As the country emerges from recession, TV newsrooms are beginning to hire again. The industry has a long way to go to recover from the past two years, during which the workforce shrank by more than 5%. But at least we shouldn’t see a repeat of 2009 when about 400 local TV news people lost their jobs, according to the latest RTDNA/Hofstra survey.
“In my view, we’ve bottomed out,” said lead researcher Bob Papper during a presentation at last week’s RTDNA convention in Las Vegas. “I would be very surprised if we don’t see staffing numbers go up.” The survey data certainly supports that prediction. The number of news managers who expect to increase their staffs jumped by 145%. The number expecting staff cuts dropped to near zero.
With that optimistic outlook in mind, we asked a news director from a so-called “starter market”–Jam Sardar of WLNS-TV in Lansing, Michigan–for his advice for job seekers.