TV News Salaries Drop for the First Time in 4 Years


The economy is better, stations are hiring again and all is good with TV news...Right?

Maybe not.  

For the first time in four years, local TV news salaries have taken a dive.

The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University survey says pay was down on average by almost 2% in 2012. If you factor in the rate of inflation, real wages were down by about 4%.

Just two years ago, TV salaries jumped by more than 7%, and with the worst of the recession in the rearview mirror, some hoped the trend would continue. Fat luck. The long view is even grimmer. Median salaries in almost every job category not only went down last year, they have failed to keep up with inflation over the past ten years.

Who made more? News writers and news assistants, says researcher Bob Papper, but only because the relative few who were hired got nice jumps in pay. The reverse is true in some other job categories.

EPs are a particularly interesting case. Their average salary has increased the least of any job category over the past decade, just over 6%, while inflation was up 27%. What could explain this? All I can imagine is that producers taking jobs as EPs are willing to settle for less pay, most likely in a smaller market, in order to take that next step up the management ladder.

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