This is the first in a series of articles about the people whose jobs are to get people to watch TV, specifically local news. Market Share is interviewing TV broadcasting marketers at the corporate and station level to learn more about them, their job, their company, their backgrounds, their beliefs and their goals. If you’d […]
This is the first in a series of articles about the people whose jobs are to get people to watch TV, specifically local news.
Market Share is interviewing TV broadcasting marketers at the corporate and station level to learn more about them, their job, their company, their backgrounds, their beliefs and their goals.
If you’d like to recommend other marketers whom you think I ought to profile, just let me know.
As SVP marketing and acquired programming for the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, Therese Gamba oversees the marketing efforts of 30 properties that include the NBC and Telemundo stations as well as the TeleXitos and Cozi diginets. She lives and works in New York City.
Last week, I interviewed her by phone from her office at 30 Rock in New York.
Market Share: How would you describe your job?
Gamba: I am primarily in charge of helping the stations achieve their marketing and programming goals.
There’s no dotted line, there’s no line of reporting into me. I have a very small team that we work to support the stations and achieving their goals.
The brand directors report to the general manager, as they should.
Part of my job works with primary research consultants and companies, and I have a Magid background and so I work with the stations from everything from their initial surveys to the presentations and working with them on their strategic goals once that’s been presented.
KNBC Los Angeles, 2014
Gamba: This is part of KNBC’s campaign to reinforce their “NBC 4 You” brand. It fits the market well and they’ve done a good job maintaining the consistency of this campaign.
KVEA Los Angeles
Gamba: Telemundo Responde is the brand name for our first of its kind consumer investigative franchise at our Telemundo stations. Launched in 2014, Telemundo Responde has collectively fielded more than 1,500 calls and recovered nearly $4 million for consumers all across the United States and Puerto Rico. KVEA, our station in LA, produced this for the group.
Market Share: Where did you grow up?
Gamba: I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, born and raised, my parents were born and raised there as well.
I went to St Mary’s College in California, and then did grad school at San Francisco State University.
MS: Was broadcasting what you always wanted to do?
Gamba: I was a kid who loved watching television. Much to my parent’s dismay.
I always knew I wanted to do something in TV but I didn’t really know what promo and marketing entailed until I actually got into a station and you see how it gets produced.
And then later the strategy, something you learn over time.
MS: So you discovered the secret world of marketing and promotion that’s not taught in school?
Gamba: It’s definitely not something that’s taught in schools, at least not in my day.
But it is something I believe you have to learn on the job.
For people who want that sense of immediacy, you really have to challenge yourself every day to find the right angle for the story, the best video, the best sound, putting it together, trying to tell a good story in 30 seconds, or in 15 seconds is even tougher.
I tell people if you want to be part of the exciting world of a newsroom, but you want it to be fast paced and write great copy in 30 or 15 seconds, come talk to me.
You really will be testing yourself on a daily basis.
Gamba: KXAS in Dallas used music to tell the story of their brand “Texas Connects Us” which really works for their market.
MS: What’s do you like most about your job?
Gamba: I get to help everybody achieve their goals, and that’s not something I ever thought I’d be able to do on this type of scale, so I’m really very honored to be here. And it’s just a great opportunity to help our different properties, no matter what their individual challenges are.
I’m thrilled every time I walk into 30 Rock.
KNSD San Diego
Gamba: This was a new look and direction for the station with a bold tone that supports their “Coverage You Count On” brand.
MS: How do you measure your success?
Gamba: Do I feel like I’m contributing to the success of the organization as a whole? And then to the stations, ratings and revenue success and the individuals that I work with.
If I see a brand director who’s coming up and doing great work and I’ve been able to help them shape their work and their career, then that to me is a success.
Gamba: WRC reinvigorated their “Working for You” brand with this campaign that shows the work behind the advocacy promise.
MS: Do you work with your stations on training?
Gamba: I personally do writing seminars, topical writing seminars, branding seminars as well, and I’ve been all over the country doing that for our stations.
I did it at the Promax Station Summit. I think that it’s important, that the company sees it as an investment to send a lot of our marketers across the stations to Promax to all meet together
Valari Staab [president of NBCUniversal Owned stations] comes from a creative services background, too, so she always make a point to attend.
I think it’s important that the creative services teams know that they have the support here, we value what they do.
MS: How did you get from your first TV job to where you are today?
Gamba: I have a non-traditional path in that way. I went to work for Group W, they had an incarnation of PM Magazine, that they called This Evening, and I was hired to be promo producer for that show.
I ended up being the promo manager for the Vicki Lawrence Show, which was great experience because I got to see first-hand what it’s like to put a show like that together. And the role the promo producer has in that. I’m now in charge of acquired programming for this division and I work with all the syndicators. I know what it takes to get a promo shot with Steve Harvey or Ellen.
Met Valari Staab, went wow, want to work here [KGO San Francisco where Staab was then GM], really want to work for this woman, I knew she was going to be this incredible leader.
So I moved back to San Francisco to work at one of the leading stations.
KGO San Francisco
Gamba: This was part of the campaign that we ran in 2003 and 2004. We were in a rebuilding phase and literally gave viewers various reasons to watch KGO.
KGO San Francisco
Gamba: We ran this in 2005 after we transitioned from the “Another Reason to Watch” campaign. It’s very indicative of life in the Bay Area. We did various lengths including this :45 to help break thru to the audience.
And then fast forward a few years, and I get another phone call from Valari and she’s like, I just took this job at NBC, I think I have a job open if you’re interested.
Every job that I’ve had has contributed a piece and led me to this job, I don’t think I could do this without having been in syndication or cable.
Lot of it is the people you meet and the work you’ve done, it’s kind of your brand.
MS: What’s on your iPod?
Gamba: Adele to Springsteen, U2, lot of Frank Sinatra, Bruno Mars, Rolling Stones.
Pretty eclectic. If you were to look at my IPod, you be like, I can’t figure this person out at all (laughs).
MS: What is the future of local television news?
Gamba: I don’t think I’ve ever been more positive about local TV news than now.
When you’re looking for what’s going on in my community, what’s happening where I live?
How do you make sense of it?
Local news is really at the heart of it. The reason I like local television is because I know we’re making an impact.