Heavy pay packages for TV reporters in Andhra

News channels are vying with each other to lure experienced TV reporters with huge pay packages. And reporters are basking in the attention.

Raj Kumar, who was working for a Telugu daily, moved to NTV a year ago. Later, TV5 lured him with better pay and he now works as a business reporter there, even as other channels are making better offers.

With six Telugu news channels on air and another six ready for launch, TV reporters such as Kumar are in great demand. Thanks to this, attrition is at an all-time high in leading news channels in the state.

Teja News logo

TV9, ETV2, NTV, TV5, Teja News and Gemini News channels are already competing with each other and I News, Channel T, Asianet, Sakshi News, Raj TV News, and MAA are waiting in the wings to catch eyeballs.

The new channels are in a hurry to start off since elections are around the corner. All of them want reporters and they are poaching seasoned ones form existing channels by offering triple the salary.

With political parties and industrialists vying with each other to start channels, AP has the highest number of regional news channels in the country. Most political parties want a news channel of their own.

Sakshi TV has already poached more than 10 senior employees from TV9 by offering three times their current salary. To counter this trend, TV9 is planning to hike the pay of its employees.

“We will pay more than Sakshi. They are offering our employees huge pay because we are number one among news channels.” says Raviprakash, CEO, TV9.

There is so much job hopping going on that nobody knows who is working for which channel on a given day. And reporters are enjoying the gold rush.

“There is huge scarcity of quality TV reporters. We plan to recruit at least 300 staff across the state but we are finding it difficult to get good ones.” says Satish Babu, head, Asianet News, which will go on air from August 15.

Media analysts say that there is a large untapped market in the state for news channels. “With the emergence of newer channels, the market is expected to swell further.” says Prof Nageshwar, a media analyst.

The competition is so fierce that some reporters have even been shifting from one yet to be launched channel to another. “A core member of my team left recently. We are recruiting more than 350 employees soon.” says Ramachandra Murthy from Channel T, which will go on air this October.

“The universities don’t supply ready to employ TV reporters. As most of the channels are in a hurry to go on air, there is a crunch.” says Rajasekhar.

Analysts say there are no institutions to train fresh TV reporters and this has prompted channels to poach from their rivals. With more corporate houses planning to launch channels, this demand for TV reporters will only increase.

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