There is no shortage of producer titles in television — there are line producers, associate producers, booking producers, senior producers, executive producers, and even more. It can be daunting to identify who exactly you are looking for when you are pitching a segment. Each producer has different responsibilities, and no matter how perfect a pitch may be, it will not be successful if it is not in front of the right person.
In this installment of Pitching the Producers, we discuss the role of the broadcast reporter. Although ‘reporter’ does not have ‘producer’ in its title, many will serve as their own producer, especially those on smaller beats or in smaller markets.
WHAT DO BROADCAST REPORTERS DO?
Traditionally, broadcast reporters — or correspondents — gather the narrative and details of a newsworthy story to report back to the public. With television news, however, there are many more tasks that must be executed before broadcasting the story on air. As a result, many correspondents, particularly those who work without support staff, may find themselves shooting, producing, and editing their own segments in addition to conducting their own research and interviews.
WHEN IS A BROADCAST REPORTER THE BEST CONTACT FOR A PITCH
When should you contact a broadcast reporter with a pitch? Rarely and with much research.
Pitches you hope a correspondent will cover should be directed towards the news agency’s assignment desk. If the agency is interested, the story will be assigned to a reporter depending on what else is in the news cycle and the availability of time and resources.
Broadcast reporters rarely get to choose what they cover on a daily basis. This is often decided by their outlet’s assignment editors. When they do cover a story of their own, it is usually a project of personal interest that they pitched to their editorial team.
Do not assume that because they are a broadcast reporter your general pitch will be welcome. For example, a correspondent that focuses on education will most likely not care for a healthcare related scoop. Broadcast reporters should be personally contacted with pitches only if the story is pertinent to their beat or their personal project. Always thoroughly research a correspondent to ensure that they are interested in what you have to pitch. If they are interested, they will also have to pitch the story to their editors.
In future installments of “Pitching the Producers,” we will examine the roles of various producers and how you can be successful when pitching them.