First job options

In the current tough economy, you may not have a lot of choices for a first job in broadcasting.  Maybe you want to work in television.  Should you take a job in radio?  And can you even afford to?  Many applicants are shocked by the small salaries being offered for entry-level jobs in both radio and television.  In some markets, reporters make so little they’re actually eligible for food stamps.

Unfortunately, low pay is not a new issue.  A few years ago, I compared my starting salary in TV to what college graduates were making in their first jobs 30 years later.  Guess what?  Today’s students are actually worse off.  Joe Schlaerth, news director at WIVB-TV in Buffalo, says that’s just reality.  “The pay is terrible. The hours are terrible,” he says.If you love it, you’re going to stay in it.

After a recent seminar at Syracuse University, CBS radio news director Tim Scheld told students it’s not that different from when he started out.  He also has some advice about how to make the most of any opportunities you get.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent post! Tim Scheld especially made some outstanding points about being willing to work in radio as a potential road to TV.

    Still, with the Internet becoming a growing source for news, any video reporting, and/or editing skills one can develop–whether you’re new to the profession, or have had a few years under your belt–can be useful in pursuing the job you want.

    Tim is right. We’re all reporters or journalists, and the medium we use–whether it’s print, video, or audio–really doesn’t matter, as long as the story is told effectively, in the time and space given for it.

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