Overwhelming Reaction From Article “Extinction Alert? – Recruiting into Local Television Today. Is “The Great Resignation” Real?”

I am humbled by how many media industry professionals read, shared, discussed, and commented on Carver Talent’s recent Op-ed article discussing the state of local television recruiting today. And I think it is also important to share some of these comments. Sour grapes? Real emotion? Frustration? Yep. And 100% supportive of the intent of the article. Several local television station department heads reached out personally by phone/text/email to thank me for writing this piece, including at least a dozen General Managers and News Directors. Will changes be made? TBD. Spoiler alert though: Make it all the way to the bottom of this article to see an interesting Tweet screenshot from a local television station and why their morning/afternoon news product did not air today…

Below, please find just a few of these comments…Kept anonymous for confidentiality reasons.

“One of the top three largest local television broadcast groups is having their news management conference soon, and I’m told your article will be a touchpoint for numerous conversations and breakout sessions. Given your unique position in the industry (neither talent nor management), your cry of, “The King has no clothes” has been viewed as more fact than opinion. This may do as much, or more, to change our industry as anything I’ve seen in my 40 years in the TV biz. I hope you take pride in what you wrote. It’s well deserved.” – Top 50 market News Director

“I cried while reading your article. Having previously worked in management and now back to being an Anchor in a small market, I followed my (redacted) here, I’m ready to quit with a year left on my contract for a PIO position. I’ve read responses from others too and we all feel the same. Your article touched my soul but affirmed that I’m not being irrational in my thoughts that news just isn’t the same! Did I mention that I anchor, produce and edit my own noon show with Directors who also booth the shows??? This career, for the most part, is all I’ve ever done in my 20 years of professional experience. It pains me mentally to want to walk away, but mentally I can’t take the stress of fighting inexperience among my coworkers who only want to be on tv! Not to mention being one of the few people in the newsroom that actually cares about the news! Thanks for your expertise. I pray that things will turn around and I’m not too old to bounce back when it does!!!”

“I read your post “extinction alert, is the great resignation real?” and wanted to reach out. It pains me to think of all the hard work, overtime, lost time, and mental anguish that went into becoming who I am today over the past 20+ years. I’ve tried to be one of the “good guys” in the business who can lead a team effectively and go for the jugular of the competition. God, I love(ed) it. But I feel like the person who started crying on the phone with you. I make GREAT money, but I’m now willing to take a pay cut to get out of the business. The pandemic changed my values and made me see what’s important. Home. I work an automatic 10 hours a day which is really about 20 hours a day when you factor in keeping up with low staffing, “breaking news” and a flood of emails about stories to keep an eye on for the next day. Managers overseeing editorial are now doing more administrative work now than ever before. Why should I continue like this? What am I chasing? Plus, the holiday schedule just came out. After all these years in the business, I can’t get the time off that I want. I know, it’s part of the business. But, this time, it stings. Our station is putting on so many newscasts with fewer and fewer people. And keeping morale afloat is tough when morale for most managers is going south. I once thought I shouldn’t let family get in the way of work… but, a great man once said that I shouldn’t let work get in the way of my family. It is getting in the way. It always has. But, with my change in values, I now want to do something about it. Your article hit a nerve. I’m grateful that you wrote it.’ – Sr. Executive Producer, top 5 market.

“Great article, Ty. Succinctly put, the emphasis on recruitment is outsized to any serious emphasis on RETENTION. Well done.” – Group Vice President

“I wanted to thank you for saying what no one else in the industry seems to have the courage to say out loud right now – local news is failing (spoiler alert: network news is, too – I was there as well and it was the same crazy, albeit on a different scale), and it sounds like no one cares to fix it. 
I opted to get out of the TV news business after nearly a decade, after crashing and burning emotionally. It took months of panic attacks, waking up in the middle of the night, and crippling anxiety for me to seek help – and once I did, the next move was clear: get out fast. I was heartbroken to leave behind TV news, but I knew it was what was best for me.
I’m lucky I landed on my feet, but since I got out, people have been coming to me in droves wondering how I did it… and it makes me so sad for the industry that I loved, and committed my life to. I got your article from so many friends in the business – many of them scared and anxious about what’s next. You spelled it out plain and simple, and it struck a chord. Deep.
I hope that the responses you posted over the weekend will spur actual, tangible change in the industry – better pay, a dose of empathy among management, growth and retention strategies, etc. – but I’m not optimistic. I hope you continue to hold those who responded to you accountable when they come to you with multiple openings, created by the very same problem they were so excited for you to bring up – yet did nothing to fix. As they say, talk is cheap.
Thank you again for your article. It’s what everyone needed to hear but no one was willing to say.”

