Also known as a film director or broadcast director, a television director is a production specialist who has control over television programming. Television directors typically specialize one specific type of programming such as newscasts, sports programming, reality shows, dramatic serials, or entertainment specials. Responsibilities will vary depending on production location, whether or not the program is live or prerecorded, and the length of the program. Directors in charge of live broadcasts (such as newscasts, sporting events, or talk shows) must determine the lighting, sound levels, camera angles, and other audio-visual setups.
Directors in charge of prerecorded or filmed programs (such as sitcoms, drama series, or entertainment specials) must design and edit the final program. The television director reports directly to a producer and must adhere to basic production guidelines. The following duties may also apply: supervise pre-production activities; direct programming; edit commercials, public service announcements, promotional segments, and newsbreaks; oversee floor crews; and operate equipment.
The position of television director is not available for entry-level applicants, and requires a great deal of experience. Television directors are required to hold a degree in communication, broadcasting, production, or television arts, as well as to have several years of work experience. Other recommended skills include: technical skills, creative skills, organizational skills, communication skills, team skills, directing skills, and computer skills.
The typical average salary of an experienced television director is about $89,000 per year. Starting salaries pay an average of about $38,000 per year. The overall median income level for television directors is about $47,500 per year.