TV news stations may be hiring (staffing was up 4.3 percent in 2011), but salaries rose only 2 percent, according to an RTDNA/Hofstra University annual survey. “That thin margin of growth suggests that a lot of the hiring in 2011 took place among relatively young, less expensive staffers,” the survey report says.
Over the past five years of the surveys, the biggest total salary increases have gone to art directors (67 percent), news writers (31 percent) and news directors (17 percent). Weathercasters and sports anchors each pulled raises over 12 percent since 2007, but news anchors less than 7 percent.
The worst five-year pay trends have been for online or mobile specialists, whose salaries rose, barely, 0.6 percent since 2007, and news assistants, whose salaries declined 3 percent.
Here are the current-year salaries from the survey:
|Television news salaries – 2012|
|Assistant News Director||73,900||69,700||29,000||195,000|
|Source: Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University survey|
The median starting salary for a TV journalist with no previous full-time experience was $24,000 in 2011. The median starting salary for a j-school graduate (working on any platform) was $31,000 in 2011, according to a recent University of Georgia study.
Read the full survey for more data on salaries by market size and staff size, starting pay, contracts and non-competes, and radio salaries. If you really want to feel underpaid, read how much network anchors earn.
Earlier: TV station newsrooms staffed up in 2011, as print newsrooms shrank (Poynter) | TV stations now airing about 5 hours of local news per weekday (Poynter)
Related: Cable and satellite TV companies losing subscribers (Investor’s Business Daily)