“Ty, what a great piece. I’ve been retired as a GM for a few years but I still have regular contact with my colleagues. Your story is the first I’ve seen that addresses this publicly. It is REAL. You are not yelling fire in a theater. I know a lot of people who got out, are getting out, and thinking about getting out. Candidates are also tired of the time it takes to get a decision. There are great folks who won’t work for one or more of the biggest companies, and I don’t blame them. Thank you for shedding light on this. It needs to be addressed from the inside out.”

“Great article today and I’m shouting AMEN.  We can’t control the aging of those in the industry, but we can control how we keep and retain the young talent.” -Broadcast Group VP

“It was a good article. Traditional broadcasters who live off of retrans checks, newscasts that cater to a dwindling audience, and rely on major networks who are beginning to put their compelling programming on their own apps and distribution platforms that they own and control are about to go through some rough seas.” – Broadcast Group Corporate VP Engineering/Technology

“Hi there. I wanted to tell you on the lowdown that your email about news burnout is making the rounds at my station. It’s well-written and makes sense. Thanks” – EP, top 5 market

“I read all of the responses to your Extinction Alert article from the other day and just wanted to pitch in as well. I’m a news producer in a top-100 market in my third year (second contract) out of college, and everything you wrote was spot on to my experience in the past 2-3 months. I even shared it with my parents who are my sounding board on things like this, and they couldn’t agree more with what you wrote. I have no plans to leave the industry anytime soon — I feel like I don’t get burnt out — but it’s one of those things that I guess I won’t know until it happens. 
Anywho, appreciate your words and hoping things turn around a bit industry-wide.”

“I need guidance, stranger-friend. Never thought a LinkedIn article would make me cry. I need out of my current gig, but don’t know where to start. It’s been almost 15 years. Can we chat at some point?”

“Hey, I just read your article, you are spot on. We (redacted) just evaluated our Producer’s pay per market and they sent everyone a budget to increase the pay. It helps but there are still really wide gaps in what we are paying people versus the cost of living. I may be a bit more pessimistic than you as I see the financial realities of the marketplace and the staffing level/pay. And in some cases, it may not work to keep the lights on. It is crazy where we are losing candidates in regards to market size versus their experience level. And it may be criminal to send a new graduate to a top 50 market, the stress may just drive them out of the industry. I always appreciate your insight and humor (you’re dead to me… killed!). Keep on swinging and let me know if I can help you with anything.” – General Manager

“Btw, your article last week was insightful and spot on. It’s a catalyst for further discussions we are planning. Talk soon.” – General Manager

“Appreciate your courage.  You’re a credit to the industry.” – News Director

“Another tale from the trenches…   Offered a reporter job to a candidate last Thursday.  She accepted on Friday and turned down the communications coordinator job she was also offered.  She was relieved our pay was competitive (the offer was 18% more than the last person who held that job) because she really wanted to go back to TV.  On Monday, the company that had offered her the communications coordinator job, emailed her to *double* the original offer, making it a 6-figure job.  That’s the new reality.  We’re no longer competing with other TV stations for talent.  We’re competing with the marketplace and the marketplace isn’t afraid to spend.  BTW, this classy young lady called to apologize (most won’t pick up the phone for an uncomfortable conversation) and I had to tell her to celebrate.  Her skills put her in a position to cash in and she should absolutely rejoice with how those skills are valued.”

“Kudos to you and your team for drawing attention to some of the issues facing the industry. Local news is vital to our communities, and it’s such a shame that the rank and file are so routinely exploited.  Hopefully, the conversation will pave the way to action.” – Sr. Producer, large cable network

“I just read your piece….it was forwarded by my college News Director from way back when. It is absolutely mandatory reading. Way to go!!!! Proud of you for putting pen to paper on something that needed saying…clearly and forcefully.  Bravo!!!” – Top 50 market General Manager

