Programmer Salaries on the Rise Again


After two years of freezes, salaries
for employees at cable programmers are
beginning to rise in 2011, according to a survey
by the Cable and Telecommunications
Human Resources Association.

According to the Annual Compensation
Survey conducted by leading compensation
consulting firm The Croner Co., in 2009
24% of programmers
and 18% of cable
operators froze
their salary budgets.
Last year the
freezes were on the
decline (7% of programmers
and no
cable operators)
and in 2011, none
of the 57 companies
(including 13
MSOs and satellite-
TV providers and
44 programmers)
surveyed said they
froze salaries this
year. CTHRA attributed
the increased
optimism to higher
advertising revenue
at programmers and revenue growth at MSOs
from broadband and phone services.

“CTHRA’s survey indicates that companies
are using available cash to focus on retaining
and attracting the talent they need for business
growth,” CTHRA executive director Pamela
Williams said.

Programmers also said that annual salary-
adjustment budgets (which include pay
raises delivered through a merit increase, promotional
market and/or cost
of living increase)
rose by 3.2% in 2011
from 3% in 2009 and
2010. Cable operators
increased their
annual salary adjustment
by 3% in 2011 from
2.6% in 2010, according
to the survey.

The survey also
identified a handful
of hot jobs for
programmers and
MSOs. About 16
job categories were
eliminated from
the MSO survey in
2011, with four new job families added — product
development, program management, customer
experience and multiple dwelling unit
sales account management. For programmers,
eight new job categories were added: music content,
production art, brand/product marketing,
home entertainment distribution, digital media
marketing, community affairs, sales revenue
planning/pricing and royalty accounting.

“One of the most sought areas of expertise
right now is digital marketing, so even if you are
a traditional marketer, finding and leveraging
ways to integrate your skills with new technology
is a sure way to increase your marketability,”
said CEO Lisa Kaye in
a statement.

More companies are also offering incentives
to their employees. The survey said that 84% of
MSOs and 74% of programmers offer long-term
incentives, such as stock options, and 93% of
MSOs and 87% of programmers offer short-term
perks like annual bonuses.