Local TV stations are still shedding jobs these days but they are making their reporters work harder or sharing content with other stations to fill TV time.The results of an annual survey conducted by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University found 400 local TV news staffers, or 1.5% of the workforce, lost their jobs in 2009.
In 2008, 1,200 people lost their jobs.
Despite the staff cuts, the amount of news on the average station increased to a record high of five hours per weekday, up from 4.7 hours in 2008. So they are doing more with less.
The survey also found that more than half of TV news directors don’t anticipate an increase in staffing over the coming year.
So in other words, things are bleak, but less bleak.
More key findings:
- In the beginning of 2009, 770 TV stations produced original local news, shared with another 205 stations for a total of 975 using the content. Going into 2010, eight stations stopped producing original local news. Now 762 stations are sharing content with 224 other stations, for a total of 986 stations.
- One network affiliate dropped local news completely in 2009.
- More than 60% of TV news directors expect staffing levels to stay the same in 2010; the number expecting a decrease dropped 77% from a year ago, and the percentage expecting an increase went up by 145%.
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