It’s usually stated that nobody works in public media for the cash. But that doesn’t imply the cash doesn’t matter.
Pay fairness and transparency round salaries have more and more turn out to be subjects of dialog all through public media. To assist inform these conversations, this spring Current performed its first-ever survey of public media salaries. Now, we’re ready to share the results.
We fielded our survey from March 24 to April 26, searching for responses from full-time staff working for public media stations, networks and nationwide organizations. We ended up with 1,909 responses that met these standards and have been full sufficient to make use of. According to CPB, public TV and radio stations employed 14,712 full-time staff in 2020. That doesn’t embrace folks at networks and nationwide organizations. So we bought responses from considerably lower than 13% of the system’s staff.
That’s the primary caveat to bear in mind: Our knowledge displays solely a slice of the system. In addition, it’s a self-selecting pattern and not essentially consultant of the entire. Among our pattern, 81% of respondents have been white. According to CPB knowledge, 75.3% of public media stations’ full- and part-time staff in 2020 have been white. Our pattern — which, bear in mind, additionally consists of non–station staff — skewed extra feminine: 61%, in comparison with 50% in CPB’s knowledge.
Given these limitations, listed below are a few of our key findings.
First, a breakdown of all median salaries by job kind. Note the hole that units aside leaders and VP/chief officer positions. Among the lowest-paid classes are a number of journalism roles: knowledge journalist, reporter and photograph journalist.
Here are just a few breakdowns primarily based on demographics. You may discover a racial breakdown isn’t included right here. That’s as a result of we didn’t discover any notably significant traits once we checked out respondents’ salaries by race.
But when trying alongside gender strains, we noticed a spot in compensation between males and females. The median salary amongst males was 9.6% higher than amongst ladies. (1.1% of respondents labeled themselves as “non-binary/third gender”; 0.9% declined to offer their gender; and 0.1% responded “Prefer to self-describe.”)
That hole widens considerably, to 16%, amongst leaders of organizations, VPs and C-suite roles. That disparity is roughly on par with our 2015 overview of compensation amongst organizational leaders in high markets, which discovered that women were earning on average 83 cents for every dollar their male friends earned.
Looking at median salary by age, that 70+ class actually jumps out. If you’re excited about retiring, possibly don’t simply but? However, solely 5 of our respondents have been over 70. Also be aware the falloff in median salaries among the many under-40 set.
We requested survey respondents to inform us what sort of licensee and group they labored for. These are the median salaries by group kind. You may anticipate salaries at nationwide networks and organizations to be higher …
… but an evaluation of government salaries by group kind finds the very best median salary amongst joint licensees, not nationwide organizations. There’s additionally a bigger hole between radio and TV executives as in comparison with all staff.
What about salaries by licensee kind? The median figures are pretty shut, although salaries at college licensees lag a bit extra.
We puzzled whether or not that decrease median salary at college licensees might be due at the very least partly to the place such stations are positioned. Indeed, the college licensees in our pattern are in cities with decrease cost-of-living indices. Yet the state licensees’ median value of dwelling is even decrease, whereas these salaries will not be. (We used cost of living data from AdvisorSmith for our comparisons.)
Finally, we needed to look at how salaries correlate with union membership. Issues of pay fairness have been among the reasons that public media staff are more and more searching for union illustration. Does belonging to a union have an effect? At first look, the reply seems to be “sure.”
Among our respondents, 10.2% stated they belong to a union. Newsrooms have usually led unionization efforts, and 19.2% of stories staff stated they belong to unions. The hole between union and nonunion information salaries is even bigger.
Again, although, may the placement of organizations be an element? Many public media organizations with unionized staff are positioned in bigger markets. A price-of-living evaluation means that location might certainly be an element, in order that ought to be taken into consideration when contemplating the higher union salaries.
Thanks to Eric R. Schuler, quantitative/computational analysis methodologist with American University, who suggested us on designing and fielding the survey.