Programming Director

Decide what shows and advertisements will run on your TV stations.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$45,000 – $112,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Programming Directors do?

A Programming Director calls the shots for a TV station. Everything that goes on the air has to go through the Programming Director. There are 24 hours in a day, and every second needs to be filled with content.

The modern TV channel has a mix of news content, entertainment, educational programming, advertising, and much more. Even as online entertainment and news outlets continue to gain prominence, people still love TV. If you love it, too, then a job as a Programming Director could be a dream come true.

The day-to-day operations of a TV studio are often the subject of fantasy and myth (ironically, in TV shows and movies), but the reality is that it is hard work. Every day, you need to handle new challenges.

You meet with the heads of different departments, and must balance all their different time and resource needs. Making sure that the channel covers important stories while still maintaining its normal lineup of other shows is key to getting good ratings. You need a detailed understanding of the TV world combined with great people skills to manage this job.

There are 168 hours in a week. Most jobs run for about 40 of those. Programming Directors are often asked to work more than that. Additionally, due to the off hours at which most viewers tune in, your schedule probably won’t be the normal nine-to-five that other people get.

However, when you do get to finally go home and settle down in front of the TV, you can feel good knowing that you helped keep that system running, delivering news and entertainment to millions.

Should I be a Programming Director?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Cable Television Program Director, Director, Television, Program Director, Cable Television See More

    How to become a Programming Director

    Programming Directors often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:a9hgag&chl=|certificate+%2858%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29||doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,58
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