TV News Recruitment Crisis: Why Talent Coaching Can Help

One-on-one coaching for on-air talent is what we do at Terry Anzur Coaching Services: recognizing the value of your news team by investing in their growth.

Everyone in TV news is talking about an article from the Knight-Cronkite Newslab that dares to say what industry insiders have known for years: broadcast journalism is suffering from a shortage of qualified candidates for low-paying, high-stress jobs in local television newsrooms.

As author Andrew Heyward has documented, smaller cities and towns are especially hard hit as top candidates from journalism schools bypass the “paying-your-dues” entry level jobs and sign on directly in larger, better-paying markets. Part Two of the Local News Recruitment Crisis lists some possible solutions, including better pay, revitalizing newsroom culture to meet the expectations of a new generation, and more training to ensure that new hires have the opportunity to grow on the job.

That’s where talent coaching comes in. I’ve worked for many forward-thinking companies and news directors who have already realized they can no longer count on an avalanche of qualified, diverse applicants for every job posting. Some stations have chosen to grow their own talent through partnerships with local colleges and universities, rather than depending on a handful of big-name j-schools. Stations that once required previous news experience in a small market are investing in young journalists fresh out of school. The reality is that today’s entry-level and mid-career journalists need support to reach their potential as quickly as possible. Newsroom veterans may need to break out of old habits to master new skills.

Heyward quotes his former CBS colleague Marcy McGinnis: “I can’t tell you how many MMJs I talk to who say ‘No one ever looks at my work.'” That’s been my experience as well. Overstressed, overworked journalists often feel overlooked by their multi-tasking managers. They are eager for the constructive, detailed feedback they need to thrive. Bringing in a coach who will focus on the talent development of each individual  — rather than a one-size-fits-all approach — can reinforce the good work these journalists are doing while targeting areas of potential growth and strengthening the station’s overall news product at the same time.

That’s what we do at Terry Anzur Coaching Services. We don’t bundle our coaching for on-air talent with expensive audience research or a new set. You might be surprised at how affordable it is to invest in your team with the right coaching package at the right time, either through remote coaching or a transformational station visit. Contact me to discuss your station’s needs and goals for talent development and let’s get started on your coaching package for 2022!