“Thank you for your article & follow-up. You exposed more of what’s going on in our industry at the ND level better than most – and still have barely scratched the surface. I don’t know you Ty, but I’ll say your initial post & now follow-up has been the talk of our industry for the last 3+ days. Count me among the “deranged” who love this too much to ever want to give it up – but the next wave of resignations is going to involve ND’s & News Managers who’ve been expected to hold all this mess together for 2-years & counting. I may be wrong & hope I am, but this holiday season when we’re all dragged back in on days we should be with family to help produce a newscast or cover for a vacancy or staffing shortage – that’ll be the tipping point I fear. We’re gonna lose great journalists & leaders & people from an industry starving for all those things. Wish you & yours the best. This recent read gives you credibility for sure.” – News Director

“An interesting read that was shared in several groups I’m in. Updating with my own thoughts: I think this is a fantastic read and provides a lot of insight into what so many of us are experiencing. I think the world will always need journalism, but in order to be successful going forward, this industry requires a lot of change.”

“Your essay has sparked a lot of conversation in my shop, and I bet the same is true all over the country. Thanks again for speaking truth to power.”

“Hey Ty, I really appreciate the article you posted yesterday. I left the business a few years ago because I was burned out and generally wanted a life outside of work. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a love for journalism and strongly believe I would be a better reporter today than ever. I’ve had a few years as a news consumer and see how today’s local and national media are fundamentally failing their audiences. But as much as I love it, the business rarely loves you back. Now I work in tech producing documentary-style videos and make significantly more money, have more career flexibility and mobility, and never have to worry about sweeps screwing up a family vacation again. I’m also hiring a full team – MMJ’s, production, photogs. My inbox is flooded with good TV people looking to bail out of the industry. I suppose I’m a symptom and the example all in one. I visited the station I grew up watching and received my first news job a couple of months ago and was flooded with “what if” thoughts tempting me to go back since all of the main anchors are reaching retirement age. The nostalgia left as quickly as it came when one of the reporters working in that newsroom messaged me asking for a job… While managers may be struggling to keep their newsrooms staffed, the communities they serve are suffering because of how terribly local TV takes care of and grows its people. I don’t know what the solution is, but it breaks my heart to watch. Again, thanks for the article. It struck a chord with me and my friends. It’s been sent to me at least 4 times today.”

“As a direct result of your article, we have a senior corporate news leader who is putting a group of our best and brightest together with him to chat through your call to action!” – General Manager

“The “Extinction Alert” column is fantastic…and on the money. I know a News Director whose corporate boss asked for suggestions for how to better retain people and how to hire people….he wanted input from all the News Directors. And he said, “and when you send your input, don’t say pay them more.”

“Hi, Ty. I thought your article “Extinction Alert?” was spot on about so many of the systemic issues facing our industry. I wanted to throw out one more consideration. The framework and structure of most local newscasts. In so many markets and at so many stations, they continue to produce news in the same way as they’ve done for decades with better graphics (maybe) and better image quality. Most local newscasts are antiquated, lack any context or analysis (how can you do depth when you’re forced to include 40 stories an hour), and are basically pre-determined templates where producers fill in the blank. Who wants to put up with the stress and low pay when the work is often repetitive and unfulfilling? TV stations and media companies need to start doing news differently if they want to compete for talent. At (redacted), we never have trouble finding great candidates. One, our newsroom and culture are foundational diverse, and inclusive. It’s actually representative of the communities we serve. And two, we’ve broken the traditional mold and created an innovative product that our team enjoys creating each day. Want to spend 15 explaining the debt ceiling using legos in the A Block. Go for it. Want to keep interviewing your guest for 8–10 minutes because the conversation is interesting. Do it. You’re not going to be told that “we are out of time.” And it doesn’t matter what your title or role may be, you’re always welcome to take on a project outside your normal job responsibilities. If a graphic designer wants to try a podcast, have at it. It’s amazing what can happen when you stop trying to force creative and talented people into a predetermined news box. Of course, we have our own challenges. This will always be a stressful industry. But offering people job satisfaction and trusting them to innovate goes a long way. Innovation isn’t gimmicks. The reporting must always be rock solid. But how we deliver that reporting has to adapt to changing times. When everyone gets the news headlines pushed to their devices all day long, what can:20 VOs offer them at 6 pm. Context and analysis, deep-dive reporting, and permission to be as creative as you can when building your shows is working well for us. I thought you’d appreciate this insight as you’re clearly on top of the challenges facing us all. All the best.”

“Ty, you are 100 percent correct. In fact, you are 1,000 percent correct. We are pushing top talent out the door – in droves – and newsroom managers are at their breaking points. That is NOT an exaggeration. It’s a crisis, an all-hands on deck emergency, a wake-up call. Now.”

