Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

My job explained: Scheduling manager

scheduling managerSteve Power plans which movies get shown on Sky. He runs the schedules, arranges special film seasons, and enjoys working in the media. Read the interview below to find out why.

Could you tell us a bit about your job?

I plan the schedules for Sky Movies Premiere and Screen 2 as well as managing a team who work on the following genre channels: Modern Greats, Action/Thriller and Sci-Fi/Horror. I help to plan the daily schedules and seasons, like in November we have an Eddie Murphy season. I am also involved in the selection process of what promos we make each month.

What does a typical day involve?

It depends, really. Usually I’ll be analysing ratings to see what has been successful, and planning schedules around that. Sometimes I have to react quickly, though. For example, when Paul Newman died I had to get together a schedule of his films for a special ‘Paul Newman’ tribute.

On a quiet day I catch up on watching films. Often I have to watch a lot of films from smaller studios to see if they are suitable and will fit in with our schedule. There are so many it takes a lot of time – for every blockbuster there are ten other films you might not be familiar with.

How did you get into media?

I’ve worked in media for ten years. Initially I started as a runner, like most people. Then I went travelling for a while. I came back and worked for MTV as an airtime planner – planning the ad breaks. That was really useful for me, because they’re a big name. It really helps you out to get a big name broadcaster behind you – it will stand out on your CV.

What qualifications do you need to become a scheduler?

You actually don’t need a degree. I didn’t go to Uni, but I do have A-levels in Film Studies and English Literature. I think the most important thing is to know a lot about what you’re going to do. Show an interest in it, but don’t go over the top. It shouldn’t be all you talk about – if everyone talked films all the time we’d never get anything done!

It’s mainly about training and experience, though. If you work with a big name broadcaster you’ll get a lot of on the job training, which can be really useful. Sky always encourage us to go on training courses and get experience. I was even sent on a placement in the account handling department to give me some more management experience.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love planning a strategy or a season that really works. You can see afterwards how many people watched it and how successful it was, and it’s very satisfying if it was good.
There are also some perks. I get invited to a lot of red carpet premiers – recently I went to the new Will Smith screening, and stood right next to him! I’ve also been sent on a placement to Sky in Milan, which was very rewarding.

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

If you get an interview, do your research! It is so important to know what you are going in for. I’ve seen people in interviews who obviously haven’t even opened the Radio Times to look at the schedule. You could be the nicest person in the world but if you don’t know what the company are doing then you won’t be successful.

If you’ve done your research, just be confident and positive, and try to make an impression.

Related links