The study, codnucted vt Bob Papper, Professor Emeritus - Hofstra University, found these highlights:
- TV news salaries overall have risen at nearly twice the rate of inflation over the last 5 years.
- In 2017, growth in wages for TV news employees slowed and wages grew less than the U.S. average, but still beat inflation.
- Salaries for 2/3 of TV news positions are up in the last year.
- For the first time in half a decade, the 5-year radio salary changes exceeded inflation.
- Radio salaries grew on pace with average U.S. wage growth in 2017, and median starting pay is up by more than 10%.
TV News Salaries
The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey found that local television news salaries rose by 2.7% in 2017. That's less than the last two years. Salaries were up 4% a year ago and 4.8% in 2015. Wages did increase more than inflation, which remained low at 2.1%, the same as a year ago, making the real growth in wages in the last year 0.6%. Still, the gains are a bit below U.S. average hourly wage gains of 2.9% for 2017.
Radio News Salaries
Accoridng to the study, local radio news salaries rose by 2.8% from last year. That’s up from last year’s 2.3% increase. Factor in low inflation of 2.1%, and radio salaries managed a 0.7 real increase over the last year and nearly matched the average U.S. hourly wage gain of 2.9% for 2017.
It was a comparatively good year overall for radio news salaries, although it was a mixed picture for the two most common positions: news director and news reporter.
Average radio news director salaries increased, but they held steady in the more meaningful median (typical) category. That happens because large and major market salaries bring up the average, but the larger number of lower, smaller and medium market salaries bring down the typical pay. That’s why the median news director salary can be lower than median salaries for news reporter or news producer. The two latter positions are more often found in larger, higher-paying markets, while a news director, frequently the only news employee, is found across the board.
News reporter wages also rose on average, but in terms of median they actually dropped. News producer salaries dropped in both average and median. News anchors, sports anchors and web producers/writer all increased. The survey did not find enough sports reporters to be able to use the numbers.