Magazine editors at all levels have had work piling on for years—“more work than one person can reasonably handle,” according to one respondent to FOLIO:’s 2008 Editorial Salary Survey. According to this year’s results, 72 percent of the editorial directors, editors-in-chief, executive editors, managing editors and senior editors surveyed say they have taken on work beyond their job descriptions, while exactly half say they have been compensated poorly for it. Not surprisingly, 83 percent say the extra work is coming from online, which excites some editors and terrifies others. For many, company consolidation is also a culprit, as employees are asked to do more with less.

Overall, 64 percent of editors surveyed expect a compensation increase, down from 75 percent last year, while 5 percent expect a decrease, up from 3 percent last year. Some blame the economy: “It affects ad sales, which affects the company’s bottom line, which affects my salary. At least that’s the company line.” Others blame trends within their markets or diminishing interest in print, combined with ineffective marketing of online media.

Compensation aside, more editors than not seem satisfied with their jobs—66 percent say they are while only 10 percent are not (23 percent are split on the issue).

Here, we break these issues down by title and take a close look at mean salaries, expectations and trends for each position. To see how your salary compares, click here for our Editorial Salary Calculator.





The survey sample of 1,453 was selected by Red 7 Media and Readex Research and included all Folio: subscribers classified as Editorial Management at the time of sample selection. Data was collected via mail survey from April 10 to May 27, 2008. The survey was closed for tabulation with 657 usable responses—a 45 percent response rate. To ensure representation of the audience of interest, results have been filtered to include only those 598 respondents who indicated they work full time and that their job functions are best described as editorial director or editor-in-chief; editor or executive editor; managing editor or senior editor.

Conducted by FOLIO: and Readex Research