Q+A: How to make the move from radio to TV

Questions from our Readers
Answered by Michael Pollock

“I am a top radio Producer, comedy script writer, editor and researcher for a top national radio show. However I feel like I’ve reached the glass ceiling, not only in my company, but also in the industry. I’m fairly young, early 30’s and I would love to move to a career in television. Here’s the catch, I also have experience in news reporting and I’m pretty camera friendly. I love both sides of the camera. I’m basically stuck at which avenue would be the best for me to pursue in the television industry, behind the scenes or go straight for the reporting work. I have a pretty lucrative job and I don’t want to lose pay, but I’m afraid that i’ll have to start on the gopher level to move into television. Any advice?”

So I see that among your many skills you are a researcher: I recommend that you research, research, research. Seek out people who work in television – people on both sides of the camera – and ask them what their job is like. Ask your friends to brainstorm who they can introduce you to who is doing a job you might be interested in. Then get these contacts talking over a cup of coffee or a cocktail. Ask them how they got their jobs and what is their growth path. Tell them about your skills and ask them how these skills apply in their business and if they can see opportunities for you to parlay your skills into a lateral move, avoiding the gopher hole. And surely one of the things that they will suggest if you want to be on camera is to make yourself a presentation reel. Do some reporting that will wow people.

But all this is not just about research. You will also be building a valuable network of professionals to contact when you have homed in on the route you eventually decide to take. They will know you and hopefully like you and even feel vested in helping you to succeed. At the research stage it is fine to be curious about the best way for you to go, but by that time you had better have decided on what you passionately want to do.

Michael Pollock is President of Pollock Spark ( www.pollockspark.com ).