TV News Employment And Profitability Rose In 2011: Report

It’s about time there was some good news for TV news — and there’s a lot of it today from the latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey of local stations. The study found that broadcasters added 1,131 TV news jobs, bringing the total to 27,653. That’s the second best tally the researchers have seen since 2000 when more stations offered newscasts, but with smaller staffs. Some 725 stations produce local news, and with cooperative agreements the shows are carried on 967 stations. The biggest increases in hiring took place in the 25 top markets as well as many small communities — although TV news employment dropped in the 26th to 50th largest areas. “Fox affiliates were more likely than any other group to increase staff size,” the report says. Nearly 39% of stations say that their budgets stayed the same, with 38% reporting an increase. But TV news profitability reached its highest level since 1998 with 59.3% of stations reporting a profit, up from 57.4%. The report follows a Gallup survey yesterday that found just 21% of adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in TV news — the lowest number since 1993 when the firm began its annual poll on the question.

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