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RTDNA: Local Radio News Salaries Rose By 4.5% Over 2019


RTDNA
RTDNA

The latest newsroom survey found that local radio news salaries rose by 4.5% from last year reports RTDNA. That's triple last year's increase of 1.7%. Factor in modest inflation of 2.3%, and radio salaries gained 2.2% in real wage growth. That compares with a small loss against inflation of 0.2% a year ago. News producer, news anchor, sports reporter and web producer/editor salaries all went up in both average and median salaries. News reporter and sports anchor were mixed. News director dropped in both average and median salary.

Over the last five years, every radio newsroom position salary has been running ahead of inflation. This marks the third year in a row, radio salaries have beat inflation in a five-year comparison. Radio salaries - except for sports reporter - are also beating inflation over the last ten years. Download the complete salary guide to see how your salary is trending over time.

News director salaries fell in both major and large markets and came in unchanged in both medium and small markets. News reporters earned more in major and small markets but less in large and medium markets. No market size was consistently up or down.

Mostly, salaries go up as market size goes up. They also tend to go up as staff size increases, but much of that is a function of market size as well. Overall, salaries in the Northeast were higher than other areas, followed by the West. Download the full salary guide to see salary breakdowns by market size.

What makes a huge difference in pay is commercial radio versus non-commercial says RTDNA. Overall, non-commercial salaries are 39.5% higher than commercial ones. But that's not a fair comparison. The vast majority of non-commercial stations surveyed are in large and major markets. So I compared commercial and non-commercial salaries only in the two largest market groups.

In major and large markets, average non-commercial salaries are higher for three comparable positions, and commercial stations come out on top in two. Median salaries, which tend to be more representative, are higher in all five comparable job categories at non-commercial stations - by 27.5%. That's four points higher than the margin last year. Find more commercial vs public radio salary comparisons in the complete salary guide.

In radio, average starting pay rose $500 and median pay rose $900, continuing a growth trend. News reporter remains the top hire with a more than 3 to 1 margin over news producer, which jumped over news anchor this year. Download the complete salary guide for average starting salary breakdowns by job title.

The average starting pay in non-commercial radio is nearly $10,000 a year higher than commercial radio; the median starting salary is almost $8,000 per year higher. In fairness, more of those non-commercial stations are in large and metro markets which tend to have higher salaries overall.

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