“I just read your article about local news extinction. I have been saying something similar for a while now. I’m nearing the end of my first contract and am fairly certain I’m leaving the industry.
I think there’s a lot more to be said, though. Aside from pay and contracts and work-life balance (typical employee stuff). But I think that tv news has a level of toxicity and an abusive nature that is worse than poor employee treatment. I have friends of mine who have been bullied so badly by veteran anchors and managers that they are in therapy now. And it’s largely accepted that this is just the way the industry is and you’re strong enough to deal with it, or you’re not cut out for the business. Why put up with that for $28k?
There’s also a problem with a lack of training. You seem to talk about young, new mmjs as a major burden to the industry, and their lack of knowledge is to be blamed on things they didn’t learn in college. I’ve never heard of a job where employees are expected to enter the business straight out of college and be great at it the first day. Training is horribly lacking in this business and that should not be blamed on the new employees. This lack of training often leads to bullying. I’ve been asking my station to let me train new people thoroughly, and put together a comprehensive training program and guide. I’ve been asking for nearly two years. My last trainee spent 3 days with me, which is not enough time to even learn the 7 different programs we use on a daily basis.
The last thing I think was missing from the article is that we are now treated as content creators, not journalists. Many of us wanted to be journalists be watchdogs, the fourth estate. But now we’re treated like content creators, covering light features most days because large media companies don’t want to risk deep dives. Sometimes we’re mmjing multiple stories a day, plus social media and web copy. There’s no journalism there. Just clicks. No time to do anything resembling journalism.
I appreciate you writing your article, and it is true. I just think that there’s a lot more to understand about the topic.”

“Good morning Ty.  Just read your excellent “Great Resignation” blog post.  Have you shopped it to a trade, like TVNewsCheck?  It deserves to be widely read – and discussed.”

“The answer is a move to localism. MMJs are going straight to the top-25 markets out of college. Small and mid-market stations are no longer a necessary proving ground. Stations need to look at talent born or raised in their area, look to promote internally and start building a system that looks to maintain (and pay) talent for more than one or two contracts.”

“I was told a station needed to “rob a bank” to pay me more than $48k for Chief Meteorologist in a top 100 market in an area with a high cost of living.”

“A very timely article. I hope broadcast media leaders take time to read (and truly absorb) this. I hope the canary gets an oxygen mask soon.

“It’s honestly a sad perspective, but a true one. You talk about the news folks who have gone to other verticals. The departure of sales talent from media organizations is eye-opening. There have been fundamental changes to broadcasting. Local broadcasting will always have its place. What place that is in the future will be interesting to see play out!”

You hit the nail on the head.”

“Your article spoke to me. After years in the business as a (redacted), I finally resigned this year. Was it tough to walk away from a job I was so passionate about? Yes. For many years I lived and breathed news. I racked up multiple Emmys, Murrows, AP awards, and community service awards. I quit because of the lack of regard management has for work-life balance. They talk about it a lot but don’t know how to deliver it. I quit because of the young managers who care more for gimmicky stand-ups and flashy teases that don’t deliver, rather than real storytelling and ethical reporting. I also quit because even after years in the business, one is made to feel as though you are still paying your dues. You keep thinking it’ll get better as you get to the “bigger markets”. It never ends. For years, I watched hard-working colleagues of mine walk away from the industry— and move into other industries. I never thought I would be one of them. It finally happened. I am now a (redacted) working for a (redacted) making close to 6 figures while working 4-days a week. It was never about the money. I made a decent salary. It was always about feeling valued after years in the business— and having that work-life balance in a world where you can be a top-notch professional, a mother, and a wife— all at the same time. I believe management in this industry needs to do a lot of soul searching. I am one of several reporters who walked away from the business from my station alone.. in the last year. All were stellar reporters with lots of awards under their belt. All are now out of news. Even now, I get calls from reporters/producers in this market often- seeking advice on how to transition from news to life after news. I hope I can remain anonymous. I just wanted to share my truth with you.”

“That’s a fascinating read… people have other media options now as well and the workflows of newsrooms is so antiquated”

“So much truth in this article. And it’s mind-blowing to think this is the reality for so many media companies and yet several are willing to fire a large portion of their committed, performing staff over a controversial vaccine. Really shocking times we’re in. Keep up the great work, Ty.”

