Study Shows Growing Optimism in Local TV News

By Andrew Gauthier 


The sun appears to finally be coming out for local TV news. After a long stretch of layoffs and belt-tightening at local stations, there are signs that the worst has passed and many feel optimistic about growth moving forward.

According to the annual RTNDA/Hofstra University study on the broadcast news workforce, far fewer people lost their jobs in 2009 compared to 2008 and many believe that staff levels will increase in 2010. The study shows that 400 people in local TV news lost their jobs in 2009–a lot of people to be sure but far fewer than the 1,200 people in 2008 that lost their jobs. Even amid cuts, the amount of news produced in 2009 increased to a record high of 5 hours per day (in 2008, news reached 4.7 hours/day according to the study).

As staffing adjustments appear to be levelling out in local TV news, there is additional hope for the future. According to the study, the percentage of news directors expecting to an increase in staff went up by 145% from 2008. More…