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Media

From Sesame Street to prime time sitcoms, CNN to MTV, television is arguably the most powerful form of media in the entertainment industry. Distribution methods such as internet, cable and satellite have resulted in an ever increasing number of channels, many filling a specific niche and eroding the popularity of the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) that once dominated the industry. On-demand media providers, such as Netflix and Hulu are also changing the industry, placing more control over what, when, and where content is available to viewers. Websites such as YouTube are also affecting the media industry, making it possible for anyone to create and post content that further erodes the power and viewership of traditional media outlets.

Beyond television, radio remains a powerful force in the media industry. There are over 12,000 radio stations in the United States and over 40,000 stations worldwide broadcasting music, news, talk shows, political commentary and everything in between to people around the globe. From NPR to SiriusXM, broadcast radio’s reach is second only to television. Like television, distribution methods and technology are changing the field, removing barriers that once limited consumers to radio stations in their local area. Streaming radio options such as Pandora are presenting new challenges and opportunities for radio advertisers to target consumers more directly, and drawing listeners away from local stations. But opportunities are also opening up as real-time listener analytics are allowing for stations to better adapt and customize their offerings to the tastes of their target audience.

Things to Consider

There are a wide range of career options within the media industry spanning both the creative and business functions. Sectors include business development/strategy; production and development; performing/on-air talent; human resources; legal; operations and technical services; marketing, publicity, and communications; programming and scheduling.

As with other communications, developing connections through networking is of the utmost importance. Interning and conducting informational interviews are great ways to begin developing your connections. Media internships are abundant and available across the country; larger television stations, cable networks and radio stations are more likely to have paid opportunities, though many internships are going to be unpaid. Most summer hiring begins between February and April, though the earlier you begin networking the greater your chances of landing the opportunity you want. For full-time positions in media, most hiring takes place only when positions become available, which rarely happens on a predictable timeline. There are some established programs that hire on a set timeline, but they in the minority. Maintaining relationships with internship supervisors, networking with alumni and professionals in media, and following media company updates on social and professional networking sites can help you learn of opportunities as they become available, and through your networking connections, make inroads in a competitive hiring process.

Review the Entertainment Arts sections for additional resources related to media.

Distribution methods such as internet, cable and satellite have resulted in an ever increasing number of media formats, many filling a specific niche and eroding the popularity of the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) that once dominated the industry. On-demand media providers, such as Netflix and Hulu are also changing the industry, placing more control over what, when, and where content is available to viewers. Websites such as YouTube are also affecting the media industry, making it possible for anyone to create and post content that further erodes the power and viewership of traditional media outlets.
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