There are lots of important considerations when pitching TV media. However, knowing who in the newsroom to pitch is critical. If you have a great pitch and it lands in the wrong person’s inbox, your time was not well spent. Here are the key people in the TV newsroom, and tips for pitching these titles.
- Assignment Editor – Fields incoming pitches, tracks news and forwards stories to reporters and producers. The assignment editor is an excellent starting point to gain insight on whether a station might be interested in the story and why.
- Producer – Writes, develops, researches and organizes the show. The producer has the majority of the input on what stories are or are not included in the show. Always pitch stories to the producer for the show you believe is the best fit for the story. For example, a feature story with a crafter conducting a demonstration on-air would fit best on a morning or weekend show.
- Associate Producer – This position often coordinates guests and assists the producer. This person should always be contacted when reaching out to producers because he/she is more likely to review the pitch and to forward it to the producer. Associate Producers write and edit stories under the producer’s direction.
- Reporter – Reporters work on 1 to 2 stories per day based on a story selection process, which happens in a newsroom during a morning or afternoon meeting. A typical reporter will write and develop one package (:45 second to 1:30 minute story that includes video and interviews) and/or they may write a VO/SOT (video with a sound bite) that will be included in the newscast. Beat reporters, such as business reporters are good contacts for stories that fit within their beat/topic.
- Anchor – Reads the news live. They do not write much of the newscasts unless they are in a smaller market. Unless an anchor is a personal contact or is known for liking certain stories, anchors are not the best source to pitch a story to.