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WTTW National Syndication Producer's Guide

WTTW National Syndication Producer's Guide


Welcome! If you’re a producer and are looking for a way to transform your creations from a concept to a television broadcast, we may be the partner you’re seeking.

Presenting Station Services

From project management, which includes public television distribution, to station clearance, audience research, technical guidance and local publicity, we can extend all sorts of supplementary support and services. As your partner, we can ensure a successful launch of a new television program or series. We can serve producers in a variety of ways with our presenting station services.

National Development Release

Inquiries and project treatments are now accepted by email. The release/disclaimer needs to be filled out and signed before we can look at any idea. You can obtain this release by sending an e-mail to National Syndication or by clicking here.

Other helpful links about producing for public television:

WTTW National Syndication Presenting Station Services Summary

WTTW Chicago provides expertise in packaging and delivering television programming for national public television and cable distribution, as well as international distribution. The following areas represent specific responsibilities assumed in the role of promoting and distributing the program as the presenting station.

Project Manager

  • Support and consult with producer regarding program deliverables
  • Deliver all requested materials to distributor (digital file masters, on-air promos, music cue sheets, E&O insurance certificate, etc.)
  • Deliver required submission forms to distributor to solicit acceptance for distribution
  • Screen programs and provide creative and editorial input to producer, and identify flagged content (audio and/or video) for distributor
  • Provide executive production guidance and editing recommendations to producers to assist in development of new series pilots
  • Screen program rough cut & fine cut for technical and production inaccuracies
  • Secure Public TV broadcast feed dates/times
  • Negotiate broadcast and distribution rights with PBS, APT or NETA
  • Liaison between producer and WTTW legal counsel to negotiate terms of contract (including contract protocol form)
  • Liaison with producer and corporate/foundation underwriters to ensure on-air messages are approved by distributor (PBS/APT/NETA) and delivered to producer in correct format
  • Liaison with closed captioning vendor
  • Assist the producer with the development of marketing plans for potential funders as required
  • Liaison with distributor (PBS/APT/NETA) and producer for approval of merchandise tags, web announcements, production credits to ensure they meet distributor guidelines
  • Liaison with producer to ensure program website (if any) follows public television guidelines for web content
  • Oversee distribution of promotional video and presentations for internal productions as necessary
  • Supervise and coordinate production of promotional clips, promos and presentations for PBS and/or APT conferences and events
  • Liaison between producer and various WTTW staff (research, publicity, web, production, engineering, programmers)
  • Monitor and communicate Nielsen ratings and other broadcast research related to project and its competitive programming via TRAC Media (Public TV proprietary database)
  • Handle sensitive viewer communications
  • Respond to inquiries regarding special events, appearances and general information
  • Provide crisis management to distributor/producer when unforeseen circumstances impact program content and subsequently, the public TV system

Publicity Manager

  • Create electronic press kits (customizable press release that includes a series/program description and episode line-up if applicable; plus selected images and captions) that will be available to national PTV station contacts via PBS Pressroom, or NETA Pressroom, and  Respond to PTV-related press calls
  • Pitch national programming to local Chicago media outlets
  • Note:  All national promotion to viewers/consumers is responsibility of the producer

Station Relations

  • Liaison between producer and Public TV station programmers
  • Secure Public TV broadcast airdates/times (including key markets identified by producer)
  • Create and execute station relations plan that is customized to program objectives
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with 350 Public TV stations using phone and/or email contact to encourage and obtain broadcast carriage data, including monitoring station websites to cross reference and confirm airdates
  • Screen program to identify and research key markets that are relevant to Program content
  • Provide producer with carriage data reports prior to feed date and following broadcast utilizing TRAC Media database
  • In coordination with project manager, create program marketing materials (e.g., e-blasts, postcards, promotional mailers, etc.) and distribute to Public TV system
  • Represent and promote program at PBS, APT, PTPA Programmers’ Meeting or other relevant national Public TV conferences
  • Alert stations to local outreach events related to the program
  • Facilitate relationships between local partners and local station personnel
  • Coordinate with stations to create customized promos and tags to encourage tune-in (as needed for special target markets)
  • Respond to inquiries regarding national broadcast and programming information (including educational, funder, outreach partners, etc.)
  • Manage written communication to all stations, including program updates, special information and flagged content
  • Manage and update program webpage and station relations webpage for all nationally distributed programming on
  • Provide crisis management to producers/programmers when unforeseen circumstances impact program content and subsequently, the public TV system

Engineering Technicians

  • Perform technical coordination and evaluation of programs to conform with distributor’s requirements
  • Track digital delivery of programs to distributors
  • Edit programming for digital upload, as necessary


  • Provide weekly ratings reports and final ratings summaries for wrap-up reports for all nationally distributed programming
  • Provide research as requested (competitive ratings and comparisons, Nielsen and MRI data)