The latest installment of the RTDNA/Hofstra University annual study finds that total television staffing in 2012 totaled 27,605 people, down just 48 people from the previous year. The average staff size per newsroom grew, but the number of newsrooms decreased from 725 to 712 in 2012:
The number of stations originating local news peaked in 2005 at 778. It’s been steadily down since then. Some of those were marginal operations to begin with, but quite a few TV newsrooms have been subsumed in some sort of consolidation or shared services agreement. We’re now losing TV newsrooms at the fairly steady rate of eight per year. Until this year, the number of stations getting news from one of those originating stations has been growing. This is the first year that list has gotten smaller.
As for individual newsrooms: the RTDNA study finds the average station hired 5.6 replacements and .9 new, additional positions in 2012. Top replacement hires were reporters, producers and photographers, while top new hires were reporters and producers. The average local news staff is 38.5 people.