The Producer Page: May-June 1998

IN THIS ISSUE...

  • Producer Salary Survey
  • Producers on the Move
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Awards
  • Job Openings
  • Happenings
  • Hiatus

  • PRODUCER SALARY SURVEY
    By Alice Johnson Main, Editor, The Producer Newsletter AJMain@aol.com

    Explainer: The information was provided by producers from across the United States. I included only those categories in which there were two or more submissions with the same job titles. Unfortunately, e-mail is not table-friendly. I could make attached files with pretty tables, but my experience has shown that doesn't work for everyone. So, although I know this won't be all that easy to read, I'm going to send the bulk information on everyone who contributed. They are listed alphabetically, by job title. Averages are provided for some of the more popular categories.

    [To compare these and early 1997 numbers, see previous salary survey from Feb 1997 newsletter.]

    JOB: A/P or Writer
    
    YRS ON JOB      YRS IN FIELD    SALARY                  DMA
    
    1-3 yrs         10-15 yrs       91,000 - 100,000        1 thru 10
    3-5 yrs         15+ yrs         36,000 - 40,000         11 thru 20
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         11 thru 20
    1-3 yrs         1-3 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         1 thru 10
    1-3 yrs         1-3 yrs         21,000 - 25,000         11 thru 20
    0-1 yr          1-3 yrs         21,000 - 25,000         31 thru 40
    0-1 yr          0-1 yr          10,000 - 15,000         101 thru 120
    


    JOB: Executive Producer-Local News
    
    Average Salary Reported: $52,900, with combined experience of 12.5 years.
    
    YRS ON JOB      YRS IN FIELD    SALARY                  DMA
     
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        81,000 - 90,000         1 thru 10
    1-3 yrs         15+ yrs         71,000 - 80,000         1 thru 10
    5-10 yrs        15+ yrs         71,000 - 80,000         11 thru 20
    0-1 yr          10-15 yrs       61,000 - 70,000         31 thru 40
    1-3 yrs         10-15 yrs       61,000 - 70,000         11 thru 20
    15+ yrs         15+ yrs         61,000 - 70,000         1 thru 10
    10-15 yrs       3-5 yrs         61,000 - 70,000         1 thru 10
    0-1 yr          5-10 yrs        51,000 - 60,000         61 thru 70
    3-5 yrs         1-3 yrs         51,000 - 60,000         31 thru 40
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        46,000 - 50,000         51 thru 60
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        46,000 - 50,000         61 thru 70
    0-1 yr          10-15 yrs       46,000 - 50,000         31 thru 40
    5-10 yrs        15+ yrs         46,000 - 50,000         91 thru 100
    0-1 yr          1-3 yrs         41,000 - 45,000         71 thru 80
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         41,000 - 45,000         61 thru 70
    5-10 yrs        15+ yrs         41,000 - 45,000         71 thru 80
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         36,000 - 40,000         41 thru 50
    0-1 yr          5-10 yrs        31,000 - 35,000         101 thru 120
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         81 thru 90
    10-15 yrs       3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         101 thru 120
    


    JOB: Local Newscast Producer
    
    Average Salary Reported: $34,662 with combined avg experience of 8.2 years.
    
