Media Buyer

A media buyer is in charge of purchasing broadcast (television, radio), print (newspaper, magazine) and digital (Internet) media space to place advertisements. Media buyers monitor target audience media consumption trends in order to determine where to reach particular consumer segments with targeted messages. They will often negotiate rates with media outlets in order to secure an efficient buy—reaching the largest number of the target consumers at the lowest cost to the client.

Basic Skills and Competencies

  • Adept at working with numbers including using basic mathematical models and interpreting basic statistics
  • An interest in and understanding of cultural trends related to media consumption
  • Strong interpersonal skills related to negotiating contracts and prices with media outlets

Amy Severson is a senior media buyer with Nemer Fieger in Minneapolis, MN, a position she has held for 13 years. Previously, she was media director of Funari Advertising and focused on the automotive industry and boutique retail. Prior to that, she owned Howard Communications and did media consulting work with Twin Cities advertising agencies. She began her career at Haworth Group as an assistant media buyer. Severson is a 1981 graduate of SJMC.

Video Index

  • Play entire video
  • Introduction
  • What is on your to-do list for today?
  • What do you wish you had done or known before you got this job?
  • How does a new person in this field get started/launch a career?
  • What is most exciting about your job?
  • Describe a favorite memory in your job


Courses to Help Prepare You (Within SJMC)

  • JOUR 3251: Evaluative Research in Strategic Comunication
  • JOUR 3261: Media Planning
  • JOUR 3275: Digital Strategy in Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 4259: Strategic Communication Case Analysis
  • JOUR 4262: Management for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 4263: Strategic Communication Campaigns
  • JOUR 3775: Administrative Law and Regulation for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 4274W: Advertising in Society

Courses to Help Prepare You (Outside SJMC)

  • MKTG 3001: Principles of Marketing
  • MGMT 3001: Fundamentals of Management
  • ABUS 4022W: Management in Organizations
  • COMM 3411: Small Group Communication
  • OLPD 3318: Introduction to Project Management
  • Consider minor in marketing or business

Student Groups

  • Ad Club
  • NSAC

Participate In

  • Student Advertising Summit
  • Minnesota Daily


  • Intern at local advertising agencies (may need to apply as early as January for summer internships)
  • Talk to local organizations, small business and churches and offer to help with advertisements, social media or websites
  • Watch for national advertising internship opportunities or training programs

Your Career

Career Resources

Professional Organizations

Where Alumni Work

  • Digitas (San Francisco)
  • Campbell Mithun
  • Colle + McVoy
  • Carmichael Lynch Spong

Return to Career Exploration page.