TV stations employ fewer people in local TV news, but the stations are pumping out more news than ever. Even as staffing fell by 400 last year, the amount of news increased from 4.7 hours to 5 hours per weekday, according to the RTNDA/Hofstra University Annual Survey.
Though 400 lost their local TV news jobs last year, it’s a far cry from 2008 when 1,200 lost their jobs.
In 2009, 770 TV stations produced original local news, shared with another 205 stations for a total of 975. Going into 2010, there were 762 stations producing original news, shared with 224, for a total of 986 stations. Of those stations that cut news, one was a network affiliate; yet most were independent stations (and continued to run local news) but got it from another station.
News on the radio didn’t change much, but it is more centralized, the study found. The typical news director oversees news on three stations, and more than 80 percent of radio news directors have responsibilities beyond news.
The RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009 among all 1,770 TV stations and a random sample of 4,000 radio stations. Valid responses came from 1,355 television stations (76.6 percent) and 203 radio news directors and general managers representing 301 radio stations.