film Business Break with Adelaide Kirk. Because the meteorologists were live in the studio most of the day, we filmed segments in a makeshift studio on the second floor. Stylists from Sunday’s Ultimate Salon and Day Spa came on to promote their services, and a representative from TIC Federal Credit Union came to promote their annual Tip-A-Snake even that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Hospital.
Jerry films a segment for Business Break with Adelaide Kirk.
Stylists from Sunday’s Ultimate Salon and Day Spa visit Adelaide Kirk on Business Break.