What would the major differences be in a person's life working at a top rated station, versus a perennial number two, versus the bottom of the pack? Obviously the top rated stations have more money and probably better equipment, but are there other differences as well?
Very good question. Over the years I've worked at many number one stations, one that was always number one or two, and one that was perennially stuck in the basement. And you're probably thinking everything was rosy at the first place shops while everything else wasn't as nice.
Well, there's one little factor you're missing when it comes to numbers. None of them mean a thing until you consider the ownership of the station.
There are great companies out there that buy the best equipment and pay the best salaries even for their affiliates that aren't number one. There are other number one stations that seem to be run by Mister Potter from "It's a Wonderful Life."
Looking back at the places I've worked, it is amazing that ownership is the only common denominator by which to judge the quality of life. And nothing illustrates that more than working at a station that goes through a sale. In one case I went from the best company I'd every worked for to the worst. Same staff, same product. Different owner.
And I had more fun working at that last place station which had a great ND than at a number one with a manager who made everybody miserable.
Judge every station by how it treats its employees, not the ratings.