Does Market Size Really Matter?
Does Market Size Really Matter?
Market size does not matter.
Yes. I said it.
Get it out of your head that you need to be in a top market in order to be successful. The sooner you come to this realization, the happier you’ll be.
Don’t get me wrong, Top 10 Markets have a lot of perks, and if that’s your goal—go for it! I just don’t want you to think that you’ve failed if you decide to stay in Market 120.
Market size is based on population. In theory, the bigger the market, the more people who are watching you. It’s 2018 though, and nearly every station streams newscasts online.
No matter where you are, anyone can watch.
You can tell great stories in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. You can also tell great stories in Alpena, North Platte, and Glendive. And, in some cases, you get more time and more leeway to pursue incredible feature stories in smaller markets.
You need to decide what it is that you really want out of your journalism career.
Do you want to be a star? Well, you can be a star on the Today Show, but you can also be a star in Abilene, Texas.
Sometimes it’s even better to be a big fish in a small pond.
A woman I used to work with turned down a great opportunity that was close to home, because she didn’t think the market was big enough for her. She moved across the country to a Top 30 Market, and was miserable. She regretted not taking the job closer to home.
A young woman I mentor told me she desperately wants to work in a Top 15 Market. When I asked her why, she told me that she gets jealous when she sees people she graduated with make bigger market jumps than her.
I talk with a lot of college students who are working their way through broadcasting programs. When I ask them where they are hoping to land their first job they usually tell me Denver, Boston, or Network! When I ask them why they want to work there, they typically tell me that they don’t want to be in a “small town”. I totally get it.
I think most of us have had all of the same thoughts at some point in our careers.
If you want to work in a Top 10 Market because you want to become immersed in the community, tell great stories, and hold public leaders accountable, that’s awesome. If you want to be in a Top Market because you think it will impress your friends on Facebook, maybe you should rethink your plan.
However, if you are in Market 120, and you’re happy, please don’t let the size of the market make you want to leave.
There comes a point in most of our lives where we realize we need to work to live, not live to work.
Your life outside of work is so important. If you’re in Market 7, but you have no friends or family around, and you don’t enjoy anything about the area, then that number next to the market isn’t worth it. Then again, if you’re in Market 7 and you’re the happiest you have ever been, good for you!
So many people spend so much time and energy chasing markets, that they forget to enjoy where they are at the moment.
Most of us work hard in this business. Each of us is successful. The fact that you have no problem talking on live television, or asking the tough questions, is impressive! According to magneticspeaking.com, 7% of Americans are afraid of public speaking! That’s MILLIONS of people, and you do it every day.
No matter what size market you are in people count on you.
Whether you’re in Market 5 or Market 155, you are living your dream of working in TV news. Keep kicking butt, and remember that every market deserves great reporters, anchors, photographers, and producers.