    YRS ON JOB      YRS IN FIELD    SALARY                  DMA
    1-3 yrs         10-15 yrs       81,000 - 90,000         1 thru 10
    1-3 yrs         10-15 yrs       71,000 - 80,000         1 thru 10
    5-10 yrs        5-10 yrs        51,000 - 60,000         21 thru 30
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        51,000 - 60,000         1 thru 10
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         46,000 - 50,000         11 thru 20
    5-10 yrs        5-10 yrs        46,000 - 50,000         31 thru 40
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         46,000 - 50,000         1 thru 10
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        46,000 - 50,000         21 thru 30
    0-1 yr          5-10 yrs        46,000 - 50,000         11 thru 20
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        46,000 - 50,000         31 thru 40
    5-10 yrs        15+ yrs         41,000 - 45,000         11 thru 20
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        41,000 - 45,000         31 thru 40
    5-10 yrs        3-5 yrs         41,000 - 45,000         41 thru 50
    0-1 yr          15+ yrs         41,000 - 45,000         1 thru 10
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        41,000 - 45,000         1 thru 10
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         41,000 - 45,000         21 thru 30
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        41,000 - 45,000         31 thru 40
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        36,000 - 40,000         11 thru 20
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         36,000 - 40,000         11 thru 20
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         36,000 - 40,000         21 thru 30
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         36,000 - 40,000         1 thru 10
    0-1 yr          5-10 yrs        36,000 - 40,000         41 thru 50
    10-15 yrs       0-1 yr          36,000 - 40,000         21 thru 30
    5-10 yrs        15+ yrs         36,000 - 40,000         71 thru 80
    5-10 yrs        15+ yrs         36,000 - 40,000         71 thru 80
    3-5 yrs         15+ yrs         36,000 - 40,000         71 thru 80
    1-3 yrs         0-1 yr          31,000 - 35,000         61 thru 70
    10-15 yrs       1-3 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         31 thru 40
    0-1 yr          1-3 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         31 thru 40
    15+ yrs         1-3 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         101 thru 120
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         1 thru 10
    5-10 yrs        10-15 yrs       31,000 - 35,000         31 thru 40
    3-5 yrs         5-10 yrs        31,000 - 35,000         11 thru 20
    0-1 yr          5-10 yrs        31,000 - 35,000         31 thru 40
    1-3 yrs         1-3 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         1 thru 10
    3-5 yrs         3-5 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         71 thru 80
    3-5 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         121 thru 140
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         41 thru 50
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         101 thru 120
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         1 thru 10
    3-5 yrs         15+ yrs         26,000 - 30,000         61 thru 70
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         31 thru 40
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         51 thru 60
    1-3 yrs         1-3 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         61 thru 70
    1-3 yrs         1-3 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         101 thru 120
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         81 thru 90
    1-3 yrs         1-3 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         71 thru 80
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         81 thru 90
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         61 thru 70
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         26,000 - 30,000         31 thru 40
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         21,000 - 25,000         41 thru 50
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        21,000 - 25,000         101 thru 120
    0-1 yr          0-1 yr          21,000 - 25,000         181 or smaller
    0-1 yr          10-15 yrs       21,000 - 25,000         101 thru 120
    0-1 yr          0-1 yr          21,000 - 25,000         101 thru 120
    0-1 yr          5-10 yrs        21,000 - 25,000         71 thru 80
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         21,000 - 25,000         81 thru 90
    0-1 yr          0-1 yr          21,000 - 25,000         51 thru 60
    0-1 yr          0-1 yr          21,000 - 25,000         71 thru 80
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         21,000 - 25,000         71 thru 80
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         21,000 - 25,000         101 thru 120
    0-1 yr          1-3 yrs         16,000 - 20,000         101 thru 120
    3-5 yrs         3-5 yrs         16,000 - 20,000         101 thru 120
    0-1 yr          0-1 yr          10,000 - 15,000         71 thru 80
    


    NETWORK JOBs    YRS ON JOB      YRS IN FIELD    SALARY
    EP              3-5 yrs         10-15 yrs       81,000 - 90,000 
    EP              1-3 yrs         15+ yrs         110,000 +       
    Field Producer  0-1 yr          10-15 yrs       71,000 - 80,000 
    Field Producer  1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        41,000 - 45,000 
    Field Producer  5-10 yrs        10-15 yrs       36,000 - 40,000 
    Field Producer  15+ yrs         15+ yrs         110,000 +       
    Producer        10-15 yrs       0-1 yr          81,000 - 90,000 
    Producer        3-5 yrs         15+ yrs         61,000 - 70,000         
    Producer        1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         51,000 - 60,000 
    


    JOB: Special Projects Producer-Local
    
    Average salary reported: $47,857 with avg combined experience of 10.4 years 
    
    YRS ON JOB      YRS IN FIELD    SALARY                  DMA
    1-3 yrs         10-15 yrs       71,000 - 80,000         1 thru 10
    1-3 yrs         1-3 yrs         51,000 - 60,000         11 thru 20
    3-5 yrs         10-15 yrs       46,000 - 50,000         21 thru 30
    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        41,000 - 45,000         11 thru 20
    10-15 yrs       3-5 yrs         41,000 - 45,000         31 thru 40
    1-3 yrs         3-5 yrs         36,000 - 40,000         11 thru 20
    0-1 yr          3-5 yrs         31,000 - 35,000         31 thru 40
    
    


    JOB:                            YRS ON JOB      YRS IN FIELD    SALARY
    Syndicated News Producer        3-5 yrs         1-3 yrs         36,000 - 40,000 
    Syndicated News Producer        3-5 yrs         5-10 yrs        36,000 - 40,000 
    Syndicated News Producer        3-5 yrs         5-10 yrs        36,000 - 40,000 

    JOB: Website Producer-Local     YRS ON JOB      YRS IN FIELD    SALARY          DMA
                                    1-3 yrs         5-10 yrs        36,000 - 40,000 21 thru 30
                                    0-1 yr          10-15 yrs       31,000 - 35,000 21 thru 30
    
    


    PRODUCERS ON THE MOVE

    HANK MENDHEIM moves from weekend and special projects producer at WGNO-TV in New Orleans to line producing at Channel One News in Los Angeles.

