If you are in your 20's or early 30's, you won't retire from TV broadcast news. If you are paying others 8% to find work in a contracting industry and you aren't getting transferable job skills in return, you must ask why. If you have student loans to pay off your j-school education, you owe it to yourself, your parents, and your bank to make sure you can adapt to changes in the marketplace and thrive. You will ultimately be 'adulting' 24/7 because it will no longer be optional.
Uh, this isn't limited to just the on-camera talent. This is the industry, the supply chain top to bottom. It will ultimately work it's way back to the secondary education eco-system, the j-schools and universities. The education system is already seeing the contractions due to large shifts in school age population due to post baby boom demographics. Something I commonly lecture on as the 'pig moving thru the python'
Bold statements right? I have NEVER seen the 20 somethings in my family watch news on TV. NEVER. Anecdotal yes, but consider the recent acquisitions/mergers that will result in consolidation of TV stations (Sinclair-Tribune or Meredith-Time Inc) and agencies (Napoli, 3Kings, Best, IF). That's the "demand" side - Contraction. When ownership controls multiple stataions in a market they have significant opportunity to consolidate support roles - all administrative roles as well as producers, videography, writers, PA's, etc. There is a private equity group buying up talent agencies in this space. Private Equity (PE's) can be singular in focus depending on their goals and this could significantly change operating models (service levels - offerings). Consider this, this PE company lists their portfolio of companies in two categories - either "Current" or "Realized". Message me if you want to understand what "Realized" means. As industry salaries continue to shrink so does the 8% you derive from them.
The pipeline on the "supply" side is full. J-schools keep cranking the talent out and many are willing to accept their first role as an MMJ (do you even want that role?) for half of what you are currently making. The "supply" side - Expansion.
How about this:
Mizzou J-School is about to graduate 600-700 seniors in May.
Medill has 350 grad students that can hardly wait to take your seat.
Columbia has ~ 1,000 applicants (and the Masters program is 70% female, sorry ladies, your competition will be fierce).
In a nutshell, there is more than 1,000 new multimedia talents entering into your industry in the next 6 months.
All is not lost! The key is to develop transferable job skills to other distribution channels and industries both in the public and private sectors. There will be demand for your talent but you must keep your eyes open and head up. Be the success story. Do not get lost in the adrenaline rush of being on air or the glamour of being recognized in the checkout lane of the grocery store or coffee shop. It is fleeting, trust me.
This will not be a popular article. Those protecting their positions in the supply chain - from university Dean's thru NY corporate offices, will take exception and will refute. In the end, you can see it if your eyes are open and you know the viewing habits of your generation. Once that 'pig', the tail end of the boomers, moves thru the 'python', the traditional broadcast news biz will be changed forever.
Be bold. Be great. Be Timeless not Timed-Out.
About Mike McNamara:
Mike has held C-Suite, Executive and Senior Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and General Management roles with Equifax, Cox Enterprises, WW Grainger, and Federal-Mogul Corporation. Mike has led sales, service and operations organizations of over 1,500 associates and accountable for P&L responsibility in excess of $250M.
Dedicated to giving back, Mike formed The MBAR Group in 2009 with the sole intent of providing pro bono career and business consulting services to underprivileged and under-served markets. Today as founder | CEO of TalentBlvd, he coaches a number of high profile executives and media personalities as well as holding advisory board positions guiding a number of multimedia and small business startups.
Mike earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University. He is a past chapter President of the American Marketing Association. Mike and family split time between their adopted state of Missouri and family home in NW Michigan where their philanthropic causes include The Kingdom House - St Louis, BACN in Benzonia, MI., and Samaritan’s Purse, Boone NC.