2019 Radio Compensation Study - Results



Media Staffing Network and Radio Ink joined forces to poll the radio industry and offer owners, operators, and managers updated statistics regarding pay for new hires and established sellers, including average income of radio sellers.

The 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study is designed to help owners, operators, and managers budget and compete more effectively for sales talent.


 Survey Results



What is the current income of your average seller at your station?



MSN INSIGHT:  This is a good, overall view of compensation. Know that depending on market size, cost of living and demand can create different ranges. I.E., the average in top 10 would skew much higher, while smaller markets are pretty much in line with what is shown.



Is there a different compensation plan for new hires vs. established sellers?


MSN INSIGHT: Radio operators are realizing the importance of investing in new hires, while they ramp up or build a list. Covering income during this time is critical for recruitment.



Are new hires paid a guarantee for an initial period?


MSN INSIGHT:  Tight labor market requires longer security period for new hires, People need to live on their income while growing their business — we forecast one year becoming more common in the future.



Are new hires paid a guarantee plus commission or against earned commission during their initial guarantee period?


MSN INSIGHT:Many owner-operators are offering the incentive to attract new talent.


For established sellers do you pay:

 Base Plus Commission *Salary Only *Commission Only * Other


MSN INSIGHT This is a key trend to pay attention to; we are hearing more and more companies are offering longer term base plus commission, regardless of tenure.


Does your company pay on collections or billing?



Are non-revenue accomplishments/goals part of the compensation plan for established sellers?



Are non-revenue accomplishments/goals parts of the compensation plan for new hires?


MSN INSIGHT:  When comparing the two questions above, it is very interesting that more companies look at non-revenue activity for established sellers vs. new hires. It's unrealistic that a new hire will be able to build the revenue while being trained. It is advisable for a new hire to have measurable goals not tied to revenue and for the employer to ensure they are moving in the right direction.


 Select the amount closest to the current annual income of your top seller:


 Average number of sellers on a team:


 Survey Details

The 2019 Radio Sales Compensation Study survey consisted of eight questions, in addition to three demographic-based questions. The survey promised confidentiality and there was not an overabundance of responses from any one company or geographic region. 

Of the 334 respondents, 72.5% were managers with 27.5% being sellers.  29.3% of the respondents were from Top 20 markets, 15.9% from markets 21-50, 6.3% were from markets 51-70, with the largest amount, 48.5% from markets 75+, so there was a good cross reference for all market sizes.

The Study was conducted over a three-week period, via email to Radio Ink subscribers and Media Staffing Networks’ confidential database, as well as on the social media pages of both partners. All participants received an advance copy of the study and a chance to win one of three licenses to the MSN online learning tool that helps managers recruit and hire more effectively.

Plans are for Radio Ink and Media Staffing Network to offer the Radio Sales Compensation Study annually to help the industry stay ahead of developing hiring and recruiting trends.

For more information


Laurie Kahn, CEO/Founder of Media Staffing Network


Deborah Parenti, EVP/ Publisher, Radio Ink