Why TV News People are Leaving for PR Jobs

The Peoria Journal Star did a story about why so many Journalists in Central Illinois have left their job and gone into PR. 

And while the number is high in Illinois, it can be applied to just about anywhere. It seems not a week goes by without FTVLive hearing about someone in TV news, quitting for a job in PR. 

The trend has really picked up pace over the past few years. 

“I think it’s the state of the media these days,” said Paul Gullifor, who heads the school of communications at Bradley University.

“We don’t sugarcoat it at school. The (media) industry is not what it once was, and the future is uncertain. You need a sincere, fiery passion for journalism,” he said.

The communications student at Bradley receives a wide-ranging education, said Gullifor. “We try to equip them with skills and concepts that are easily transferable. So whether it’s journalism, public relations or advertising, they have an understanding of what’s involved,” he said.

The numbers bear Gullifor out. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 45,800 news reporters in the United States in 2015, compared with 218,000 employed in public relations.

That’s a ratio of almost five PR people to every reporter in the country.

Freelancer Mike Rosenberg, in an online article last month, pointed out that the ratio has jumped dramatically since 2000, when there were just two PR people for each reporter.

“(When) I decided to dig into the numbers, what I found was a media landscape that has seen a huge rise in pitchmen and a big drop in news reporters — at a rate that surprised even a jaded newspaper reporter such as myself,” said Rosenberg, a former reporter for the San Jose Mercury News.

There is no doubt that PR does not offer the rush of TV news. But many in TV are sick of awful hours and low pay of TV news and are opting for something more normal.

"I'm paid well, I have time for my family and I get to do what I want each and every weekend.... I'll take that over the crap of what TV news has become any day," said one former newsie that now works in PR to FTVLive. 

He adds, "I made the move and I never looked back."

It's a move you could see more and more people in TV news make.

Stay tuned...