This department responds to and
investigates customer inquiries and complaints. These
managers are responsible for developing community
relations campaigns, interviewing job applicants,
orienting new employees, and handling employee benefits.
A prime responsibility to attract revenue
is to sell avails in programming on advertiser-supported
cable networks. Total Reach Television administers advertising
sales for R-Media Cable in Jackson and for more than 20
cable systems in the United States. TRTV acts as an
advertising broker, keeping 55 per cent of its
ad sales while sharing 45 per cent with the cable system.
Ad brokers relieve the cable operator from an expensive
staff of account executives, substantial commissions, and
benefit packages---yet, still provide the cable system
with extensive revenue.
Most cable systems target the top-rated cable networks
to sell advertising during those networks' most popular
shows. In many systems across the U.S., the NFL Sunday
night football package on ESPN, college football on ESPN
and fx, and the Monday night pro wrestling shows on
TNT and USA are heaviest in local advertising sales.
Depending on the cable network and daypart, cable operators
are given eight to twelve minutes per hour to sell. Except
for the premium events, advertising rates are comparable
to local radio advertising prices and are sold in bulk.
Bulk rates at TRTV could provide an advertiser with 100
spots for $750.
Other advertising sales on cable systems involve classified
announcements and spots on local origination channels.
Locally, an example of the latter would be advertising
sales on I've Heard That Song! and Jackson
Tonight!, as well as local parade coverage and
community affairs programming. Classified announcements
are similar to those in the "want-ads" of local
newspapers. Some cable systems are now selling
personals, or so-called "lonely hearts" advertising
on bulletin board channels.
Operations managers oversee the bulk of
the technical end of the operation and is sometimes the
equivalent of the chief engineer of a television station.
The operations manager supervises purchases of cable,
decoder boxes, expansion of cable systems to new
neighborhoods, and maintenance of the central antenna, or
headend, and the entire system's operation.
Because cable has a triple revenue
stream: advertising sales and subscriber fees, a
second level of sales/marketing is required. The marketing
department is in charge of developing promotional
campaigns, often through on-air break-ins on national
cable networks and in direct mail promotions, to sell
existing subscribers on new services and non-subscribers
on signing for cable service.
This office engages in market research consistently to
determine subscriber desires. Among the issues explored:
- Program services cable subscribers want
- Potential sales for pay-per-view cablecasts
- Areas of cities where cable expansion can be targeted
The model for the business manager is the
traffic manager in a television station. The business
manager is charged with overseeing company expenses versus
revenues, tracking customer sign-ins and drops, and
coordinating computer operations of the entire cable
The man to whom everyone reports is the
general manager. Ultimately, the GM is charged with
making a profit for the cable system, which likely is
owned by a national chain of multi-system operators.
The cable general manager has seven major areas of
supervision. A summary includes:
- Supervising the management staff and all
- Maintaining required administrative policies, safety
rules for technicians, and government regulations
- Develops long-range planning goals
- Prepares and manages the budget
- Approves purchases of equipment and supplies
- Develops the franchise renewal proposal at the time
of reconsideration and lobbies for advantages for the
system if competing cable operators seek to enter the
- Acts as a spokesman to the community on behalf of
cable's benefits and is the chief liaison to subscribers
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