Friday, November 26, 2010

Merry Christmas, here's your pink slip

Well, now that sweeps are over you're going to see a whole lot of movement in the job market. Already we're seeing a few News Directors have gotten the boot, and as the ratings come in for various markets, that trend will continue.

As for non-management openings, you'll see more of those as well, as we head into December. Usually anchors get more pink slips than reporters, as they are the "face" of the station... and if said station tanks in the ratings, the anchors are often held to be at fault.

Throw in the fact that many reporters have contracts that end after November sweeps and you've got an open job market. By the way, the fact that many contracts ending after November is no accident; corporations know it's harder to find a job around the holidays, so they make it harder for you to leave.

But that holiday job hunting myth is fading. This past month I've had a few clients go on job interviews during sweeps. That happened last year as well. And last year I had a few people hired in December. This kind of stuff used to be rare; now, it seems, the rules are out the window.

One thing to keep in mind this time of year; don't wait for job openings to be posted. Many stations have a good idea what they're going to do today even though the ratings for some markets won't be in for a few weeks. Best to get the jump on things and have a tape in place when openings occur. And there are plenty of people out there who will either leave or make a move during the next few weeks.

The period between May and November sweeps was long held to be the best time to look for a job. While that's still probably true, nowadays you can look for a job anytime. So don't say, "I'll start sending tapes after Christmas." Do it now.


Anonymous said...

Why is it so hard to get your first job in California? There seem to be plenty of stations, and most aren't in the top 10 or even the top 75...Why does it seem most people assume you have to get your first job in Nebraska or Idaho? Is this true or just another news biz myth?

-The Grape said...

Well, a lot has to do with quality of life. If you think of nice places to live, anything on the coast usually comes to mind. California is a beautiful state.

Places with good climates and lots of things to do always have more job applicants than other. The old saying about Florida, for instance, is that "they pay you in Sunshine."