RTDNA Survey Finds More Jobs, Higher Profits
July 8, 2011 at 3:36 AM (PT)
The latest RTDNA/HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY Annual Survey found that 2010 marked a turnaround year for local TV news, while radio remained about the same. TV stations added 750 jobs last year, recovering all the losses of 2009 (400 jobs lost) and making a dent in the 1,200 jobs lost in 2008. In fact, the survey found that anticipated hiring in 2011 could bring the industry back to its precrash peak by the start of 2012.
The report noted the typical (median) radio news operation had a full time news staff of one, the same as it's been since these surveys began 17 years ago. Radio news remains highly centralized, with the typical news director overseeing the news on three stations, more than two-thirds of those multi-station operations have a centralized newsroom, and just about 80% of radio news directors say they have additional station responsibilities beyond news.
The number of radio stations in a market tended to have little to do with the size of the staff. Commercial stations overall had larger staffs than non-commercial stations, as did group-owned rather than independent.
Non-commercial and independent radio stations were most likely to have grown in the past year, but overall, size really didn't change much. Three-quarters of stations expect no staff changes this year, although six times as many stations expect staff to increase rather than decrease. Still, the numbers are small. Those expecting growth are most often non-commercial stations and stations in the largest markets. Budgets were better in 2010, and fewer than half as many stations reported budget decreases as in the year before. Generally, the bigger the market, the more likely to see a budget increase.
Group-owned radio stations tended to do a lot better in profitability, but the biggest change in the last year was that a lot more news directors knew the answer than they did a year ago.
Read the full survey here.