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Minorities Make Gains in TV News

Local TV news employed more minorities than ever in 2005, according to a new study from Ball State university/Radio-Television News Directors Association study, but that 4.4% boost over 2004 was leveled by a 4.4% drop in radio.

Minorities made up 22.2% of local TV news staffs, up from 21.2% in 2004. Even with Hispanic stations factored out, the increase was 20.4%, which is also up from last year.

The story was different for radio however, with the minority workforce down from 7.9% in 2004 to 6.4% in 2005.

Minorities in TV station news top management also increased, with 13.2% of news directors minorities vs. 12% the year before.

The percentage of women staffers was up a bit in local TV news to 40% from 39.3%, but they fared better in top posts, claiming 25.2% of the news director jobs in TV, up from 21.3% in 2004.

Radio was going in opposite direction there, too, with women making up 24.8% of staffers in 2005, down from 27.5% in 2004. Only 20.4% of news directors were women, compared to 24.7%.

The survey was conducted in fourth quarter 2005 and based on responses from 1,120 TV stations (69.3% of all stations), and responses from 181 radio news directors and general managers representing 602 radio stations.