Extra! Extra!: Local TV News Employment Tops Newspapers

For the first time, more people are employed in the local TV news business than at the nation's newspapers.

That is according to a couple of top-line findings from a new research report from the Radio-Television Digital News Association, which won’t be released until next week. That finding could either be a boost in TV news employment, the continued decline of print, or some combination of both.

Given that finding, the FCC's decision last fall to allow broadcasters and newspapers to be co-owned (beyond grandfathered co-ownerships) could be just in time to help boost print resources. The rule change went into effect in February.

According to RTDNA, another key finding of the report was that the largest single category of new local TV jobs was digital-focused--web site, social media and other positions.

The survey was conducted by RTDNA and Hofstra University. The full results will be released Monday (April 16) on the RTDNA Web site.

According to Pew Research Center, local broadcasters remain the top source of TV news.

The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2017 among all 1,683 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 3,542 radio stations. The results are based on responses from 1,333 TV stations (a whopping 79%) and 415 radio stations (news directors and general managers).

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.