The latest RTDNA-Hofstra University Annual Survey found that local television news salaries rose by 4% in 2016. That’s a bit less than last year’s 4.8%, but still almost double the level of inflation in 2016: 2.1%. That means TV news salaries gained 1.9% purchasing power this past year… on top of the previous year’s 3.5% net increase. A big improvement over the last few earlier years.
The typical TV news director remained in the mid 40s. Okay, upper mid-40s. The average age was 47.6, and the median was 47. That’s almost identical to last year… which means either some changes took place or TV news directors simply refused to get older. The average TV news director has been ND at that station for 4.9 years, although the median remained at just 3. The average rose just a hair from last year. The longest serving news director at the same station has been there for an impressive 32 years.
Total local TV news employment hit a near all-time high in 2015, growing by 1% and adding 270 people, according to the latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey. That puts total TV news staffing at 27,870, and that edges ahead of 2012 but remains below the all-time peak in 2001. Generally, TV newsrooms keep growing in size, but there aren’t as many of them as in past years. Even so, the growth in employment overcame another small loss in the number of stations producing local news.
The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds the minority workforce in TV news rose to 23.1%. That’s up almost a full point from a year ago and is the second highest level ever in TV news. The minority workforce at non-Hispanic TV stations also went up to the second highest level ever.
The latest installment of RTDNA-Hofstra University Annual Survey of local news highlights changes in the lives of news directors. Findings include the fact that TV NDs are getting older and switching jobs quicker.
The group’s latest survey finds 1,053 TV stations running local news, more than ever before. Of those, 714 produce newscasts for themselves, while 339 rely on the producers in sharing arrangements.
RTDNA finds that 16.3% of local TV news operations are using drones, 6.7% plan to start soon, 17.7% have used them but aren’t now, and 59.4% have no plans to use them.