NBC page

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An NBC page is a person usually in his or her early twenties working in various departments of the NBC television network during a one-year period as a training ground for careers in television broadcasting and entertainment.[1] In addition, pages work as tour guides and studio audience ushers at NBC Radio City Studios in New York City or NBC Universal studios in Burbank, California.[2]

Dave Garroway, former NBC page

NBC began the page program in 1933 at its Rockefeller Center headquarters,[3] later expanding it to their west coast studios in Burbank.[1] The Page Program is the longest running franchise under NBC. In the 1950s, NBC also offered page positions at their owned-and-operated stations, such as WRC in Washington, D.C. where Today Show personality Willard Scott was an NBC page.

Selection is highly competitive, with only 60 to 80 pages selected a year out of over 7,000 applicants.[4] Past pages describe the interview process as grueling, as the network seeks the best corporate image to present to the public. In addition to requiring candidates to be college graduates, NBC says it prefers those with "related broadcast experience such as a college campus radio station, demonstrated leadership, strong work ethic, and outgoing personality".[1]

Pages regularly get to work on such programs as The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. Pages also rotate through assignments in public relations (PR), marketing, development, and production in a variety of shows and special projects. Most pages go on to careers with NBC or other broadcast media and a number have become celebrities or leaders of the industry in their own right.

Notable NBC page alumni[edit]

Notable former NBC pages include:[2]

Application process[edit]

The highly competitive application process requires several steps. Applicants must first submit an application, resume, and cover letter to the NBCUniversal career site.[7] Following the online submission, Page Program coordinators review materials and select individuals to move on to the phone screen. In the phone screen stage, Page Program coordinators conduct an individual interview that examines an applicant's relevant skills, leadership experience, and knowledge of NBCUniversal. Candidates applying for the East Coast Page Program who make it through the phone interview are then invited to a group interview at NBC's offices at Rockefeller Center.[8] Group interviews typically have six applicants applying with two or three interviewers. The group interview is three parts: a group portion where all applicants are asked the same questions, an individual interview with the two or three NBCUniversal interviewers, and a presentation portion where applicants must present to the NBCUniversal interviewers and fellow applicants.

Acceptance rate[edit]

The NBCUniversal Page Program accepts around 1.5 percent of applicants, making it harder to get into the program than gain acceptance into Harvard.[9] Of the roughly 6,000 individuals who apply for the program each year, between 60 and 70 are invited to participate in the program.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

In the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, produced by former Saturday Night Live head writer Tina Fey, Jack McBrayer portrays a zealous, smiling, do-good NBC page named Kenneth Parcell, who appears as a page through the show's seven seasons despite pages usually only being employed for a year. And while pages are usually in their twenties, it is a running joke on the show that Kenneth is unrealistically old (indeed, that he is immortal) based on his looks. (For example, in Season 5's "When it Rains, it Pours", Kenneth is seen nostalgically packing away a signed photograph of Fred Allen from 1947, dedicated: "Kenneth, you're the TOPS!" into a box marked "NBC Memories 1945-1967".)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "East Coast Page Program". NBC Universal Careers. National Broadcasting Company (NBC). 2007. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  2. ^ a b "Tonight Show with Jay Leno". National Broadcasting Company (NBC). 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  3. ^ Steinhauser, Si (8 May 1935). "Radio Chiefs Train Studio Guides For Bigger Posts In Broadcasting". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Buckley, Cara (October 14, 2008). "For NBC Pages, ‘Please Follow Me’ Is a Fervent Wish". The New York Times. p. A23. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  5. ^ http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/don-nash-named-ep-of-today_b155002
  6. ^ Needleman, Sarah E. (2009-09-29). "Lara Spencer and ‘The Insider’". The Wall Street Journal (New York: Dow Jones). ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  7. ^ a b http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQCu014Rma8&feature=player_embedded
  8. ^ Buckley, Cara (2008-10-14). "For NBC Pages, ‘Please Follow Me' Is a Fervent Wish". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Jenna (2011-05-12). "Life of an NBC page isn't quite like ‘30 Rock'". The Washington Post. 

External links[edit]