Friday, December 16, 2005
Public radio pays
The silence about public radio salaries either means they're abysmally low or unashamedly high. Are these seemingly dedicated people filling the commercial-free air and shilling for pledge dollars only to live like paupers themselves?
Well, here's something: Laist reveals that KPCC's Larry Mantle, host of "Air Talk," makes $115,000 per year, and Nic Harcourt, keeper of the "rare, live import demo remixes" * for KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" makes "a little over $100,000, all this information presumably gleaned from the stations' annual reports.
Now I don't know about you, but I find $100,000 to be a lot of money, but I don't begrudge it to these guys one bit -- especially Larry Mantle, who I admire very much and who works very hard for that money.
We all know the kind of money Howard Stern and Katie Couric are making. When you're in a certain stratosphere, it's national news. And we all look at and judge the salaries of others through the prism of how much we, ourselves, have earned.
Still, I don't think people knowing that the top public radio on-air talent drags in $100,000 a year will be much of a help to the stations' pledge-drive efforts. And it begs the question: Do these people's salaries have a direct link to their ability to pull in donations, both individual and corporate?
*Neither a direct, nor indirect quote. Just my summation of Nic Harcourt. Have a live, cassette-only B-side remix demo -- on the house!.