Data from a 2010 local public radio station survey shows the overall median news reporter salary under $37,000 per year.
The median for all public radio news hosts was $40,000. The median for news directors was $45,000.
The overall highest median salary was vice-president of news with a median of $92,500. The lowest median salary was $32,000 for assignment editor.
The data show vast differences between individuals performing the same job at different stations. For example, the lowest paid content director earns $128,000 less than the highest paid content director.
The most common jobs in local public radio newsrooms are news directors, reporters, hosts and producers.
The charts below compare median salaries for 16 newsroom positions. Below each chart is a table showing the salary ranges for each position. In addition to the highest and lowest salary are the median and average. The “count” is the number of stations reporting a position salary. (The “count” is NOT a count of individuals in those jobs.)
|News Director||Host/Anchor||Reporter/ Corresp||Producer|
|VP of News||Exec Producer||Content Director||Managing Editor||Online Editor||Senior Producer|
|Pub Aff Director||Bureau Chief||Asst News Director||web Producer||Photog/ Videogrphr||Assignmnt Editor|
The survey was conducted by myself with help from Steve Martin and Ken Mills during July-August 2010. Over 300 stations participated. The survey was a supplement to the PRNDI/CPB census of journalists which has yet to be released by CPB.
This is the first comprehensive public radio news salary survey that we know of. As such, we do not have trend data.
However, we can make some salient comparison using data gathered by Dr. Bob Papper of Hofstra University who conducts an annual newsroom survey for RTDNA. Dr. Papper includes both commercial and non-commerical broadcasters in his survey, though, in general, his data are viewed as a snapshot of commercial newsrooms.
Here is one chart from the radio section of Papper’s 2010 newsroom survey
As one can see, public radio stations show a wider range of high and low pay rates for news directors, reporters and anchors. Somewhat encouragingly, public radio newsrooms show overall higher median pay rates for those positions.