Reprinted from Cablefax The Daily
By Noah Ziegler | February 8, 2022

Those who work for connectivity providers were more likely to see stronger compensation increases in 2021, while content developers faced more challenges, according to data from the Content & Connectivity Human Resources Association’s (C2HR) annual compensation surveys.

Content companies still awarded pay raises, but the post-COVID salary adjustment fell to an average of 2.6%, compared to a previous average of around 3%. C2HR’s research, which was conducted by consulting firm The Croner Company, attributed the slow growth to employee turnover and general challenges in the industry, such as canceled events and the high cost of content. Connectivity providers, buoyed by strong broadband gains last year, rebounded in 2021 with a salary budget growing 3%, up from 2.9% in 2020 and 2019.

Growth in base pay for connectivity companies’ middle management, hourly and sales positions grew 3.9%, 5.8% and 4.8%, respectively. While base salaries for executives only rose 2.8%, total direct compensation was up 16.5%. On the content side, middle management average a 2.3% base pay increase, while execs were up 1.5% and professional IC roles rose 3.1%. Bonuses followed a similar pattern. Content developers’ average bonus compared to target was 97%, with 42% below target. Connectivity providers’ average bonus compared to target was 115%, with 54% of bonus recipients achieving awards greater than 115% of target, and only 8% of bonuses below target.

There’s potential good news for those disappointed with 2021’s paychecks. Salary budgets in 2022 are expected to increase, with survey participants projecting budgets of 3.3% (connectivity) and 2.9% (content developers). The Croner Company expects these numbers could increase even more.

C2HR’s surveys included 54 total participants, representing nearly 1,300 positions and more than 156,000 employees. Like last year, there were 13 connectivity providers—including Charter, Comcast and Cable One. Content developers participating grew from 37 in 2020 to 41 in 2021. They range from large corporations such as WarnerMedia and Fox Corp., to smaller programmers such as INSP, TV One and C-SPAN.

Of course, it’s hard to make blanket statements about any one job type. For example, base salaries for installation and service technicians for connectivity providers vary depending on geographic location. While the West, Mountain and East parts of the country saw growth, the Southwest, Midwest and South each saw a decrease in base salaries. The survey also revealed an increase in installation/service and customer care positions, while programming, production, technical production and post-production positions also became more in-demand.

Diversity and inclusion continues to be the most pressing current issue facing those in content and connectivity alike. Gender equity was just behind followed by flexible work policies and transparency in pay ranges. Content developers are also pushing for new ways to compete, with 68% seeking special practices to compete for digital talent.

It’s no secret COVID is still affecting workplace environments, and while most companies surveyed have decided to embrace hybrid return-to-office policies, connectivity providers have committed more than their content counterparts. C2HR reported that 88% of connectivity providers and 79% of content developers will return to their respective offices in a hybrid format. Connectivity providers are also onboard with the idea of permanent remote work, with 75% agreeing to allow it, while only 38% of content developers have made a similar judgment.

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C2HR Details Pay Increases, Challenges During COVID-19