“‘You get what you pay for’ is not a cliche. If traditional media won’t pay for talent, new media will. Your move, traditional media.”

“Either we adapt or die. If traditional media wants a seat at the digital table, it must make the investment. That includes paying people competitively. Traditional media could claim a bigger piece of the digital pie by leveraging its brand recognition there, but it won’t happen if the pay isn’t equitable to new media.”

“Feels like it’s happening pretty often in market 25, but at the same time it seems like a revolving door anyways.”

“Loved the article you posted! Agree 100% stations need to wake up – they are losing great people!”

“Fascinating read, Mr. Carver. I fear many, not all, ND’s are bug-eyed looking at their computers all day, not in touch with their communities (aka customers). Folks have had it with the constant negative content. Time to get away from the 1980’s formula of stacking a show.”

“I have been commenting on various broadcasting FB pages saying TV is now in worse shape than radio. No one wanted to believe me. Now, there’s this…”

“If you think it’s difficult on the affiliate side, know that this is the network trend. My partner is a systems engineering manager at one of the big three networks in NYC. The colleagues he now has to contend with are computer kids who know nothing about broadcasting and prefer to sit in front of a computer. The network executives want streaming. Many of the colleagues his age have already taken buy-outs, or “bye, you’re out”. He hopes he can stay until his retirement.”

“Exactly, and at the heart of this recruiter’s piece…This sort of talent revolt has been brewing for years.”

“The amount of turnover we’ve had at my television station is mind-boggling. We had three people leave just last Friday.”

“Like most analog companies (telephone, cameras, radio, television, etc)…if they weren’t innovative enough to adapt to new technologies and consumer consumption format….it’s just a matter of time.”

“Until journalism is brought back into news and influences from sales, programming and promotions departments, as well as demographics, consultants and corporate profit mandates are removed from story content, ratings will continue to decline and trust in local news no longer exist.”

“I started my television news-producing career in 1980, making $8,900 in a small market. $8,900 in 1980 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $29,547.89 in 2021. According to chron.com, “Average starting salaries for broadcast journalism jobs are more apt to fall on the lower end of the wage continuum. Those in the lower 10 percent earn less than $24,520 per year or $11.70 per hour. One in four earns less than $31,450, or $15.12 per hour.” THIS IS THE PROBLEM. People are tired of crazy hours, increased responsibilities, and low pay. This, as media companies brag about increased profits and tout “efficiency.” PAY PEOPLE WHAT THEY ARE WORTH.”

“We’re all so done. So burned out. Unappreciated. Tired of being a cog in a wheel. Tired of being stretched thin. It’s exhausting. Another point to add. Hunger. More and more it’s about quantity than quality. So those remaining are now burning out because we walk away from each story not satisfied. Because we’re forced to follow an uncreative formula. We crave to like Boyd Huppert and Steve Hartman and tell really great stories, but those free spirit approaches are squashed by formulas and consultants. Why bother anymore, especially when friends leave the business and tease you, as you point out, with clocking out at 5, more vacation time, and a better work-life balance.

“Just a quick note to say “thank you” for your article about the current state of the news industry. I left the business almost 2 months ago after 20+ years as a Chief Meteorologist. I agree 100% with this article. Another point to add is that TV news is just not considered as cool as it used to be, and it’s considered biased. Many people now believe it’s fake news and are turning away. They look down on the news people and bash the station. It’s crazy how times have changed. I actually left a six-figure job to become a stay-at-home mom because I couldn’t handle what was happening at my local station.”

“Ty, – I read your article and agree. As a retired producer and now MMJ mom, I might add their duties as another probable deterrent. Prior to college graduation and at the start of the pandemic, our daughter was thrilled to receive an offer despite her lack of experience. She signed her contract which listed much of her responsibilities as well as the common line that reads something broad like, “other duties as assigned.” While we all understood she’d shoot, write and edit her own stories. Even welcoming the challenge. We never dreamed she’d be out doing her own live shots alone no matter the hour of the day or night. Hard work and low pay were expected. At least, early on. Concerns about safety in this manner were not.”

“I just want to say thank you for your article. I connect with everything you’re saying and I keep seeing other journalists everywhere reposting it. I hope it gets the attention it deserves. Signed – A journalist chained to a three-year contract.”

“It’s real. We are losing someone soon and I know that means the burden will likely be placed on me and my coworkers. For how long? I don’t even want to think about it. We have busted our humps and now it might get worse. Oy vey.”

