Public television stations play very important role in the current society, ranging from educating to informing, and even entertaining the public free of charge. The stations also play a crucial role in advertisement and are therefore important in building the corporate world. Public television stations are structured into departments that work together towards ensuring that programs are aired. Different types of professionals work in various departments and render the expertise needed for departmental operations. The programs run by television stations normally depend on the market they serve. News, sports programs, music and entertainment are among the frequently offered programs in most television stations. This essay focuses on the roles and responsibilities of public television stations. It also explores the corporate structure of television stations with much focus directed on the management, roles and responsibilities of various departments of public television stations. The paper also outlines programs that are usually offered by public stations and the value they add to the targeted audience.
Public television stations’ plays are widely watched today and their importance in the current society cannot be overstated. Normally, when most people watch television news, the immediate person they would think about and appreciate is the news anchor whose face is known to the whole community. However, in order to make a television station run, it takes all kinds of professionals, a number of which the public may never see in front of the camera. Essentially, for a successful presentation of news in a television station by the anchor, several other individuals diligently work behind the scenes everywhere in the station premise (Cate, 2012).
In many ways, the corporate structure of TV stations is similar to the structure of other big business enterprises. Employees of television stations focus on finance, community relations, sales, as well as technology. A television station comprises a number of departments that closely work together in order to create programs that are informative and entertaining to the public. The number and structure of departments and the mode of staffing usually vary from one station to another depending on the size as well as management of the station (Cate, 2012).
Big television stations normally employ many workers with some having 300 to 400 employees working in different departments. On the other hand, small stations often employ few workers with some having as low as 20 to 30 employees (Zeepedia, 2013). Staff members in these small city TV stations are often required to do more jobs as opposed to those in the big city stations. Staff members in such stations would always acquire more hand-on knowledge in the broadcasting industry.
The administration department that is headed by the General Manager ensures that the administrative policies of a television station are formulated and implemented. Other departments are headed by station managers who report to the General Manager who in turn reports to the station owner. The news department puts on air the information they gather from varied sources to keep the public up to date. The production department ensures that the news that has been gathered gets on the air. Sales and traffic department sells to clients advertising spots which keep the stations afloat. The engineering department maintains all the equipments and ensures that operations at the station do not fail (Dhakal, 2011). On the other hand, the station’s software applications are managed by the information technology department (Zeepedia, 2013).
Television stations normally air several programs to the public. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the stations buy the rights to have their programs on air (Cate, 2012). Various television programs are designed to serve different purposes and may target different audiences. The roles played by television programs include informing, educating and entertaining the viewers. Television programs include news, movies, award shows, and talk shows. News programs and weather forecast programs are meant to inform the public free of charge (CRTC, 2011).
Programs that are educative and informative in nature include religious programs, historical documentary programs, scientific and science fiction programs. Others include health and nutrition programs, formal education and pre-school programs as well as informal education or recreation and leisure. Television entertaining programs include drama and comedy, music video programs, music and dance, music video clips, reality television and game shows among many others (CRTC, 2011). Television stations also serve in airing advertisements and promotions. Spots on broadcasts can always be foster unity by advocating for peace.
The Administration Department of a television station works towards enhancing the capacity of the TV station to effectively deliver on its mandate. The department is responsible for formulation as well as implementation of the station administrative policies. It ensures that the station’s policy guidelines are interpreted correctly and fairly applied to its various functions including planning and addressing employees’ affairs. The department also manages the television station’s budget and sets human resources policies. In most television stations, the department often consists of two sections: the Personnel section and the Administration section. The Administration department is usually headed by the General Manager of the television station who oversees all departments in the station. Heads of various departments receive instructions and guidance from the General Manger of the television station. Each and every department in the television impacts on how well presentation of news is made in television stations hence the need of collaboration arises (Mathews, 2013).
The Administration Department also creates a strategic and executable plan for the television station as well as sets benchmarks for achieving goals. In addition, the head of the administrative department often has high profile in the surrounding community. This enables the department to form strategic partnerships with other organizations in the locality in order to raise the visibility of the television station in the market that is currently competitive (Mathews, 2013). While the Administration section in the Administrative department oversees all programming for the station and sales initiatives, the Personnel section has the responsibility of ensuring that staff recruitment in television stations is well done.
