Partners’ Corner is a place where the principals of Market Partners International can share their observations of the publishing industry.
As a great deal of Market Partners International’s business is executive search, we’re aware of the fluctuations – and disparities – in publishing salaries. Lately the disparities, even for comparable positions, have become more noticeable. As large and small publishing companies merge, these may become more evident, with those holding similar titles sitting cheek by jowl with higher (or lower) salaried colleagues.
In general, though, we’re seeing some downward trending at the upper end of the pay scale; the dotcom crash of the early 2000s, followed by the economic downturn has frozen starting salaries, and therefore anyone who started in the last dozen years has been affected. Despite the impact of improved bottom lines due to the efficiencies of digital publishing, many younger director level employees are earning far less than their older colleagues might have when at the same level. Decreased opportunities seem to have shifted the leverage so that there are more applicants ready to take lower salaries and publishers are quick to take advantage of this.
It will be intriguing to see how this newer generation of managers and directors fares as they climb to higher positions.