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KUOW invests in staff compensation study

Message from Caryn G. Mathes, President and General Manager

To continue to retain and attract the best talent, we believe it’s important to continually look at market conditions to ensure our compensation is competitive. The last time we conducted a compensation study was late 2013 (with findings delivered early 2014).  Given how dynamic the labor market is, particularly here in the Seattle region, it was time to take another look.

In November 2017, KUOW contracted with an independent research firm (Milliman) to conduct a comprehensive staff compensation study. Twenty-one organizations locally and nationally, including non-profit and for-profit media—radio, newspaper, and podcasting organizations—participated. 

The study found that the base salaries of the majority of roles at KUOW fall within 80% to 120% of the survey findings’ “middle” (50th percentile).

This study is a useful tool to help guide our future strategy and budgeting. It should also give all KUOW employees, management, and bargaining units more knowledge of the comparative labor market. While this data can serve to guide us—and we have committed to fully considering it—any decisions on how we use it will be in the context of what is fiscally prudent within our operating budget. Compensation for some staff will depend on outcomes of collective bargaining.

The work our journalists and staff do is hard, important work. Our mission—to create and serve a more informed public—is critical, now more than ever. Our commitment to the public demands we continue to retain and attract the best talent and our compensation philosophy reflects that. We will employ this data to continue to work toward fair and competitive compensation for all KUOW staff.


Stewart Meyer, Chief Marketing Officer,