Presently, broadcasting business has become very competitive and the human resource management is very critical in coping up with the stiff competition. A television station can only gain popularity when the human resource section is concerned about the employees of the organization. The Administration Department of a television station often aims at acquiring, building, as swell as retaining qualified personnel so that to provide quality, effective and efficient broadcast to the public (Dhakal, 2011).
The human resource section of the administrative department oversees the process of employees’ acquisition. At the initial stage of acquisition, the section ensures that planning on job specification is done. HR planning is then followed by recruitment, an employee hiring process from external sources as well as internal sources. The recruitment process is followed by selection of skilled employees who can perform to the expectation of the television station. Once the required recruits are selected, placement in the required departments is undertaken (Dhakal, 2011).
The resource section is also responsible for the development of the personnel at the television station. The management periodically analyzes the need of offering training and development packages to the employees. Employee trainings are often offered to employees at lower levels while those at higher levels are often granted development packages. The human resource section is also charged with the responsibility of ensuring that employee motivation is upheld in the television station. It ensures job design is adhered to by having the right personnel put in the right place thereby meeting the interests of the employees. Rewards such as awards, appraisals and promotion among others are also given to the employees in order to have them motivated (Dhakal, 2011).
Finally, the human resource section of the Administration Department in television stations is often charged with the responsibility of employee maintenance. The section ensures that compensation, salaries and benefits are well given. It makes the employees happy by generally putting their welfare into consideration. The section must be concerned about the safety of the employees including health, insurance, and employee protection (Dhakal, 2011).
Production Department in public television station is responsible for the initiation, financing as well as management of all the resources and personnel that are required for television production. It ensures that the already created news is put on air in order to reach the public with the necessary information. The department keenly monitors and controls each and every activity in all the given stages of the television production cycle. The department is headed by a Production Manager who is a key person in the running of television stations. In order to ensure that productions of television programs run smoothly, stay within budget, and meet deadlines, the Production Manager must always liaise with managers who head other departments within the station. During pre-production as well as shooting, the manger in this department must be able to deal with any contingencies and ensure that workable alternative plans are in position (IFTN, 2013).
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The production team together with the crew is very important and really makes it possible for the airing of news or other programs. The stages of production in television stations include development of projects, the pre-production stage, and the production stage. The production stage is followed by post-production stage and finally sales and distribution. Several areas of work exist in the production department which include producing, production accounting, production management, and production co-ordination, among others. Producing area bears the overall responsibility in the production process. It ensures that the entire process of production in the TV station runs efficiently from the initial perceived concept to distribution (IFTN, 2013).
Production accounting area in the production department controls and manages all elements that pertain to finances in the production process. On the other hand, production management deals with planning and management of all schedules, resources, as well as budgets on a daily basis. The manager in this area must ensure that daily reports for producers are prepared in which all aspects of each day’s shoot are detailed. The production coordination area of the production department ensures that the production office is well established and managed. The area also ensures that services needed by the cast and crew are provided in record time (IFTN, 2013).
Other important areas in the production department include locations management, script supervision, floor management, production secretarial support, research and product assistant. Locations management area is often responsible for sourcing for and management of locations that are necessary for the production process. The area coordinates all logistics, secures permits and settles costs involved in securing the venue. It also acts as the face of the production process to the community. The assistant direction area aids in planning and ensuring efficient execution of TV program shooting schedule (IFTN, 2013).
Script supervision area is charged with the responsibility of recording and ensuring that script continuity is maintained during the shooting process. The script is quite critical towards ensuring the success of a television project. This is due to the fact that it provides the foundation on which the entire creative as well as the commercial endeavor is built. Writing of script entails the development of a treatment followed by first and second draft before a polished script is developed. The story producer in this area creates a story line by editing the source footage of the show. The floor management area coordinates and manages all activities that take place on the floor of the studio. The research area often sources ideas, contributors, as well as materials needed for the television programs. Production secretarial support is an area that provides administrative support in the production department while the production assistance provides administrative as well as technical support to both the producer and the director (IFTN, 2013).
