Should TV general managers only come from sales?

Cincinnati TV station names new General Manager


December 2, 2019


You’ve seen it time after time.  That brand-new general manager who is now running your station came from, you guessed it, sales.  On rare occasions, a news director, or even a creative services director, becomes a general manager, but those seem to be the oddities.  Why is this?

An easy answer is that because most general managers are former sales managers, they are comfortable with people who share their professional background.  There is truth to this, but it is not the most important factor.

By the nature of their jobs, general sales managers are used to achieving specific goals every month.  Unlike news directors and creative services directors, who deal with far more nebulous things like ratings that are affected by factors outside their control, sales manager’s incomes depend on achieving specific goals and doing so every month.  This makes them used to accountability.


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