Employment in broadcasting is expected to increase almost 9 percent over the 2002-12 period, more slowly than the 16 percent projected for all industries combined. Factors contributing to the relatively slow rate of growth include industry consolidation, introduction of new technologies, and competition from other media outlets. Keen competition is expected for many jobs, particularly in large metropolitan areas, due to the large number of jobseekers attracted by the glamour of this industry. Job prospects will be best for applicants with a college degree in broadcasting, journalism, or a related field, as well as relevant work experience.
Consolidation of individual broadcast stations into large networks, especially in radio, has increased due to relaxed ownership regulations. This trend will continue to limit employment growth as networks use workers more efficiently. For example, a network can run eight radio stations from one office, producing news programming at one station and then using the programming for broadcast from other stations, thus eliminating the need for multiple news staffs. Similarly, technical workers, upper level management, and marketing and advertising sales workers are pooled to work for several stations simultaneously. In the consolidation of the radio industry, several major companies have recently purchased many stations nationwide. These companies plan to achieve cost savings through consolidation and economies of scale, limiting employment growth.
The introduction of new technology also is slowing employment growth. Conventional broadcast equipment used to be relatively specialized; each piece of equipment served a separate function and required an operator with specialized knowledge. Newer, computerized equipment often combines the functions of several older pieces of equipment and does not require specialized knowledge for operation. This reduces the need for certain types of workers, including those responsible for editing, recording, and creating graphics. In addition, increased use of remote monitoring equipment allows technical workers in one location to operate and monitor transmissions at a remote station.
Job growth also is being constrained by the use of radio and television programming created by services outside the broadcasting industry. These establishments provide prepared programming, including music, news, weather, sports, and professional announcer services. The services can easily be accessed through satellite connections and reduce the need for program production and news staff at radio and television stations. Broadcasters also anticipate increased competition from Internet media outlets, such as video-on-demand services.
Radio broadcasters expect continued growth in revenues as national media companies, with cable stations, broadcast networks, and radio networks, use their combined marketing power to include radio advertising packages with many marketing deals. The new national scope of radio networks allows radio to more effectively sell advertising to large national advertisers, to better compete with television networks. The major threats to the radio industry, especially smaller, marginal stations, are from car CD (compact disk) players and from satellite radio, which functions like cable television with subscribers paying a monthly fee.