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Survey Finds More Women Leading in Local News


Women working in local radio and television news has reached a new high, according to the RTNDA/Hofstra survey of women and minorities in local news. Women working in radio grew from 22.7% last year to 28.1%t in 2009. Women make up 27.7% of radio news directors.

The survey also showed that the percentage of journalists of color working in local radio and TV news declined, led by a 10% drop in Hispanic staff working for Hispanic TV outlets. The percentage of Hispanics in local news fell from 10.3% last year to 8.8% this year.

At non-Hispanic stations, the minority workforce was down by half a percentage point to 19.6%. In local radio, news was mixed with Asian American and Native American numbers up and African American and Hispanic numbers down.

The percentage of minority television news directors dropped slightly in 2009 with the sharpest decline in Hispanic news directors. Measurement of minority news directors in radio fluctuates each year based on which stations complete the survey.

"While the increase in the number of women serving as news director is encouraging, the drop in the percentage of minorities employed in newsrooms is not," said RTNDA Chairman Stacey Woelfel. "It is my hope the gains made in the last few years to make our newsrooms more diverse were not lost in the recent economic downturn."

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