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Old 01-10-2012, 11:50 AM
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Default Salary/Hourly chief pay?

I may be up for the chief job at my shop. What is a reasonable amount to ask for pay to be a chief? I am in a top 15 market.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:03 PM
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I'd say whatever the photog rate is at your shop plus 20% or so.
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Old 01-10-2012, 12:46 PM
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I'd think $10k more than your highest paid photog. Especially since it's probably a salary job with no OT.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:01 PM
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Agreed with the above from others.

Don't think you'll be getting OT if you are chief.

If you truly supervise others, the law is clear.

The station does not have to pay you overtime.

Every market is different so a number of what size market you are currently in does not automatically translate into a specific salary. Figure out how many hours you will be working over 40 every week and build that into the salary you ask for. If you don't get it...you have a decision to make.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:53 PM
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Being a Chief is not a job, it's a lifestyle. Don't be afraid to say no if you don't get what you ask for.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:12 PM
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It's a 24/7 job. I work 50-60 hour weeks, then go home and watch the news back on my DVR. I would figure out your yearly salary based on your current hourly rate at a 50-60 hour work week. (That would come out to a 25-50% increase in your base salary)
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:25 AM
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Unless it has changed, I believe the law from 2005ish intends to not require overtime for those who manage a majority of their workday. Few Cheifs do that - manage a majority of their work day. Most are really GA photographers who also carry managerial responsibilities. A boss once told me when I was Chief that they wanted to switch me to salary but couldn't because I did not spend the majority of my day managing others. I once passed on a Chief job because it was salary. My argument was that if I was out of town on a manhunt for an additional four hours past eight, those four hours had nothing to do with managing and should be paid as overtime. I knew a salaried Chief who was forever the "out of town guy" and the "called out on spot news guy". He asked me if I thought it was a coincidence. I told him I didn't but that wasn't the truth. In an OT situation, I think the highest GA salary plus 30% is fair for a dedicated Chief. With all of this said, if a station wants to pay the Chief salary and not OT, who is going to put up the big fight?
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:17 PM
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WOW!! Do stations still have chief Photogs?? I no longer work in TV news but am very surprised that there are chief photogs still in the news department. I am still friendly with at least 5 former chiefs that lost their title during the big layoffs of 09. I just assumed that most stations cut that position right out of the budget. Most stations that I still keep in touch with have their station operation manager doing the chief duties.

Hmmm! surprised to hear that! Especially with the state that tv news is in today.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At the scene View Post
WOW!! Do stations still have chief Photogs??
I'm not aware of any decent sized market that doesn't have a chief. Some are even making them "director of photography" ... not sure what that actually entails as a job description, but I'd imagine it's the same thing. All four stations in Las Vegas still have chiefs and I'm not sure how any with a staff of 12 or more would be able to get by without one.

As for the original question, you will probably get salary but if it's a good place to work for, they'd let you manage your OT with comp time or offsetting the hours on another day to make up for it. Do not accept their first offer. Up it by 20% and then start working your way down to what works for you. Don't become an indentured servant.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:07 AM
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Most shops I worked in the CP is salary. This is because you are always on call. Also remember that a CP is a gloried gopher. When people call in you will cover the shift. It's a good position that will give you a leadership skill. It just depends on the shop where you work. My last Chief could not even make the photogs schedule. Just remember that you are still a photographer. Don't let the management title go to your head. Your photogs will turn on you.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:42 PM
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At some stations, the Ops Mgr oversees the photographer staff. I think in my market, only two Chiefs out of 6 stations.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:19 AM
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Yes very surprised to hear that stations still have chief photogs. What are the duties of today's chief? Back when I was in TV news our chief would critic our stories on a daily bases. Solve problems, test or demo new equipment. Give advice and mentor new photogs who already had 3-4 yrs experience.
I don't see that happening today!! Not all but most local news I watch ( which is not much) is pure crap. Most of the time I can tell if a vj shot and edited or some newbie who has no idea . Live shots are no longer lit (outside of using the top light on camera). Generator noise or engine noise in live shots. Most of the time there's bad audio, jump cuts, flash frames, poor composition etc.
If that's not a chiefs job to oversee and solve those problems. Why do I see so much of it on the air.
That's why I am so surprised that TV stations still have chief photogs.
Again not all but most TV news looks like crap. So who is overseeing the product of stations that still have chief photogs???
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At the scene View Post
That's why I am so surprised that TV stations still have chief photogs.
Again not all but most TV news looks like crap. So who is overseeing the product of stations that still have chief photogs???
While I can't speak for anyone other than myself, our photog staff's part in the newscasts looks nothing like you describe. The standards are high and they are almost always met and usually exceeded. I provide them the best gear and they give me their best effort every day. I am a shooting chief and am not able to see every second of our news, I see a lot and many times, I am impressed.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:11 AM
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SandRat that's great news. What market are you in? Could you give the average years of experience of your Photog staff. Does your station care about Photography or is it the "just get it done" attitude. Also does the VJ experiment exist at the station. How about editing, do you have assigned editors or is it an "everybody edits" station. Do photogs at your shop run truck too!

I'm just curious why some stations still care about the product while others do not. It amazes me how someone can own a company and really could care less what or how that product is produced.
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Last edited by At the scene; 08-28-2013 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:02 PM
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Market 40. The station has always made major investments in photography and has never skimped on gear since I've been here (13 years).

We changed a reporter position to a VJ once, but it didn't really work out too well, even though the VJ was good at what he did, and the position became GA reporter less than a year later.

Photogs shoot, edit and are the live truck operators too. They are typically assigned one story and have the day just for that. 16 photogs, average a bit over 12 yrs of experience each with 7 of those years here. I've got guys with 4 years of experience, most have more than a decade and a few with 20+.

I think the owners that have allowed photography go by the wayside will eventually see the immediate savings will not translate to long term profit.
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Last edited by SandRat; 08-29-2013 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:42 PM
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SandRat thanks and keep up the good work. It sounds like you are at a good place and in todays world that's half the battle. I travel a little for sports shoots, I see what is happening out there and it's not good. Good to know that there are stations out there that still seem to care. It's encouraging!!!
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:07 AM
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I wonder if it would've worked better for the stations to just pay for a AP videographer to do full time news conferences & ribbons cuttings.
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:30 AM
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Top 60 market. I am hourly. Most of my time is shooting with any "down" time as chief time. No way I would take this job as salaried. I have a colleague at a competing station who is and they abuse the living daylights out of him. He must work 60+ hours a week!
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:30 PM
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Market ~150. Less than a year in, the Chief left for bigger and better things, and we downsized from 3 photogs to 1 shortly thereafter. Someone decided the Chief position wasn't necessary, and I really didn't want to be salary in a barebones newsroom anyway. Tiny pay bump for no OT would have been miserable.
So, chief in all but title for another 5 years, shooting feature packages, daily VOSOTs, sports, all live shots, training new OMB reporters, picking new gear, maintenance, etc. At least I got mountains of OT, but there's a reason I left the business.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:51 AM
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We have a really good CP. He rarely gets to shoot and mostly manages. He has to deal with a lot of crap though, some I feel falls fare outside the expected duties of a CP. Add to it that the station is still very old school in how it is run so when problems arise, fixes don't happen fast. Lots of layers of management that sometimes slow things down. I don't envy his job at all and I'm not sure there's any amount of money that could entice me to do that job.
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