Public Relations Consultant | Versatile Digital Storyteller

Matt Besterman


Professional Experience

  • Freelance Writer, WPIX | Tribune Media | 2017

    Write and edit multiple news and feature stories per day on assigned dayparts.

    • Ensure stories are consistent with target audience, station news standards and anchor voice.
    • Use Final Cut Pro to quickly edit video to match story content.

  • Public Relations Consultant | Impact PR & Communications | 2017

    Freelance consultant for public relations agency with clients in New York’s Hudson Valley and beyond. 

    • Wrote press releases, media advisories, byline articles, corporate communications, and blog posts for corporate and nonprofit clients, and the agency itself.

  • Executive Producer, Hudson Valley | Spectrum News | 2015 – 2017

    Originated position of Hudson Valley bureau chief for regional TV news station. Coordinated news coverage of 4 counties. Provided on-the-ground management of 5 reporters and 3 videographers. Developed and managed relationships with key newsmakers. Leveraged us as “go-to” station for coverage.

    • Mentored reporters – some of whom had never worked in the industry before – to continuously improve scripts, ordering rewrites when necessary. Viewed and approved finished stories for TV and the Web, making changes to video editing to produce superior content.
    • Implemented social media strategy and enforced standards, including requiring reporters to include links to website and livestream in tweets, driving clickthroughs and site traffic.
    • Guided direct reports through complex merger between Time Warner Cable News and Charter Communications. Served as point person with Human Resources on changes to corporate practices and procedures. 
    • Acted as liaison between Hudson Valley staff and Albany-based news management, clearly communicating corporate and departmental goals and direction.
    • Directed breaking and ongoing news coverage in fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.

  • Executive Producer | NY1 News | 2004 – 2015

    Managed weeknights and weekend mornings at 24-hour news channel serving the 5 boroughs of New York City. Planned and executed editorial decisions. Responded quickly to breaking news. Mentored producers and writers.

    • Conceived and wrote NY1 Style Guide, still used as a training document for reporters, writers and producers station-wide.
    • Worked with Executive Producer of Hiring and Training to ensure a constant pipeline of talented producers and writers.
    • Directed 8 hours of live wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Sandy, cited by the New York Times as “a Prime-Time Anchor in the Tumult of the Storm”.
    • Leveraged small, nimble crews to tell big stories, from Sean Bell police shooting to NYC Marathon.
    • Copy-edited and fact-checked multiple reporters’ and writers’ scripts per day, ensuring balanced, accurate, and conversational copy.
    • Produced feature interview segments for weekend morning show and website. Managed editorial calendar and prepped anchors and interview subjects for camera.

  • Producer, “New York Tonight” | NY1 News | 2001 – 2004

    Produced only live nightly newscast dedicated solely to aftermath of 9/11 attacks.

    • Developed relationships with key stakeholders in World Trade Center rebuilding effort to provide more in-depth coverage than any other news outlet at the time.
    • Helped plan and execute 30 hours+ of live coverage of first anniversary of attacks.


Featured Work

"Stars of Tomorrow: the Horn and Hardart Children's Hour" is a documentary short and website about a beloved children's variety show that aired on radio and television from 1927 to 1958 - told through the eyes of one of its performers. Written, shot, and edited for my Master's capstone, Quinnipiac University, May 2016.


Education

2013 – 2016

Master of Science in Interactive Media

Quinnipiac University | Hamden, CT

1992 – 1996

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing

New York University | New York, NY


Skills

Video Editing: Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere

Graphic Editing: Photoshop, GIMP

Website Design: Wordpress, Adobe Muse

Audio Production: Cubase, Audacity