To win a job selling syndicated shows, Deb Bradley, 39, says she called John Nogawski—now president of CBS Television Distribution—at least 22 times.
"He now jokes that it was part of a test to see how persistent I was," says the married mother of two.
Nogawski remembers it differently. "Within 45 minutes of talking to her, I was done. I walked into [then Paramount Worldwide TV Distribution Chairman] Joel Berman's office and said, 'We have to decide who isn't going to work here anymore because I just found the person who must work here.'"
GETTING PEOPLE TO AGREE
What so impressed Nogawski, he says, was Bradley's innate understanding of how to close a deal.
"Good salespeople have a way of looking at a situation and putting the right pieces together in order to get something done," he says. "That's a combination of being smart, using relationships to your advantage, and knowing when the market is right to go. Overall, it's just a sense of being able to get people to agree with your point of view."
Told by her salesman father from a young age that she was a "born salesperson," Bradley emerged from Boston College in 1990 knowing that she wanted to work in media.
She got a job right out of school selling radio ad time for national radio rep firm Interep in New York, quickly moving from there to sell advertising exclusively for KSJO/KUFX-FM San Francisco.
But while she loved radio, she really wanted to be in television.
"Radio is wonderful, but I wanted to be in TV," she says. "I love all the glamour and passion of entertainment."
In fact, her ultimate goal is not just to sell TV shows, but to produce them.
So she took a trip down to Los Angeles where she met with syndication executives. Nogawski, then the youngest sales manager in the business, was her last stop.
Since getting hired on, Bradley has run sales offices in New York and Dallas and is now back in Los Angeles, selling CBS's shows and content to cable networks as the senior VP, cable sales manager. Her latest triumphs were the unusual deals that bring off-net episodes of CBS's Criminal Minds to Ion and A&E, and CBS's Ghost Whisperer to Ion, Sci Fi and WE.
"My job is to marry up what I am selling with the appropriate buyer," she says. "If you don't do that, you're never going to sell anything." —Paige Albiniak