Producer Page: February
IN THIS ISSUE...
Note to everyone who contributed: Thank you for trusting me with this information. I know it's weird to tell me how much money you make. I hope this is a useful tool for everyone who's curious about the range of salaries out there!
I put some information into ranges to help conceal the producers' identities. Under 'Newscast' you'll find the following codes:
Morning: anything from 5am through noon, (weekend mornings included.)
The individual titles for the other types of producers are so specialized that I'm afraid labeling each would give away the identities of the producers. They include the following titles: pkg producer, commercial producer, segment producer, entertainment producer, documentary producer, special projects producer, investigative producer, live remote producer, promotions producer, series producer, and online producer. In some of those categories, there is only one contributor. For our purposes I'm calling all of the above "specials."
Years of experience have been turned into groups: 1-2 years; 3-5 years; 6-10 years; >10 years. Keep in mind that I asked for years of experience PRODUCING. A producer with one year of experience in a large market with a large salary might have spent 10 years as a reporter before making the switch, but you won't be able to tell from this table. Also, if you see a question mark, it means the information wasn't provided.
mkt yrs title salary 1 1-2 AP 40K 1 3-5 writer 52K 1 3-5 specials 80K 2 3-5 specials 70K 2 3-5 specials 90K 2 1-2 morning 102K 3 ? ? 55K 3 1-2 morning 63K 3 1-2 morning 29K 5 3-5 morning 43K 5 3-5 morning 43K 6 3-5 specials 29K 8 >10 specials 86K 8 6-10 evening 60K 8 >10 specials 65K 8 1-2 specials 54K 8 6-10 evening 57K 12 6-10 weekend 41K 13 >10 morning 43K 14 >10 specials 65K 15 3-5 morning 31K 15 3-5 evening 45K 15 3-5 weekend 37K 15 6-10 evening 55K 17 1-2 morning 27K 17 3-5 evening 50K 18 ? specials 39K 20 >10 morning 41K 20 3-5 specials 38K 21 6-10 weekend 35K 23 6-10 morning 40K 23 3-5 evening 30K 25 3-5 evening 37K 25 >10 morning 44K 26 ? morning 36K 27 3-5 evening 38K 27 6-10 evening 35K 29 6-10 specials 45K 29 1-2 weekend 28K 29 1-2 weekend 30K 30 6-10 specials 38K 30 3-5 evening 36K 30 6-10 specials 30K 31 >10 evening 44K 32 3-5 evening 40K 32 10 evening 51K 34 3-5 evening 32K 35 3-5 weekend 40K 36 3-5 morning 39K 36 >10 evening 41K 43 3-5 evening 32K 45 5-10 evening 24K 45 1-2 morning 26K 48 3-5 evening 37K 49 1-2 morning 25K 49 6-10 evening 35K ~50 1-2 specials 18K 62 1-2 noon 20K 62 1-2 evening 19K 62 1-2 evening 23K 63 3-5 evening 35K 64 1-2 evening 25K 64 3-5 evening 23K 64 1-2 evening 27K 64 1-2 evening 27K 67 3-5 evening 30K 67 1-2 special 20K 74 1-2 evening 22K 77 >10 ? 36K 79 1-2 evening 30K 79 3-5 evening 37K 83 3-5 specials 30K 85 1-2 evening 23K 90 ?? evening 16K 98 6-10 evening 36K 100 1-2 specials 25K 101 3-5 specials 29K 101 ?? specials 34K 101 ?? specials 52K 102 1-2 weekends 17K 103 >10 specials 34K 106 1-2 evening 19K 115 3-5 evening 22K 116 1-2 evening 19K 125 1-2 morning 20K 129 1-2 morning 30K 130 6-10 evening 36K 152 1-2 evening 19K 155 3-5 evening 27K 191 2 evening 14K =========================================== nat'l cable 3-5 special 45K syndicator 6-10 special 37K nat'l cable >10 special 59K synd tv mag >10 special 95K nat'l cable 3-5 special 34K nat'l cable 6-10 special 72K nat'l cable >10 special 75K
For related information on producer salaries as of 1994, go to http://www.missouri.edu/~jourvs/index.html
It's Vernon Stone's national survey. The information there is presented in averages and medians.
Subscribers ask for advice, often anonymously. If you'd like to offer some help, send it to me and I'll print it in the next issue.
*Note: unusual circumstances prevent me from running responses to the producer's letter that ran last month.**
I'm having a problem with my anchors, actually with one of my anchors. It's a problem that I've talked to both of them about, and so far, it doesn't look like there is a solution. Here's the situation:
I produce the 90 minute morning show in X-city and I am at work by one in the morning. When the problem anchor gets in at 4, he asks if I have a certain story in my newscast. For example, when the woman who accused Michael Irvin and Erik Williams was charged, he wanted to know if it was in the newscast. When I told him it was in the sports package, he insisted that I have it later in the show. He began his protest at the time I print scripts.
