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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.

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.