- The local radio workforce of color is the highest it’s been in more than 20 years – the third highest level ever – and the gap in representation is at a 14-year low.
- The percentage of radio news directors of color is at the highest level in five years.
- Overall, less than a quarter of radio newsrooms have at least one person of color, and commercial and smaller market radio stations are the least diverse.
- Women made significant gains in local radio news, making up 44.4% of the workforce compared to last year’s 34.3%.
The latest RTDNA/Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University Annual Survey finds the workforce of people of color in local radio news at its highest level in more than 20 years. However, the big, long term picture for people of color in local radio news still shows an industry well behind an ever-increasing population of people of color in the U.S.
The workforce of color in radio shot up by 3.2 points. At 14.5%, the radio workforce of color is the highest it’s been in more than 20 years, and at its third highest. In 1998, it hit its all-time peak of 16%.
In a complete reversal from a year ago, the numbers are almost all up for people of color in local radio news. After falling by 2 points a year ago, the percentage of radio news staffs with people of color rose almost 8 points this year. The percentage of news directors of color is up by 2.3, and the workforce of color is at a 20+ year high.
As usual, the South and West led the way with the Midwest lagging well behind. Also as usual, non-commercial stations remain far more diverse than commercial ones, but all the numbers are up for both groups except the workforce of color which fell nearly 2 points at commercial stations.