Cynopsis Salary Survey: Who’s Making What in the Media Industry







The stock market might have taken us on a bumpy ride in 2018, but according to the Cynopsis Salary Survey, media industry salaries are relatively stable versus year-ago.

Once again, pay varies significantly by department. Average salaries are highest for Legal/Finance, Sales Distribution and Production/Writing/Business Development, while support departments – Programming, Operations/HR, Research, Marketing/PR, and Buying/Planning – were on the low end.

How much media execs made wasn’t just about what they did – it was where they did it. The West offers top pay in Legal ($145,100), Programming ($136,700), Sales ($135,500), and Buying/Planning ($104,500), while the Northeast offers top pay for Production/Writing/Business Development ($126,700), and Research ($116,400).

Three-fifths of respondents of respondents receive bonuses, more often in Sales/Distribution (79%), Programming (74%) and Research (71%). Buying/Planning employees and Production/Writing/Business Development were less likely to get something extra. Bonuses range from a high of $19,200 for Sales/Distribution to a low of $9,100 for Buying/Planning; overall, the average bonus is $13,300.   

As with many industries, in media, with age and experience comes more dollars. Employees 46+ years report an average salary of $149,800, while younger employees earn $97,800, on average.

Of course, smart employers know it’s not just about the money. Nearly nine in ten respondents reported being offered at least one benefit, with family leave the most prevalent. Three-fifths of companies offer maternity, and 42% also allow paternity leave. Only 7% of employees report childcare benefits, but about one third can have gym memberships, flexible scheduling or volunteer programs.

Good news? Salary satisfaction remained strong, per the Cynopsis survey. Nearly three-fifths of all employees are either completely/somewhat satisfied with their salary, with satisfaction highest among employees in Operations/HR (69%), Research (66%), Sales Distribution (62%), Programming (61%), and Legal (61%).  

For details on the Salary Survey, go here:

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