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Rise Of The Anchorwomen

The Boston Globe's Suzanne Ryan takes a look at a recent study which has found there are now more women news anchors on TV in America than men.

"The ascent of women is a natural progression in the industry. The scarcity of men in the pipeline is another story.

The numbers of anchormen, which started declining 10 years ago and now are at an all-time low, have left station managers scratching their heads and college journalism professors pondering their enrollment. At Emerson College, there is just one man in the graduate broadcast journalism program. There are 20 female students."

What's the reason for this trend? According to the article, at least part of it has to do with the starting salaries offered up in the industry compared to other professions. The Radio-Television News Directors Association says the average salary for a small-market anchor is around $20,000 per year.
"No one is suggesting that young women are happy with low salaries. But, some argue, women move up faster in the business.

'If you dress up the average woman coming out of college and put on makeup, she looks like an adult. The average man coming out of college looks like he's going through puberty,' said Bob Papper, a professor of telecommunications at Ball State in Muncie, Ind., and the director of the RTNDA's annual study on television news."

And, of course, it's a trend that is impacting bigger organizations as well.
"You don't have to decode statistics, though, to see the evidence. At the highest levels -- network news -- TV executives have had a hard time finding anchormen with star potential to replace Dan Rather and Peter Jennings. At CBS, Bob Schieffer has stayed far longer at 'CBS Evening News' than expected, while Katie Couric reportedly mulls a whopping offer to take the seat permanently. Where Jennings once reigned alone at ABC's 'World News Tonight,' Elizabeth Vargas now shares anchor duties with Bob Woodruff."
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