I’ve sorted the average annual salaries in public radio newsrooms by their station news budgets. As you would expect, the higher budget categories closely correlate with higher average salaries.
If you look under “news directors,” for example, you’ll see that stations spending between $500k-$1m a year on their newsrooms, spend an average of $60k-$65k for news director salaries.
Again, this is based on a survey of almost 400 U.S. public broadcast station managers last summer.
The thicker the line in each of these graphs, the more the number of stations contributing to the average. Click on the graph to see it larger.
Refer back to the earlier salary charts to see highs, lows, medians, averages and actual station counts per each job title.
The thickness of the pink line attests to the many stations in that $50k-$250k newsroom budget bracket. The news directors at these stations share an average annual salary in the low 40s. There is a jump, however, in the newsroom budget brackets above $250k. The managers of these bigger newsrooms are averaging between the mid 50s to the mid 60s.
Again, we see the thick pink line due to the many stations in that lower budget bracket. Hosts at those stations get paid in the low 30s on average. The newsrooms above $250k push the average pay up over $45k a year.
The trend lines for reporters are obvious — more pay at bigger shops — though the upper range of averages is only in the upper 50s.
Public radio news producers show average annual pay rates quite comparable to reporters relative to their respective newsroom budgets.
Executive Producers/Directors and VPs of News
Note the larger scale range used to display the VP of News average annual salaries. This position is more common in the larger stations.
The Executive Director/Producer chart shows this position can be found in smaller stations, but the pay still scales according to budget.
Senior Producers and Assistant News Directors
Senior producers are averaging salaries just below those of news directors in the larger stations.
The assistant news director chart has enough random deviation in the small sample to limit its usefulness.
New Media News Positions: Content Director, Online Editor, Web Producer
There are few of these in the sample to begin with, so the green line is an outlier (part-time position, most likely). Similarly, the deviation from the normal curve may also be due to the newness of this job title and the likelihood it represents different jobs in different stations.
Again, jobs that focus exclusively online are still relatively rare in public radio (it is far more common to find hybrid positions mixing broadcast with new platforms), yet despite the smaller sample size, we can see patterns emerging in online editor and web producer average salaries.