TV news staffs shrink, but cuts are over?

In a new study from RTNDA/Hofstra University, the job outlook for broadcast journalists seems relatively stable, but not as bright as it has been in some years. 

In a survey of more than 300 stations, almost three-quarters have reported either no staff cuts or staff increases. Unfilled positions were counted as staff reductions, and news directors were quick to point out that most of those TV news staff reductions happened through attrition, or by hiring freezes, rather than letting people go. 

Just 22.1% of stations reported staff increases for 2008, and that number is usually about 10% higher, according to the report.

And what about the rest of the year?

While nearly three-quarters of the news directors expect no change in staff size, almost twice as many expect to add people as cut them. The industry-wide projection would be a net increase in TV newspeople of 151 through the remainder of the year. That would result in a 2008 net loss of 209 jobs.

The report also provides more detail on what market sizes were hit hardest and in what part of the country, as well as information on local news programming expansion or reduction plans for the coming year. 

New TV-newspaper partnership

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard news of a network-affiliated television station creating a new partnership with a major daily newspaper, but the Baltimore Sun and CBS-affiliate WJZ-TV in Baltimore are now multimedia partners.

Editor & Publisher reports that the organizations will share story leads and partner on projects, but promotional opportunities and advertising revenue are a big part of the deal.

WJZ will also provide news video to Balimoresun.com. WJZ’s sales team will be responsible for selling advertising inventory within WJZ videos running on Baltimoresun.com.

The paper will promote some WJZ stories and the Sun will get daily promotion for some of its stories in the station’s newscasts.

This type of partnership between news organizations with different corporate owners was common a few years ago, but many have since dissolved.  It would be interesting to find out what makes these partnerships work when they do and why they so often fall apart.