Broadcast Negotiator: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 23, 2019

Broadcast negotiators require significant formal education. Learn about the degree, job duties and required skills to see if this is the right career for you.

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A broadcast negotiator performs duties on the business side of broadcasting, where they purchase time slots on radio and TV for advertising purposes. Entry-level candidates with a bachelor's degree in advertising or marketing are often preferred by employers, and industry-related work experience, such as that acquired through an internship, can also be helpful when securing an interview.

Essential Information

Broadcast negotiators (commonly referred to as media buyers) work on behalf of their clients to purchase advertising time on television stations, radio stations and other media outlets. They negotiate to get the best rates and most favorable time slots for their clients based on market share and audience demographics. They then track the advertisements to make sure the terms of their agreements are fulfilled. Entry-level work in this field typically requires a bachelor's degree in advertising, marketing, or a related communications field. In addition, employers often look for candidates who have completed internships or have previous experience in advertising. A person who enjoys working in the media and also has strong interpersonal communication and negotiation skills may find this to be an enjoyable career field.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in marketing or advertising
Other Requirements Advertising internship (preferred)
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 7% decline (buyers and purchasing agents)
Median Salary (2018)* $118,940 (purchasing managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Broadcast Negotiator Job Description

Broadcast negotiators bargain with television and radio stations or other media outlets in order to purchase advertising time in those media. Also known as media buyers, broadcast negotiators interface with advertising sales agents at broadcast media outlets to acquire favorable rates and time slots, as well as to negotiate the billing terms for those advertising blocks. Media buyers base their purchase decisions on market share and audience demographic data, aiming to get clients effective and affordable media.

Job Duties

The duties of a broadcast negotiator often begin with media planning, in which the needs and budget of the client are matched with available advertising time slots. Planning involves analyzing the numbers and types of viewers for a given medium and time slot. Media buyers must track and evaluate both the media vehicles and the types of audiences reached before negotiating the terms and pricing for the advertising space. The broadcast negotiator represents the client by working with local or national broadcast media sales agents. Broadcast negotiators also track the broadcasting of advertising, to ensure contract terms are met.

Education Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that a bachelor's degree in advertising or marketing, or a related communications field, is usually a requirement for employment as an entry-level assistant to a broadcast negotiator ( The BLS also notes that because the field is highly competitive, employers often look for candidates with internships or job experience in advertising.

Other strengths sought by employers include strong interpersonal communication and negotiation skills, since media buyers must develop relationships with both clients and sales agents. According to the Advertising Educational Foundation (AEF), knowledge of statistics is necessary, as well as the ability to analyze both qualitative and quantitative data, so broadcast negotiators can make cost-effective decisions. Lastly, a solid understanding of existing and emerging media will help broadcast negotiators choose the right advertising platform to meet a client's needs, and to anticipate future trends (

Degree programs in advertising, marketing, media studies or communications can prepare people for careers in broadcast negotiation. While an advertising student will complete courses in advertising media, advertising campaigns and copywriting, a marketing major will often take courses in marketing communications, sales management, buyer behavior and marketing research. Additional coursework in broadcast and digital media is also beneficial, as a broadcast negotiator will need to understand how different media work.

Job Outlook and Salary

Purchasing managers are professionals who negotiate, examine and purchase goods and services for certain organizations. From 2018-2028, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that buyers and purchasing agents were expected to see a 7% decline in employment. As of May 2018, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $118,940, according to the BLS.

Strong negotiation, analytical and communication skills are important in this position. Most broadcast negotiators hold bachelor's degrees in advertising or marking, with coursework that includes buyer behavior, advertising campaigns and sales management. Job growth is expected to decline in this field over the next decade.

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