The Operations Department is critical in the television station management and comprises of two main sections, the traffic and sales depending on the size of television station. Generally, the department is charged with the responsibility of selling on-air advertising and assuring that all television commercials are appropriately scheduled. Since the operations department is in charge of setting the schedule of advertisement, it plays a critical role in ensuring that the television station maximizes its revenue and keeps its commercial programs running on the air (Mathews, 2013). The department must always work closely with other departments within the television station to coordinate their work and keep them functional.
The main responsibility of the sales section is to ensure that it generates revenue for the television station by getting companies to buy the station’s commercial spots. It is the personnel section and the traffic section that ensures that the television station remains afloat. Much of the revenue that runs the television stations comes from television commercials that explains why the operations manager must be skilled in order to sustain television stations on the air. The manager often supervises all projects carried out by the television station and ensures that they are viable and can be undertaken (Mathews, 2013).
The management of sales section oversees the operations carried out by the sales personnel. Some sales personnel are charged with the responsibility of meeting clients in person as well as contact them vit phone in order to sell air time. Other sales personnel often handle the administrative work in the sales section. The duties of these personnel include writing advertisement copy as well as interacting with the personnel at the traffic section (Mathews, 2013).
The Operation Department also ensures that the traffic section keeps accurate the section log, which is the master listing of all programs that have been scheduled for. The station log also contains the list of commercials that are expected to be aired by the television station throughout each broadcast day. The operations manager ensures that each program is given the correct number of spots on air. The manager of the department also supervises the program to ensure that there are no conflicts of advertisements as per the prepared schedule. For instance, the airing schedule should not have two advertisements posted by two different local companies dealing in cars aired back to back (Mathews, 2013).
One of the major goals of any given television station is to ensure that every spot is sold at the highest possible amount and maximize the time available to run television commercials or perishable inventory. It is the role of the Operation Department to ensure that this is done effectively. The operation manager must always follow up traffic and develop solutions for problems or issues that may arise in the station. In some situations, individuals or corporations may be in need of putting up adverts when the television station has sold the entire inventory for the period of interest. In case the clients are to pay a substantial amount of money that could boost the stations revenue, the Operation Department should always brainstorm and have the promotion aired (Chuday, 2008).
For instance, in a situation where a movie producing company is interested in buying spots to promote a film that is set to begin in a few days time, the Operation Department can still meet the company’s needs. The operations manager could identify clients whose promotions have already been scheduled but are willing to have them altered. Such clients can be offered incentives such as adding them extra spots at no charge among others (Chuday, 2008).
The Information Technology Department in a television station is normally charged with the responsibility of developing, implementing, as well as maintaining the television station’s information system. The department always ensures that their operations are in line with the IT systems and business strategy of the television station. In all situations, the department is expected to provide technology leadership to the television stations. The information and technology department in a television station is the one that decides on behalf of the station, the IT functions that should be performed. After making the decision, the department determines how best staff in the department can execute the tasks (Pennsylvania State University, 2008).
Information Technology Department in television stations is usually charged with the responsibility of creating software applications for the television station. The department runs the computers and other related information technology equipments that are necessary for the support of the TV station’s information systems. The department develops common standards, architectures as well as business solutions for the TV stations. These are often geared towards enabling television stations to deliver broadcasting services more effectively and efficiently. The department ensures non-stop programming and crafts solutions that can bring improvement on the televisions’ screen. In large television stations, the department is often headed by Controller while those of small stations are often run by IT in-charges (Zeepedia, 2013).
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The Information and Technology Department is quite important as it enhances interaction between the station’s staff and the link between the station and other stakeholders in the broadcasting industry. Currently, television stations must fight to remain viable in the highly competitive market that they operate. One way of connecting to viewers and clients in this digital generation where a number of people watch television programs online is by designing a website. It is the duty of the Information Technology Department to ensure that the television station maintains its presence online in order to satisfy this group of people. In addition to providing an avenue to those who watch television online, having a website enables those who are seeking certain information about the television station to easily access it. Online presence also increases awareness about the television station and boosts outreach campaigns (Pennsylvania State University, 2008).