    TED McENROE has bounced back to Portland, Maine's top-rated WCSH-TV as executive producer, from producer at WVIT-TV, Hartford/New Haven, CT. Ted was a producer at WCSH before packing up and heading to Connecticut last year.

    CORINNE MILLIGAN moves from KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho, to KDRV in Medford, Oregon, where she'll produce the 5 & 6 o'clock newscasts.

    MATT FRIEDMAN moves from 6 PM Producer, WDIV-TV in Detroit to Account Executive, Marx Layne and Company, marketing and public relations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Matt also worked as a news producer at WKMG-TV in Orlando and WSB-TV in Atlanta.


    LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

    Alice:

    The April edition of the newsletter is great.

    A few comments on Newsone.

    We planned our 5pm newscast around the 501pm CT live shot from Jonesboro. But I also assigned a producer to start writing and gathering video and soundbites to put together our own package.

    When we knew that the live shot wasn't going to happen, we changed gears seamlessly.

    Things can go wrong in the field and on the kind of story like Jonesboro, you have got to be prepared for something to fail. While I would have loved to have the live shot, having a backup plan in place saved my show. And, you can bet that when the next big one happens, we'll do the same thing. Extra work, but work that was the difference between floundering around and looking to your viewers as if YOU were not ready or having an informative, seamless looking program.

    On the flip side, this past Saturday night (4/4/98 8pm), when a couple of runaway barges rammed the riverboat casino, we scrambled from weekend night staffing (one reporter/one photographer on the street) to three reporters and four cameras within an hour. WE were feeding video live to Newsone from the scene within a few minutes, and then offered a generic live shot at 1015pm CT. Why 1015pm? Because I didn't have the staffing to service my news and everyone else. By 1015pm, we could separate some manpower and facilities and feed. But we fed video and soundbites during our broadcast.

    So while I am sympathetic to those whose programs were disrupted by the missing Newsone live shots in Jonesboro, you have to put yourselves into the position that someday you could be the one with story and the conflicting demands of serving yourself first and the rest of the stations second. When you look at the facts in the hard reality of the clock, there really is only one answer.

    Best regards,
    Dave Cohen
    News Director
    KDNL-TV St. Louis


    Alice,

    Journalism is a thankless job, but you're doing one heck of a job with The Producer Newsletter and I wanted you to know it...the current comparison of the various newsfeed services was really great!

    I am not a producer nor do I play one on TV. But everyone in the newsroom should be reading this...

    Thanks!

    David R. Busse
    News Photographer/ FLIR System operator
    KABC-TV, LA.


    An open letter to those seeking first time employment in TV news.

    I am a small market news director. (Market #94)

    I am willing to hire people who have little or no experience, train them and give them freedom within the guidelines I've set up. I want people who think news is exciting, fun and is a way of life. I want to be able to converse on an intelligent level with these staffers about current events and news topics and issues. I want professional individuals who are building the foundations of their careers.

    I need producers who want to produce. Not anchor, not report. I will give them ample opportunity to produce a variety of special projects, field produce special segments for me and help me with newcast on-location live shots. I need producers who want to fill my newscasts with exciting content and bring their own ideas to the table each and every day. I will pay them a fair wage for this market size and I will pay by the hour, not salary. You will be compensated for overtime.

    I want reporters who strive to get the best story every day and ALWAYS want the lead. My assignment desk should be surprised when you don't generate your own story idea. You must be willing to learn how to shoot as well as report. You won't have to, but you MUST know how.

    My anchors must be the sharpest. They are members of the community and they represent me and my department on and off the air in the very best way possible.They come to the desk prepared, well informed and ready to impress my audience.

    Photojournalists must tell my viewers a story with pictures. Adequate lighting, good sound and a steady shot are necessities. Shoot pictures as you see them shot on the networks. Don't reinvent the wheel until you've learned the basics.

