Fewer people making less money are producing more television news than ever. That’s the bottom line from the latest RTNDA/Hofstra survey released on Sunday.
Jobs and salaries in local TV news dropped by more than 4 percent last year, but stations still managed to produce a record amount of news. The survey found that more than half of those stations are making a profit on local news.
Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) from the survey:
About four times as many stations reported cutting jobs as adding jobs. Hardest hit by salary cuts were news reporters (-13.3 percent), news anchors (-11.5), weathercasters (-9.1) and sports anchors (-8.9). The typical station added a half-hour of local news per weekday in 2008, setting a new record for the amount of news — 4.6 hours per weekday. Weekends stayed the same.
My guess is that no one employed in a TV newsroom needed a survey to tell them they’re working harder. The impact of the recession on local television stations has been well documented. But what’s interesting is that stations are still making money producing local news.
Survey director Bob Papper said he expects jobs and salaries to continue to decline for the rest of this year but the picture should improve in 2010.