Feature A


Opportunity Takes You Places

           JP League

           November 10, 2010

              TAMPA-When Cathy Helean graduated from college with a degree in broadcast journalism, she saw herself pursuing a career as a reporter. However, the opportunities she found took her out of the newsroom and led her to become a successful person marketing for news stations all over the country.

            “When I graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism, I believed fully that I was going to be a news reporter, but the opportunity didn’t point me in that direction,” Helean said.

            Helean is now the vice president of marketing for the Florida Communications Group. FCG includes WFLA-TV, The Tampa Tribune, and Centro Tampa.

            Helean is in charge of all the marketing efforts for all of FCG’s media platforms. She started in another direction though. “I got my first job in advertising, purely because that was the opportunity at the time,” Helean said. She then went to television. Helean said, “I started out in that (advertising) field and transitioned back into television by leveraging what I had learned in advertising as a copywriter and producer into my first position in television which was a producer for a program call ‘PM Magazine’ which was a locally produced life style show at the station I was in Columbus.”

            Then, she moved to the Atlanta based station, WSB. Helean said, “I gained experience from that environment which is a good size market to learn a lot in.” After Atlanta, she moved to a sister station in San Francisco, KTVU, where she moved into marketing. “I was running more of the news marketing or in other words, what we promote to audiences to watch the television that night,” Helean said. She moved from San Francisco to Raleigh where she ran an entire marketing organization for an ABC. Then she moved to Turner Broadcast and after to Dallas where she was in charge of the marketing for the ABC station there.

            Florida Communications Group then hired Helean as vice president in charge of all of marketing. Helean said, “As you can see, you start out in one entity and keep building your experience and your management skills as much as your creative skills and you keep moving up the ladder.”  

            Helean loves the opportunities in her job. “In 2009, we had the Super Bowl. What a great opportunity that was to just do something so amazing and really be creative about it and maximize the opportunity to talk to our entire audience,” Helean said. “It’s great to have a partner like NBC because it allows you to be very creative when the opportunity arises and that is a partnership that we can leverage across the platforms,” Helean said.

            The opportunities have not only helped her get promotions but have compelled her to broaden her skills. Helean said, “Now, we are a multimedia marketing organization. We utilize each platform, print online, on air, mobile, social, to bring our messages to our audiences.” Helean said: “We have to look 360 degrees at how someone lives their life everyday and what kind of media they are accessing and making sure our messages are there. Also as a multimedia department, that means that each platform, also, has special project that are individualized for that platform.”

            Helean believed that she would become a journalist after her graduation. “I found opportunities elsewhere and it turned out to be perfect. I’m much more of a creative writer, thinker and producer than I might have been as a strait lined journalist,” Helean said. She has developed a marriage between imaginative and journalistic sides. Helean said, “I get to be creative and think outside of the box yet bring a lot of opportunities for our audience to understand the great journalism we do.”

            The main downside of her job is having more ideas than time allows. “There is always something that we should be thinking about or doing, but there are not enough hours in the day,” Helean said, “so if you could stretch your life out for a 48 hour day we might get to it all.”



Tweet: Cathy Helean has worked all over the country following the opportunities that she has taken advantage. She is now a vice president at FCG.

SEO: Opportunity, Helean, Marketing, FCG, Television


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