One Broadcaster’s Opinion: Low Wages Reason Media Lacks Diversity

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That is Travis Mayfield’s argument. This implies that only white people will work for low wages, and that all white people have parents helping them as they climb the ladder of success.
It has always been the case, that broadcasters, especially in smaller markets, earn wages somewhere near/slightly above, the poverty line. That may not be the reason for the lack of diversity.
You need only look at the on-air staffing at KOMO, KING, KIRO and KCPQ to see that there is no lack of diversity.
People of all ethnicities have applied themselves to the task and worked through the small markets, to achieve success in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major markets.
Broadcasting wages are lousy. There has always been competition in this business. Only the strong survive.
The cost-cutting by corporate, is the cause for concern today.
It isn’t that there aren’t enough minorities applying for the positions.
The issue lies with those who decide who is to be hired for the job and who remains when the bean counters sharpen their pencils.
Proving discriminatory practices may not be easy in those cases.

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Jason Remington

Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of PugetSound.Media, a former broadcaster at KVAC/Forks, KDFL/Sumner, KTTX/KWHI/Brenham, TX., KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KAMT/Tacoma, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KJUN/Puyallup, KASY/Auburn, KTAC AM/Tacoma, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. Retired from AT&T.

5 thoughts on “One Broadcaster’s Opinion: Low Wages Reason Media Lacks Diversity

  1. It also implies that only white people will settle for low wages, and struggle to reach their goal in the business. That is preposterous.
    This argument is also another way to cry “discrimination.” But, the argument holds no water.
    Travis may not have had enough coffee when he posted this.

  2. I don’t see any argument – who’s he disagreeing with? It’s a simple admission that he can’t survive as an adult without help from his parents. How old is he? Reading the whole thread would help. What diversity? I didn’t see anything in his post about minorities or white people. But why on earth are parents subsidizing their adult children who choose to be in a job with low pay? If he’s taking jobs for under 25K, he’d better learn how to live on under 25K.

    When I signed up with Ron Bailie in 1966, I was a Teamsters Union Local 174 truck driver and I made $3.90 an hour – $7800 per year. Then I got a job at KGEZ for $400 a month. Then I got a first phone and made $500 a month at KURB, then $600 a month at KFKF, which was still less than I made three years earlier driving a truck. KAYO paid me $3.75 an hour part time. I did my twelve hours on the weekend plus covered all the vacations. I filled in when somebody had to go to the dentist or called sick. As a part timer, I worked as many as 50 hours a week “On The Air”, twice as much air time as any of the fulltimers. I got a full time job when Buck Ritchey died – $950 a month. One day I walked into John Dimeos’ office and said, “Hi John, I’m hear to hit you up for a fifty dollar raise so I can at least tell myself I’m making a thousand a month.” He didn’t argue and gave me the raise on the spot. I still didn’t have any security. I did have medical insurance.

    The point is that I didn’t get into radio for the money. It was for the fun. I suppose there was always somebody waiting to take my job for less money. You can blame it on whatever you want, but it’s simple supply-and-demand economics.

    I think Travis is just thinking out loud about whether it’s his time to get a real job and start supporting himself.

    1. There may have been someone willing to take my job for less money, but it was never really a concern. And I was in radio for the fun of it. That’s the right attitude, I believe. You will never get rich in broadcasting, ubless you are a Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh. There are higher paying jobs outside of radio, but usually not as much fun.

  3. I’ve recently been in texting contact with my first ex’s little sister for the first time in about forty years. In talking about old times, she’d been made aware over the years of what some might call my itinerant employment history.

    She told me that she admired me for what she called “following my bliss”.

    So I guess that’s what we do. She makes it sound admirable.

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