NBC’s 10 owned stations have gone through a vast transformation in recent years, and NBC Local Media Senior VP of Operations Tina Silvestri has played a crucial role in turning traditional TV stations into roundthe- clock, multi-platform media outlets.
In an effort to fulfill NBC Local Media’s mandate of “engaging consumers where they live, work and play,” Silvestri’s team spearheaded what NBC calls its digital content centers at five owned stations, including WNBC New York and KNBC Los Angeles. That model sees news and lifestyle content dispersed simultaneously to any and all platforms, whether it’s the Web, smartphones, taxicab screens or just plain old television.
“We changed the operations in such a way that content is available for all platforms,” Silvestri says, “instead of being produced for television and copied onto other platforms.”
Equally important to NBC Local Media’s long-term viability in its TV markets has been the resource-sharing Local News Service. NBC uses the service to partner with other stations in several markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, to staff a news outfit designated to cover non-breaking news events like press conferences. Getting that model in place in seven markets where NBC owns a station has improved both the quantity and quality of the stations’ local content, according to NBC’s general managers.
“The local teams are now getting more content than they’d ever dreamed of getting,” Silvestri says. “And it’s freed up resources for them to go after enterprise reporting.”
Silvestri, 40, graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and got a close-up look at NBC’s operations while crunching the network’s sales research at the television rep firm Harrington Righter & Parsons. She spent six years there before jumping to NBC in 1996.
These days, Silvestri is focused on rolling out a new digital sales management system at the stations, and fine-tuning the content strategy toward “operational excellence” in NBC’s local markets. “We’re taking stock of all the changes now,” Silvestri says. “We’re observing the processes and really trying to tighten up the model.”
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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