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RTDNA: Salary Summary Numbers Don’t Look Promising

Almost all the numbers are down for those in radio as compared to last year

The RTDNA Research/Hofstra University 2015 Salary Survey report is the eighth in the series of annual survey of newsrooms. It was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Even without factoring in inflation, radio salaries dropped 4.1% from last year, after rising slightly the year prior. This may be more of a reflection of which stations fill out the salary data than an actual drop in salaries, the analysis said.

Salaries for news directors, news producers and news anchors went down. News reporters and Web producer/editors went up. Enough sports anchors and reporters showed up in the survey this year to report the results; that wasn’t the case a year ago. There does not appear to be a pattern to the salaries this year; the only fairly consistent pattern is that the larger the newsroom, generally, the larger the salary. Yet that was not the case for the number of stations in a market, station configuration or geography.

Last year, more than two-thirds of all new, starting positions in radio news were reporters. This year, it was just under 60%. Last year, average starting pay rose $3,100 and the median rose $4,000. This year, average starting pay dropped $1,000 from last year, and the median dropped $3,000. Nonetheless that’s $2,100, on average, more than two years ago, with the median up $1,000 from two years ago.

These excerpted results are reflective of responses from among a random sample of 3,704 radio stations. Valid responses came from 316 radio news directors and general managers representing 868 radio stations. Some data sets are based on a complete census and are not projected from a smaller sample.