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Report: TV News Job Loss Slows-But at What Cost?

U.S. DEPRESSION BREAD LINEThe headline, surely, seems encouraging-- TV Job Losses Could Be Slowing.

For those of us hanging on to local news jobs--or hoping to find one--any sign the storm is letting up means we can envision climbing up out of our storm cellars, evaluating the damage, and beginning to rebuild.

But I question whether the study reported by MediaJobsDaily can really be described, as Rachel Kaufman suggests as "signaling good news for all who are still hanging on."

The research, by Vocus, a company that specializes in selling software to public relations companies, suggests that from January to June, "on-air TV news experienced a net job loss of 401."  Great!  Then, the details:  "1,006 fewer TV journalists were working," (Not Great) "while 605 entered new positions."

Here's where the rainbow over the hill starts to fade, at least for me.  Who lost those 1,006 jobs? From my own direct experience, I can tell you many of them were among the most talented and experienced broadcast journalists working in the country.  And from reading the "Who's News" posts on ShopTalk and elsewhere, I can tell you the people who seem to be finding work are, predominantly the just out of college or just-jumped-150-markets-from Eau Claire" variety, and that means while job losses may technically be slowing, the overall picture remains bad.

Experience:  out.  Salaries:  headed down.  And there's little to suggest that will be slowing anytime soon, if ever.

846251932_45052f2773.jpgLet's crowdsource this. Leave a comment below if you've had layoffs and hires at your station. Did green replace gray?  Go ahead and name the vets, but let's not pile on the newly hired kids, who can't be blamed for jumping at a chance of starting in a big market.  Let's leave their names out of this.

But we can tell a bigger story if we all report what we know directly from our own newsroom families.

So...are the job losses slowing?  And even if they are, is this "good news?"

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  1. This just posted: Len Berman on his career and Local Media changes.


  2. Andrew,

    Thanks for the link!


  3. I was inadvertently hired to replace four people.

    I had no idea what was going to happen when I was offered the job by the ND and told of my start date. I was told my position was new creation in the web department. I was working as a freelancer for a year prior and jumped at the chance to go full time as a staffer.

    My start date was the day the station laid off a bunch of people and cut shows. I found out what happened an hour earlier before I arrived at the station when I was invited to the morning meeting where the ND listed off the names who were laid off, told them the Christmas party was canceled due to budget cuts and then introduced me in the next sentence “this is ***, she was just hired today.”

    The looks I was given and the chill in the air could have frozen hell easily after the ND said those words. The staff retaliated by making me feel as unwelcome as possible. Everything from the assignment desk turning off the lights to my work area even though they knew I was there to locking me out of the newsroom chat room. Trying to illicit conversation via a friendly hello in the hallways was returned with an icy glare. They eventually made me so damned miserable after seven months, the station let me go in a heartbeat after I finally complained.

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