RTNDA Study Shows More Radio News, Less Staff
October 10, 2008 at 5:33 AM (PT)
The RTNDA's annual study of broadcast news, staffing, and profitability, conducted with HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY, reports a mixed picture for local radio news, with the average amount of radio news per day rising, but staff sizes dropping after a momentary rise last year.
Group-owned stations, said the study, tended to employ slightly more newspeople than independent stations. Most stations -- 60.6% -- said that the amount of news they air stayed the same this year, and 68.9% said that they plan the same amount next year. Only 4.5% said that they aired less news this year, and none said they plan to reduce news coverage, but 25% -- double last year's response -- said that they plan to increase coverage. About 3/4 of respondents expect staffing to remain the same, with 12/9% reporting this year's staffing and next year's expected staffing unchanged. Radio news profitability, which jumped from 18.1% to 29.1%, fell back to 21% in 2008, with survey analyst BOB PAPPER suggesting that last year's substantial jump was a statistical anomaly.
No major-market stations claimed to be making a profit from news (two-thirds didn't know), but 27.8% of large-market stations, 18.4% of medium-market stations, and 23.9% of small-market stations showed a profit in news operations.
Read the study by clicking here.