“Took the words right out of my mouth! I learned a lot in my 17+ years of being in the broadcast news industry, but I am so excited & happy to have landed on a new path! Growth is about change, the more dramatic the change, the better off you will become.”

“More and more of my friends have left the business. I definitely understand why.”

“Ty Carver nails it… His anecdote about an Executive Producer is not about me, but it basically could be. And now I’m much happier in a non-news job that pays me $12K more a year, where I get nearly 3x the holidays off and work 8:00-4:00, and no breaking news call-ins.”

“I think we need to realize we are at DEFCON 2 with this problem. Where are the Kennedy brothers walking outside the White House to avoid this missile crisis?”

“You have to remind yourself why you got in this business in the first place.. cherish those moments and pursue the stories that matter. Have fun and inspire others to stay engaged. Keep up a good attitude no matter what.”

“It’s a hard job for sure and depending on the market you can make ends meet better bagging groceries. $20-30k isn’t what it used to be, especially when the average rent is $1,000 per month. But local news is so important, so the industry will eventually figure out how to adapt and keep passionate talent happy and appreciated.”

“I feel this. I was passed over for jobs I was more than qualified for because of my hair or the way I looked. I am an exceptional Anchor and Reporter, but I wasn’t considered for positions that were ultimately filled by people with 7-8 years less experience than myself. It was pay, burnout, and lack of appreciation or recognition. I was ready to be valued and “wanted”. This is something I find is happening so much more in the industry.”

“I understand! Been there, done that.”

“In the last few years, I’ve seen an increase in more viewership being drawn toward folks/viewers creating their own “media labs “ via most/all social media platforms while news organizations/state governmental broadcasts specialists seem to be falling behind the times. For example, I’ll make you a bet that a Tik Tok video on recycling cans (edited in a rhythmic fast-paced style ) will have more views and likes than, say, a standard edited/well-shot video on recycling cans from a state agency like CAL Recycle or even a news story from a local news station on recycling. Plus, it seems that the more fast-paced/short attention span style video messages from social media are ruling the day and are becoming serious addictions for new viewership who want to “improve upon“ previously done videos ( ie someone can do it better ). It would be nice if more broadcast companies utilized more creative mindsets to steal these viewers back to TV broadcasting as well as doing more community-based news (where there is more of a “ light at the end of the tunnel “ tone in the narration). This last point coincides with your continual “end of the world cycle point “ which local broadcasters continue to thrive on. The bad news is everywhere, of course. But broadcasters can really do wonders by expanding story outlines (“we’re not only about bad news “ could be a good hashtag for media companies). Digital excess is about viewers creating their own “happy“ worlds while avoiding real-time consequences (not watching well-written/edited content designed to inform). I am a mentor for broadcast students. As a result of those teachings, I’ve been able to get in touch with teenagers who want to do more than just report bad news and do have really good ideas for visuals that attract the eyes of people. It doesn’t completely solve every problem in the media, such as low pay and the lack of appreciation for employees. But it does get the great visual storytellers out to the forefront to attract viewers including new viewers who may be stuck on social media platforms creating their own media labs.”

“I read your piece and just want to say that every word in it rang true to me. My company had lost probably 15 people from the news department in 4 months. I’m also considering taking a 6-month break from the industry to recover from burnout.”

“Ty – I’m sure you’re getting a lot of emails like this, but I still had to reach out and join the chorus of praise. That essay you wrote was spot on, and it was frankly a relief to hear someone spell out so clearly the challenges we are all seeing in our stations each day. I started my career as a newspaper reporter and switched to TV in 2010, partly because there were no jobs in print around here and I feared even if I did get one it would be gone within a few years. All through the last decade, I’d hoped that top TV executives had watched the newspaper industry’s experience closely and learned lessons from it, but now I fear I am seeing history repeat itself. I don’t see how the current model is sustainable, especially at a time when other industries are aggressively raising wages and benefits to attract talent. And I think TV leaders don’t take into account that it’s a much more double-edged sword to work in television today – yes, there’s still some glamour to it, but there’s also a nonstop inflow of nasty comments on social media that no ‘80s or ‘90s on-air person had to deal with at such a volume. Hopefully, people in high places read and reflect on what you wrote. Take care.”

“Damn right it’s real. People are tired of crazy hours, increased responsibilities, and low pay. Pay journalists for the value they bring to the station’s revenue!”

