Michelle Merker

Michelle Merker

Program Development Coordinator


PBS SoCaL

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
I was a theater and speech major in college. I was going to be an actress.
I saw an ad on a kiosk at school for auditions for the school's TV show. I didn't get the job.
But I transferred into the TV program, and in a few weeks I did get the on-camera hosting job.
An executive at a broadcast TV station saw me on the cable show and asked me to audition.
I got the job, was promoted to news director, and was lucky enough to stay there over 20-years.
I went into radio, teaching, voice-overs, films... things I hadn't tried before!
But my first love was always broadcast TV... so I returned.
Now I'm learning so much about the difference between commercial broadcast and public broadcasting!
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Radio and Television
Saddleback College
Career

Career

Program Development Coordinator

I help producers get their programs on TV.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Television
Television
Writing
Writing
Communicating / Sharing Stories
Communicating / Sharing Stories

Day to Day

My department reviews content or ideas from producers, and we decide if their program might fit in well with our schedule or viewers. We help producers develop their content so that it has wide-ranging appeal. We work with scheduling, marketing and promotion of the program, and appropriate content is also guided and molded to share with a national audience. It would be fine if these things happened one at a time, but we are juggling hundreds of projects in all different stages at once!

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

I have a background in news journalism, teaching in TV broadcasting, and producing thousands of TV shows, specials, PSA's, even a horror movie! You wouldn't think these things are related, but from news I learned to write, from teaching I learned to work with different personalities to achieve a goal, and from producing I learned to tell stories. From the horror movie I learned how important marketing is to get the word out about your work! This combination of experience all helps me today.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for professionals

I've made a lot of transitions in my career, and the only thing that stays the same in this business is that nothing stays the same. You need to be able to anticipate and prepare for the changes in technology, what viewers want to see and how they receive the information. Then you need to figure out how your skills will fit with what is needed going forward.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Communication, General
certification
Associate's Degree
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"It's such an unpredictable business. You won't have a future in TV."

I knew I loved the business from the start. So I included other people in my circle that loved it too. That way we could all talk about our paths and ideas to get to our goals, and share the potholes in the roads too and what we did to get back on the road. I am still friends with these people decades later.