Posted on Jan 29, 2019 by in Compensation Programs, Compensation Solutions, Media Industry News, Recent Developments

Streamers Drive Salary Increases for Programmers

By Amy Maclean | January 29, 2019 |

The amount of money digital players spend on content is helping to drive up compensation for jobs in the cable & telecom space, according to C2HR’s 2018 Annual Compensation surveys, conducted by The Croner Company. Among programmers, positions with the biggest jump were in business development and programming—the folks charged with securing new content partnerships, user acquisitions and co-branding agreements. Base salary for an evp in this field soared by 10% over 2017, while biz dev managers, directors and individual contributors saw gains of 9%, 7% and 7%, respectively. Other programming jobs also saw big boosts, with 8% average increases for director of current programming and director of program scheduling while senior director of program acquisitions jumped 12%.

Still, digital remains lucrative. According to the Croner’s 2018 Digital Content and Technology Survey, total direct compensation at digital and tech companies ranges from 45% more for software engineering, to 80% more for content talent, to a 158% more for data science jobs. Despite raises for MSOs, including Charter’s public proclamation to raise all employees to at least $15/hour, MSO salaried employees fell below the merit budget at 1.8% base salary increase. C2HR’s surveys found the industry as a whole saw a 3% salary merit budget, a tiny bit above the 2.9% national average.

Among MSOs, installation jobs saw the largest raises, with base salaries up 4% for installation/service technician Level 3 to 9% for supervisor of installation/service. Base salaries for installers were higher in the West and East, with the Southwest, Mountain, Midwest and South reporting lower figures for installers and techs. MSO management (supervisor through EVP) achieved a 5.1% base salary increase.

Croner Company pres/ CEO Hali Croner cited market conditions. “Companies are paying attention to people who are long-term contributors and taking care of them,” she said. Programming executives averaged a 5.5% increase in total direct compensation, which includes base salary, bonus, and stock incentives. Operating support personnel, such as technical directors and camera operators, accrued 5.0% TDC, while operating individual contributors earned 3.4% TDC.

There were 59 participants in the 2018 surveys, including 14 MSO, satellite, telecom and home security firms and 45 cable programmers, broadcast networks and digital content creators. New participants included ADT, Game Show Network and Google Fiber. The 2017 surveys had 58 participants—11 on the MSO side and 47 from programmers, broadcast, digital. Other takeaways: 2018, 93% of MSOs offered bonuses, as did 89% of programmers with eligibility deep into the organizations (as 77% of MSOs and 63% of programmers offered bonuses to employees below managers). Long-term incentives, such as shares, stock options and long-term cash, remained largely limited to management.

But the industry’s offering up more perks to compete with digital. For the first time, 14% of MSOs reported offering free food as did 16% of programmers, compared with 56% of digital natives. Telecommuting is handled more on a case-by-case basis in the industry, and that’s seen in the stats. While 100% of digital natives provide a formal telecommuting policy that applies to most or all employees, only 25% of MSOs and 13% of programmers had such policies, the survey said. “C2HR’s annual Compensation Surveys uncover market pressures and valuable metrics that our members use to develop competitive compensation strategies,” said the group’s exec director Pamela Williams.