I feel I have very good news judgment, and his co-anchor said I have good news judgment too. When I talked with the problem anchor, he said that he's done it with every producer that he's ever had, and that he will continue to do so. Sarcastically, I even asked him if I should call him at 1:30 in the morning to see what he thinks I should have in the newscast. What should I do, and are other anchors like this?
HERE IS A LETTER FROM AN ANCHOR.
I am a local tv news anchor with extensive producing experience. I currently oversee the producers (many of whom are right out of college with ZERO experience) and try to guide them along. My early morning broadcast is usually where all the rookies start. So instead of focusing on being an anchor, I'm finding I must be a teacher (if I want to feel confident what I'm broadcasting is factually correct, well written, etc.)
One of the things that disturbs me greatly is the fact that many of these "kids" have less than competent writing skills. I'm constantly trying to explain the difference between active and passive writing, conversational writing, subject-verb agreement, etc. It would be great to see producing -- and even writing in general -- as areas broadcast schools/universities could place greater emphasis. Too often, the facts get lost, the proper initial and followup questions are never asked (gee, I never thought to ask that!!!) and the news judgment is just not there. I'm constantly trying to explain the difference between a state representative and a member of congress; jail vs. prison; pleaded NOT guilty as opposed to "pled innocent."..the list goes on and on. And then, once I get one trained, they're "promoted" to a better shift and I start all over again.
Because of the shortage of producers, we're seeing on the local level people who have no desire whatsoever to produce who will take a producing job hoping it will lead to reporting or anchoring. The result: we get producers who aren't at all interested in actually producing, don't care if they mess up, have no "ownership" in their product and an on-air product that is substandard.
Thanks for letting me vent.
A LINE PRODUCER WANTS SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT.
First I want to say that I love this newsletter. It makes me feel that I am not so alone in the crazy world of producing.
I am asking for some advice. I produce the 5-6 pm newscast for the number station in ___________. I love line producing, but I really think I want to get out into field or special projects producing.
At my current job, there is no way I can do that. Before I make my next move, I am wondering if anyone out there has some advice about where I should go, or what I should do?
If there are any field or special projects producers out there, maybe they could give me some advice.
I would really apreciate the help!
RESPONSE TO LAST MONTH'S QUESTION ABOUT MOVING FROM RADIO TO TV.
Just a quick note after reading Darren Reynolds' query in your latest "Producer Newsletter":
I don't know that there's a guaranteed answer as to how you convince people that your experience on one side of the radio-TV canyon applies on the other.
I spent 17 years as a radio news anchor and reporter, 13 of them in top-10 markets. Most of my editor/producer colleagues from those years probably thought I did a little TOO much producing from the anchor chair!
A little over two years ago, I crossed the canyon to television, and realized that while there was much to learn about the mechanics and "feel" of television, a good story is still a good story, and a good newscast is still a good newscast, whatever the medium.
So my advice to Darren would be to make exactly that point to the television managers he approaches. Deal from a position of confidence: "Not only have I produced television newscasts, but I've mastered a separate medium, and I'll bring an added perspective to your newsroom."
And don't forget, there are a fair number of companies left where the ability to cross over from radio to TV could come in handy.
By the way, Alice, I enjoy your newsletter. Although I work as a segment producer on a 3-times-a-week show rather than a daily newscast, it's great to have a place to pick up ideas and see people work out their problems.
Our station recently purchased equipment that allows for fast display of school/business closings at bottom of screen.. without tying up our main Chyron.
During a recent snowstorm, we had interns help enter the business closings... and entries were coming in fast and furious. Apparently, one of the interns had something else on her mind because this is what showed up on TV:
"Southside Blowing Center"
Obviously.. it was supposed to read "bowling "... but she really messed it up.. twice in the same entry.
The Broadcast Industry's premiere Internet how-to guide, theAntenna, (http://www.theAntenna.com) announces the creation of the "Academy of Internet Broadcasters" and makes a call for Internet/Broadcasting professionals to join.
CINCINNATI - With the release of its February issue, theAntenna encourages all interested Internet /Broadcasting professionals to join the newly formed "Academy of Internet Broadcasters." "The Academy will function as an appraisal group, reviewing, rating, and ranking television station Websites," said Co-Editor Rick Wessels. Wessels goes on to say, "we have even bigger plans in the future for the Academy, but for now we will get started by having Academy members vote on the sites that have been developed by their peers." Those interested in being members should email Rick at rwessels@theSwirl.com.
In this month's issue, theAntenna interviews CNN Interactive Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Scott Woelfel. Scott tells of the challenges of producing Web content for a news giant. The Cybersalesman continues on his pursuit of Web sales dominance. And John Katich gives us a glimpse of how different methods of delivering your station's content may effect your on-line operations in the future. Plus, theAntenna has extended its free job posting area. Email (dnaden@theSwirl.com) or fax (513-241-2440) your job posting to us and we will post them on the site for free. The people you want working for you frequent theAntenna.
theAntenna, the TV professional's premiere source of Internet-related information is building an environment where TV professionals can learn about the Internet, exchange on-line ideas, and discover Website profitability. Be sure to check out the February issue at http://www.theAntenna.com.