The Broadcasters Foundation Deserves Your Support

The foundation has helped many a broadcast employee through hard times. It can use every bit of possible support to keep seeing that mission through.

Hank Price

Working in television can be a great career, but launching that career usually means beginning with a low salary at a small station. This is true not just in news, but in virtually every other department.

Some of the better companies have begun to upgrade salaries, but the fact is that most of us came up in an era when starvation wages were the norm. In my case, it was several years before we stopped living hand to mouth.

I’d love to say everyone who “paid their dues” ended up with well-paying jobs, but that would be far from the truth. For each one of us who landed in good positions, there were dozens of others who never attained anything close to financial security.

No station owner wanted any of their employees to end up in poverty. The problem is that with approximately 210 television markets, the majority are small operations servicing small communities. There is simply not enough money coming in to pay large salaries.

Why then, you might wonder, didn’t underpaid staff members quit and find jobs in other industries. Many did, though making a mid-career change is easier said that done. Those that stayed the course did so because they loved the business. Like me, and maybe you, they couldn’t imagine doing anything else.


Looking back, I remember so many journeymen broadcasters who worked hard and contributed to the success of their stations but were still squeezed financially. Many of those folks are now retired, some with only Social Security to live on. They may be making it day-to-day, but when a major health emergency or other personal disaster happens, they sometimes have no place to turn. That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of America can be there to help.

The problem is just as serious for broadcasters who spent their lives in radio. I have a number of friends from college who did that and some are still working past retirement age. They’ve had great careers serving their communities and loved every part of it except the financial struggle. Few have the reserves to handle a personal emergency. The Broadcasters Foundation helps them, too.

The foundation also aids broadcasters who have become sidelined because of a disability. I know of a photographer who had to have a leg amputated due to diabetes. The Broadcasters Foundation helped him recover, then continued to help for several years as he transitioned into a new career.

Over the years the Broadcaster’s Foundation of America has given millions in grants to our colleagues facing financial emergencies. In some cases, the foundation has been their last resort.

I’m sharing all of this because I believe those of us who have been well rewarded have an obligation to remember those who have not. That’s why for the past several years my wife and I have contributed to the Broadcaster’s Foundation of America. It’s not a lot, but the Foundation can use every dollar.

Please consider helping. Click on this link and select the red “donate” button on the upper right side of the page. Give what you can, and please do it today.

The foundation is a 501c3 charity, which means your gift is tax deductible.

Hank Price spent 30 years leading television stations for Hearst, CBS and Gannett while concurrently building a career in executive education. He is the author of Leading Local Television and two other books.

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