I’m sure everyone here has watched the TODAY Show at some point or another, or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to go to a concert at the famous Rockefeller Plaza. University Union had the pleasure of talking with Brittany Schreiber- Bosner; the Music Booker for the TODAY Show. Brittany is responsible for the concerts we love to wake up early for before the NBC news we grew up watching. As if that wasn’t cool enough, she was listed on Billboard’s Power 100 list of the Most Influential Women in music. The icing on the cake? Brittany is an alumni of Syracuse University and was more than willing to share the story of her career, and how Syracuse helped her get there.
What year did you graduate and what was your major at Syracuse?
B: I graduated in 2009 and I was a Television Radio and Film major from Newhouse with a dual in Psychology.
Was there a specific class that stood out to you during your time at Syracuse?
B: I remember I loved my Pop culture TV class with Robert Thompson.
What was the most beneficial/ influential part of going to Syracuse regarding your career path?
B: I think the opportunities that I was presented with for internships and connections post-college was one of the most significant benefits. I utilized the different programs at Newhouse to intern at the Beijing Olympics. This brought me a lot of connections at NBC which brought me to the NBC Page program.
What was some of your experience before you started working at the TODAY show?
B: I was an intern at the Beijing Olympics for NBC sports and I was an NBC page. With the Page Program you really get to know how all of NBC works and get sort of an overview of the company. When I was a page, I not only worked audience for the different shows, but I also got to be a page for the TODAY show, SNL, and Andy Cohen’s assistant at Bravo.
What is your day to day like? What is the most exciting part of the day?
B: The day to day depends, but the majority of the day is spent on the phone or on my email getting different pitches from record labels, publicists and managers. I also work on the future bookings we have on the show, and figuring things out like; what songs different artists want to sing, the production of the segment and passing those along to the producers. Then in the morning, I’m usually in studio if there is music on the show.
The most exciting part of my day is the Summer Concert Series. During the summer we do the big concerts on the plaza where we fill it with fans, and we have a lot of different artists. Usually these artists are out on tour or have albums they're releasing, so I really look forward to those. Even though sound check can be early, nothing quite compares to live music at 6:30 on a summer Friday. So that’s definitely one of my favorite parts of my job.
What is the best/ most rewarding part of your job?
B: I think at the TODAY show, it’s important to remember that we’re also booking for the viewers. When you see viewers come from somewhere far, and make it their summer destination to come to the TODAY Show plaza, which I think is iconic and I visited as a kid, and to be able to see those fans be able to come and see a free concert, and sometimes get to meet some of the artists is one of the most rewarding things to me. Just seeing it pay off to the viewers.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
B: The most challenging part is that we obviously always want the biggest names in the music industry and some of those people aren’t going to wake up and do morning tv. So, when we can convince or book somebody to come and do morning tv, when we didn’t think they were going to, that can be challenging, but exciting.
What do you recommend for someone wanting to go into your field of work or the music industry in general?
B: I think that internships and connections are really important and especially maintaining those connections. You just never know when someone is going to present you with an opportunity and that’s a lot of how I ended up where I am. Just following up with those people and not being afraid to take the business card and check in with them when you’re In the area, even when you feel like there’s nothing new for you to say. Using the Syracuse network is really important. Every day at NBC there’s a joke that you were either a page or you went to Syracuse. I think that those connections help you in a lot of different ways. The Syracuse name stands for itself.
Music and entertainment are competitive industries to break in to. Do you have any advice for Students looking to follow this career path, based on your experience?
B: I got into my job through production, and I didn’t really know about booking until I got to NBC and saw that we have a whole booking department. When the music booking job opened I decided to explore that. I really feel like I work for the TODAY Show first, and then I sort of learned about the music industry and booking through that. Now I’ve learned so much more about how labels work and how managers work and how the whole industry functions and what they’re looking for from a booking standpoint. It’s not very interesting to learn, but the label and management world is definitely the way to go to get into music.
Was there ever a time where you took a risk professionally? If so, what was the outcome?
B: I definitely took a big risk by taking on the music booking job. I was producing at the show, and this was a different department, and I didn’t know exactly what it entailed. It was definitely a risk that I’m glad I took, and I have now been the music booker for 3 and a half years. I love it and love the people that I have met, as well as working parallel with the music industry to be able to book people on the show.
What is a moment or event that you’re most proud of in your career?
B: Two weeks ago, on October 11 it was the International Day of the Girl, and Mrs. Obama announced a big girls initiative on the Today Show. We booked Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Meaghan Trainor to perform. It’s always been a dream of mine to have multiple artists perform on the plaza on one day and share a stage. They all did individual songs but it was part of one larger concert, and it felt like we were giving back to a cool new initiative. That was definitely a moment that felt like something new and different and that we had achieved something really outstanding.
Find out a little bit more about Brittany!
Thank you Brittany, for sharing your career journey as well as your passion for music with your Orange family!
Interviewed by Rachel Simon
By Rachel Simon