    I can't be glitzed and glamoured. I'm looking for serious folks who want to work and make a difference in the lives of my viewers.

    Gary Darnell
    News Director
    KCEN TV Waco/Temple/Bryan


    HAPPENINGS

    TV Anchors as Newsroom Leaders Seminar: August 16 - 21, 1998 Deadline for applications: June 30, 1998

    Some anchors are leaders. They care about content. And they have the skills to do something about it. Their influence off camera is as critical as their performance on the set.

    This seminar is for anchors who want to be that valuable to their stations and to their communities ñ but who have discovered that the talent that earned them their high-profile jobs doesn't always enable them to contribute as effectively to the editorial and production processes as they'd like. The program will teach anchors some of the most important lessons any leader can learn about the news business, including:

    • The difference between fixing scripts and coaching writers.
    • The way adults learn, and how to help them.
    • Different styles of leadership for different situations.
    • How to assist in making those tough ethical decisions.
    • How to get points across without bruising egos and stepping on toes.
    • Listening skills.
    • The art of managing up and sideways.

    Stations invest heavily in anchor salaries and promotion. They spend big money training them to look and sound better. This seminar will improve the off-camera performance of anchors so that they can improve the on-air product.

    Applications are now welcome for TV Anchors as Newsroom Leaders to be held at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, August 16-21, in St. Petersburg, Florida. This seminar is for television news anchors. The tuition is $350 which covers 5 nights at the hotel. An application form can be mailed, faxed, or downloaded at (www.poynter.org). The deadline is June 30, 1998.

    Contacts: Paul Pohlman (paulp@poynter.org) or Bobbi Alsina (bobbi@poynter.org); fax 813-896-6703; or phone 813-821-9494.


    Enhance your newsroom's coverage of your community. Learn from outstanding local broadcast journalists at the "CIVIC JOURNALISM: ON THE AIR" workshop in Austin, TX. This all broadcast workshop welcomes producers. Sessions begin Friday, June 5th at 6:00 p.m. & end Sunday, June 7th at 12:00 p.m. RTNDF and the Pew Center will pay for meals, two nights lodging and workshop materials. Registration fee is $50 ($40 RTNDA members). Registration form is located on our web site at <www.rtndf.org>. For more information call Kathleen Graham 202-467-5216, kathyg@rtndf.org.

    Are you a producer covering the national or local elections? If so, do not miss RTNDF's Chicago workshop "COVERING THE '98 ELECTIONS." Workshop includes campaign finance, ad-watch & candidate profiling. Take away story ideas, research techniques & computer- assisted reporting training. Learn from national & local journalists plus experts from Center for Responsive Politics, Project Vote Smart, Center for Public Integrity, Federal Election Commission, NICAR IRE & the Medill School of Journalism. Sessions begin Friday, July 10th, 6:00 p.m. & end Sunday, July 12th, 5:00 p.m. RTNDF pays for meals, two nights lodging and workshop materials. Registration fee is $50 ($40 RTNDA members). Registration form is located on our web site at <www.rtndf.org>. For more information call Kathleen Graham 202-467-5216, kathyg@rtndf.org.


    The Broadcast Image Group has launched a new web page containing on-air, management, news producer and marketing/promotion positions across the country for client stations.

    The new address for the postings is broadcastimage.com with pull-downs for each category. The list is updated weekly.


    AWARDS

    Nominations are open for the 1998 Siegenthaler/NLGJA Electronic Media Awards. The annual competition honors outstanding radio and television reporting on gay and lesbian issues. The top prize is $1000 each in the radio and television category. The awards will be presented by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association at this year's convention, October 1-4 at the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas. All journalists are welcome to enter stories produced between June 1st, 1997 and May 30th, 1998. For more information about the awards, the convention or NLGJA, call the national office at (202) 588-9888. Online, point your browser at www.nlgja.org.


    HIATUS

    The Producer Newsletter will take a summer-long hiatus. Expect the next issue on September 1. HOWEVER, please continue to send your job openings, and they will continue to be posted on our website at:

    www.scripps.ohiou.edu/producer/

    Also, send me your stories so I can stock up for September. I want to hear about the TERRIBLE TEASES. I want to hear about the LIVE SHOTS FROM HELL. I just heard from someone that a station SOMEWHERE in the Midwest broke into programming to report that Bob Hope was dead. And then broke into programming shortly thereafter to report that Bob Hope was alive. That is the kind of story that belongs in The Producer Newsletter! Send em in! Everything should come to AJMain@aol.com.