In addition to promoting brand awareness, giving efficient and effective Internet interaction with the public greatly promotes loyalty (In-Site Systems, 2013). A web designer who reports to the station manager creates a website for the television station. On the website, the designer creates and formats graphics, email campaigns, blogs as well as social media. The information technology department ensures that the created website is maintained and makes regular updates on the website. Interactive sessions and response of viewers can be done through social media such as Facebook and Twitter that are currently having a huge number of users.
The Information Technology Department is normally responsible for obtaining consumer feedback regarding the services being offered by a television station. The department achieves this by conducting brand and product surveys. These surveys measure brand awareness as well as equity across the audiences. The feedback received enables the station to gauge the benefits of any given program they run and customize their services to satisfy the needs of their target audience. The department is also responsible for data management system in a television station (In-Site Systems, 2013). Finally, the department establishes a comprehensive media assets management system where all valuable media assets can be stored. The storage system in a television station should have large capacity, be secure, and have efficient retrieval system. In addition, the system should be cost effective, easy to maintain, have solid reliability as well as flexible scalability.
Television stations air different programs in their shows and these programs usually vary from one station to the other. News programs in television stations often report local, national, as well as international events. Programs under news may include sportscasts, weather forcasts, and other features that may be related to news programs. Weather programs in television normally report on the weather forecast. This helps educate viewers on what to expect and how to prepare for the day (CRTC, 2011).
Historical documentaries are TV programs which entail non-fiction original works that are designed to inform the public. They may also educate as well as entertain as they provide in depth analysis of a point of view or specific subject. More than 50 percent of programs on religion have issues on religion and religious teachings. They also contain discussions on the spiritual condition of human beings. Talk shows and discussions programs are analysis and interpretation sessions and may include panel shows or talk, newsmagazines, as well as consumer affairs or reviews (CRTC, 2011).
Drama and comedy shows are entertainment productions are fictional in nature and dramatize real events. There are several categories of drama and comedy programs and these include on-going comedy series; on-going dramatic series; theatrical feature films aired on TV stations; and specials, mini-series, as well as the made-for-television feature films. Other categories of drama and comedy include programs of comedy sketches, stand-up comedy, unscripted works and improvisations; animated TV programs and films; and drama products that include narratives, experimental shorts, narratives, continuous action animals such as puppet shows and video clips among others (CRTC, 2011).
Sports programs entail showing live as well as live-to-tape sports competitions and events on television. Sports programs also include professional and amateur tournaments as well as review and analysis of such tournaments. Review and analysis programs may include post-game and pre-game shows, call-in and talk shows, scripted sports and magazine shows. TV series is a show of more than one program that focuses on the same situation or different situations but having the same character. Examples of TV series include drama series and comedy series (CRTC, 2011).
Music and dance programs are those that have more than 50 percent of live as well as pre-recorded performances of drama or music. These include performances such as ballet, opera, and musicals but exclude voice-overs, video clips as well as musical performances. Music video clips are short video tapes or film productions or excerpts of concerts which normally contain one visual musical selection. On the other hand, music video programs are majorly composed of music videos which occasionally include host and other programming elements. Television stations also air programs on formal education and pre-school. The programs normally present detailed information to the viewers that enable them to acquire knowledge. The programs are related to a wide variety of topics and may be related to the already established curriculum (CRTC, 2011).
Television stations also show general entertainment and human interest programs which primarily feature the world of entertainment. These programs may include but not limited to talk or interview shows, celebrity profiles, galas and tributes as well as award shows. The programs may also include fund raising shows with entertainers; magazines that are entertainment oriented; and coverage of community events such as parades, carnivals, festivals as well as fashion shows among many others. On the other hand, reality television programs often feature unscripted dramatic situations. Reality television normally features ordinary people rather than professional actors in the shows. The program involves following the given individuals as they undertake their professional or personal duties (CRTC, 2011).