“It was my favorite job ever and I would never go back, sadly.”

“This article is absolutely on the money.”

“You’re welcome to use my feedback. What we do is too important to go extinct. If I/we can play a role in helping to write the next chapter, I’ll consider that a worthy contribution. I’m proud of what we are building at (redacted). I hope others will use it as a model. Thanks for being an advocate for doing better. Keep the conversation going.”

“Ty is saying things that have been thought of by thousands of employees in this industry for several years.”

This article was everything.

Every word. Truth.”

This guy said it perfectly. I still get calls from people wanting help getting out of the business.

“I felt every word this man wrote. Change needs to happen and it needs to happen fast.”

“Really well written and thoughtful. One thing that would also be beneficial is out-of-college training programs for all of these station roles. I feel like RTDNA, Promax BDA, and other organizations would be best to do this with financial support from station groups, but maybe I am being naive? Station groups have tried this periodically but found they trained up talent and the talent got poached or only stayed 2 years, perhaps if it’s a bigger overall investment from all groups it would solve for this a bit.”

“Absolutely! I’m a photog with 20 years of experience in and out of local news. If I went to ANY station in the country, I would most likely be stuck on nights and weekends making maybe $35k if I’m lucky. That’s IF the station even values photography enough to even have photogs anymore.”

“This is why I got out. Less stress. Super flexible hours. I can actually take off when I want to. I can take care of my kids. I’ve been asked to get back in by several stations and I’ve declined them all because no amount of money is worth being that miserable again.”

I wouldn’t trade a single day from my news career. I loved it. I also wouldn’t go back. Thing is, I think I have better story ideas today than I did back then … because I’m able to have a life away from work.

“This is spot on! While I was freelancing at (redacted) in the mornings, and going to grad school in the afternoons, my professors at (redacted) pointed out that while newsrooms are shrinking, PR is expected to grow 20-25% in the next 5-10 years. With fewer reporters to pitch to and a higher demand for video, companies want to tell their own stories and are looking for storytellers to get their messages out in the world. This was one of the biggest contributing factors in why I made the jump after 16 years in the news biz! There were other reasons well, but I can tell you, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! The folks in PR are very supportive of each other! And so far, every organization and boss I’ve worked with has been extremely appreciative of both the quality of work I’m putting out AND my work ethic going into every project! So many of us newsies have these qualities! I’m very much enjoying the better work-life balance and reduced stress too! The transition has done wonders for my health.”

“That is quite the article. Time to brush up on my digital.”

“Got out two years ago after a 25-year run. Hear from my former employees on a regular basis looking to get out for all the reasons you mention here. I’m working in government now. It’s rewarding to work without looking over your shoulder every moment wondering if today’s the day the corporate guy will ax you. There is a better life out there. Make the jump. You’ll be happy.”

“FYI – Spot on with that recent blog you posted. I’m trying to do my part by being creative with increasing salaries, workflow changes, and scheduling. Collectively, the business really needs to recognize this… I’ve noticed it got about 100x worse in the last year. The big groups may not be too worried… this gives them reasons to rapidly consolidate newsrooms, which I think we’ll see in the next 5-10 years.  Maybe even before 10 years. Keep pushing!”

“Hi, Ty. I read your article and just wanted to tell you that you are SPOT ON! Tell me one other business where it’s run as if it’s 2005 and all the big leaders in the building are aged out on technology and how we even do business. That is TV. Keep up the good fight!”

“Nailed it. The alarm has been sounding for years. Especially in Engineering.”

“Thanks for your thought-provoking article. I’m one of those who recently transitioned after 16 years in the business. While the pandemic has certainly brought many of the issues you raised to light, I’d argue they’ve been problems for much longer. Decades even. I was a diehard newsy that pumped out a ton of content each and every day and was required to squeeze in additional work during my busy work week to air over the weekends too. It wasn’t a sustainable workload and it took a toll on my health and well-being. I hope for my friends still in the industry that things change soon. They all work so hard and truly care about their communities. For those looking for a change, PR really does provide a wonderful work-life balance, with excellent hours, benefits, and remote work. The best part is, I’m still writing and producing stories and even MMJing for a great organization that’s taking on another passion of mine: fighting climate change. It’s been a blessing to merge both reporting and public relations together into one new, fabulous career! I can definitely understand why so many are now making the move!”

