Publishers, Editors Took Pay Cut in ’09 While Newspaper Marketers Gained, Inland Finds

By: E&P Staff

The newspaper industry’s wages have fallen 1.42% on average since lat year, according to the Inland Press Association’s recently released Newspaper Industry Compensation Survey (NICS).

Using submitted pay data, the annual survey compares compensation levels geographically by circulation size for more than 100 print and online positions, allowing publishers in 11 circulation-revenue categories to compare base pay and incentives with pay packages at similar companies.

The survey is confidential. It specific salary ranges are available only to participants in the study, now in its 23rd year.

Inland Executive Director Catherine Scott said the number of participating U.S. newspapers – more than 400 – “was fairly consistent with last year.”

Among the findings:
– Base compensation for alternate-distribution managers was down 19.7%, the biggest decline in the NICS.
– For online jobs, creative directors’ salaries declined the most, by 7.4%.
– Publishers’ base pay declined 2.1%.
– Editors’ salaries were off 4.6%.
– Entry-level and experienced reporters saw declines of 1% to 2%.
– Audience-development managers, in sales and marketing, garnered the biggest increase, taking home an average of 10% more than a year earlier.
– National advertising managers saw salaries rise in the range of 12%.

NICS quality-control consultant Robert J. Greene, CEO of Reward $ystems Inc., Glenview, Ill., said the latest survey shows “the same pattern of smaller salary increase budgets as have other major surveys that measure market rates across industries.” He added the general decline in variable-compensation “is to be expected as profits are squeezed since incentive plan payouts are typically tied to revenue and/or profits.

The study is co-sponsored by Inland Press Association, MFM/INFE International Newspaper Financial Executives, New England Newspaper & Press Association, Newspaper Association of America, and Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association, as well as state associations in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New York and North Carolina.

Newspapers pay for the study based on their circulation size. Participating papers can order regional and custom studies.

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