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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Editors - What they Make in 2011 - Too Much or Not Enough?

I have discussed 'editors' in some detail in previous posts.

There are many different types of editors ... from the wordsmithing, novelist-improving type --> all the way to the magazine management, operational business type (e.g. editor-in-chief, executive editor, senior editor, associate editor, managing editor, etc., ad infinitum!).

This FOLIO Magazine survey reflects the salaries of the latter business type (by category); where, I strongly suspect, the most money is.

From FOLIO by Stefanie Botelho:

2011 Editorial Salary Survey

While all levels of editors are finding themselves with increasing responsibilities and decreasing resources, at least some of those surveyed are seeing relief in their paychecks. However, the editorial categories that experienced monetary gain are certainly earning their dollars.

A vast amount of editors who participated in FOLIO:’s 2011 Editorial Salary Survey, conducted by Readex Research, claimed digital duties added the most to their job descriptions this year. One respondent says, “I am now in charge of managing edit for the iPad, tracking print contributions for our dotcom and repurposing content for our dotcom as well.” In addition to the health of digital products, social media site management is another digital responsibility put under the care of editors surveyed here.

Perhaps in a reflection of these additional responsibilities (or the slowly stabilizing economy), three out of the four geographic regions surveyed experienced a spike in editorial director’s/editor-in-chief’s salary; only the West experienced a drop, polling $83,000 in 2010 and $72,400 in 2011.

Advertising revenue is a major concern for editors in 2011, as a digital answer to decreasing print ad revenue has not yet been cemented. One respondent says of their biggest challenges, “Along with the increased focus on revenue and declining resources, I also have to counter the perception that print is dead.” Another respondent sees building new revenue streams to replace faltering print ad resources as one of the most formidable challenges at their publication.

Overall, respondents to this year’s survey are interested in keeping business viable, maintaining a capable staff and staying relevant in the evolving landscape. Editors find satisfaction in their jobs in a variety of ways through their products and industry. One respondent says, “I value seeing a finished product in my hands, happy readers and friendship in the industry."


Overall, the editorial director/editor-in-chief sector saw its pay increase in 2011. While there is still a sizeable gap between genders, both female and male editorial executives experienced rises in salaries this year; male editoral directors are up at $99,300 from 2010’s $96,900, and their female counterparts earned $77,600, up from 2010’s $74,200.

Editorial directors in the New York city area saw a fruitful 2011, with their mean salaries up about $10,000 to $108,900. The same group earned a mean of $98,200 in 2010.

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