TV news body count

Hofstra University did a study about the number of worker bees in the exciting world of TV news. This year, only about 400 folks lost their jobs – quite an improvement over last year when about 1,200 were axed. Body Count

This of course doesn’t count the hundreds, if not thousands, of others who decide the industry is “not for them” every year. The turnover has always been extraordinary. A lot of early and not-so-early retirements are also a big factor in the industry lately as, again, even vets decide that “it’s not for me” any longer.

Not surprisingly, those who remain are spinning the hamster wheel even faster as they struggle to fill a news hole that has grown at a lot of stations – since adding newscasts is relatively cheap once the initial expenses have been incurred.

Around the U.S., 770 stations do news – which includes programming that you would hardly recognize as news. 205 stations take their news from another station in town, which is another growing trend.

Here in Seattle, I haven’t heard of a wave of layoffs, but I’m sure a lot of positions have gone unfilled over the past couple of years – which has the same net effect. If you compare the numbers here since the peak staffing levels of the 80’s or 90’s, I’m sure it’s pretty amazing.