“Great stuff. It’s been going on for many years but the pandemic sped it up. Today, we choose Instagram and Facebook while choosing Netflix or Apple+ at the same time. Local television has been running paid programming for years which chases away viewership. The news model is tired at the local level. Promotion is a fraction of what it was. The wake-up call has been due for a long time. I’m hoping the wake-up call succeeds, as local television provides what Amazon Prime won’t, and that’s extremely important in local markets.”

“This article is really interesting food for thought. Thanks for sharing!”

“I agree with all of this. Especially since, in my former market, we reported stories about jobs that require no collegiate education but pay more than even my Executive Producer. The justification is always “Pay your dues.” But, it’s hard to pay dues when you can’t pay bills and it turns off so many to the field. A four-day workweek can definitely go a long way. In the end, though, so-called “Opportunity taxes” will always chase good people away. It’s not always about the money. But, it’s still a big part of surviving.”

“I think many people who have been in the industry almost have 2 careers: one for about 15 plus years in media…then burnout and move on to something else for the remainder of their career.”

“An insightful look into recruiting for local television. Ty Carver knows what he’s talking about.”

“I’m sure you remember the ruckus in the late 90s when Newsblues really ripped the scar tissue over local news working conditions. Every morning we would huddle around the one computer in the newsroom to get the latest info, and during the day would even discuss it with the competition in the field. Having just read your article, I think it might have just as big of an impact. I am retired now but saw myself in every situation you described. Keep up the good work.”

“This in-depth summary on the state of local news jobs (and the time it takes to fill them) from Ty Carver is worth the read if you’re in the broadcast industry.”

“I read your column with interest because I made those kinds of decisions when I left the newsroom. So here is what I have learned as the news business changes and it’s getting harder to recruit experienced, dedicated people. Culture Matters. How management treats its employees, how the newsroom reacts to and understands the communities it covers, how co-workers of various ages treat each other, how a culture of respect inside and outside the newsroom can keep employees or chase them away.”

“This is a reality. The question is why? And what are we doing to remedy the way people are feeling and wanting out of our industry? Tough questions and not sure the answer.”

“Yes, it is a tough one, but it’s by asking ourselves the tough questions that we can find the right answers.”

“Great article explaining the plight of many news/media professionals today. Like many industries, the most talented workers are making the painful decision to leave a craft they are passionate about. They’re trading in their reporter notebooks in order to have better work/life balance, a livable wage, a realistic chance for advancement, and in turn, improved mental health – without having to relocate every two years in order to do so. Responsible, moral journalism is vital to a functioning society. I look forward to the day when the news industry can thrive without overworking underpaid employees while expecting them to uproot their lives every few years. That being said – I applaud everyone shouldering the difficult task of covering news amid these unprecedented times. You are vital. You are needed. And you are appreciated. Thanks, Ty Carver, for the article.”

“I mean, it’s a real thing. And it has to be solved. At this point, we are just devouring ourselves. And people keep asking “How can my company brag about such a large profit yet we have cutbacks and salary freezes”. Good topic to dive into…the rich do need to get richer…but not at the expense of the people that make them rich.”

“Mr. Carver: I agree with your article. I am a semi-retired 50+ year mass media veteran (radio, TV, print, and web) ranging from producing, writing, traffic, programming, news reporting, news directing, and general management. In my opinion, all of the reasons you offered in your essay are valid, but like an old-timer who worked at the tail-end of “The Golden Era” of Radio-Television ownership and management (pre-consolidation) when the standard for keeping a license was “serving the public interest, convenience and necessity” and the F.C.C. was run by true watchdogs and public servants, the involvement of Wall Street and consolidated corporate ownership (pre-7-7-7 ownership rules) is the root cause of dissatisfaction. Even as big, important and busy as Bill Paley and Leonard Goldenson were in their heydays, these giants would reach out to even the employees in the mailroom. While there were many legendary tyrants in the ownership ranks, most top managers started at the bottom and worked their way to the top and could relate to the rank-and-file. Of course, organizations were smaller then, but I believe that the personal touch and open-door access to those supposedly in control make for a more satisfying employment experience. Yes, broadcasters rarely have a predictable life, but the organizational culture and common courtesies can make the sacrifices worthwhile. It also helps not to “pile on” the sacrifices to burn out the employees who are responsible for most of the grunt work. Again, great article!” – Media Dinosaur

And then there’s this: