Sales Manager (General, National & Local)

Director of Sales

The term general sales manager (GSM) is sometimes substituted for director of sales (DOS). In large markets,
the DOS may supervise a team of GSMs and/or hold a dual title for one of the stations within the group. Along
with the news director and business manager, the director of sales is part of the general manager’s “inner circle.”
This is an extremely demanding position and requires exemplary management skills.
A DOS has daily contact with the general manager, and works with other sales managers to ensure the station is
maximizing all available traditional revenue opportunities in the market – from both local and national ad agencies
– while developing new business opportunities from both. Directors of sales price and manage the perishable
inventory; do budget forecasts; issue sales projections; coordinate projects with other department heads; motivate
the team; and inspire everyone to give 150 percent.
General Sales Manager
At some stations, the general sales manager (GSM) is a distinctly different position than director of sales. GSMs
have complete knowledge of sales forecasting and planning and are strong motivators. Along with the DOS, they
are long-range thinkers, have excellent presentation and interpersonal skills and excel at client networking. GSMs
develop monthly and quarterly revenue-generating proposals, establish individual sales goals and hire and
manage the sales teams.

National Sales Manager

National sales managers (NSM) manage a television station’s sales accounts. A national sales manager “works
the phones,” deals with the sales representatives at national advertising firms and travels to the advertising
epicenters including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas. National business is very fast-paced.
Sales representatives at advertising firms working with NSMs handle a host of stations and must make decisions
quickly, thus it is imperative that national sales managers have all the station’s updated information, are on top of
all pending business and are accessible at all times to negotiate buys. Stations lacking a national sales manager
give the responsibilities of this position to the GSM.
Marketing Director or Director of Non-Traditional Revenue
The position of marketing director or director of non-traditional revenue is a more recently created position
within television stations, added as more stations seek non-traditional revenue sources. The performance bars for
these positions continue to rise. Marketing directors continually develop and implement creative, out-of-the-box
ways to generate revenue.
One successful example of a non-traditional revenue source is staging an “Ask the Pharmacist” day during which
pharmacists associated with a professional network come into the station and dispense advice to callers. This
group discussion is not broadcasted, but promotional spots encouraging viewers to call the station are, and the
pharmaceutical client pays for the promotional costs. The marketing director may also work with a local charity,
sponsoring an event with commercial TV tie-ins and/or printed collateral materials.
Depending on the station, marketing directors may have a support staff and/or one or two account executives
assigned to help in their area, and also may work with the production people in creative services to produce
commercials for new advertisers.

Local Sales Manager

Local sales managers (LSM) closely supervise the frontline sales staff consisting of account executives or
account managers – whatever term that station prefers. If a station does not have a general sales manager, the
local sales managers acquire the duties of this position.