Unlike many of their counterparts, circulation and audience development professionals have seen a nice incremental salary boost across the board, according to the 2009 FOLIO: Circulation Salary Survey conducted by Readex Research. While increases were reported for both circulation directors and managers, it was top consumer circulation directors who experienced the most significant bounce back. This year, the group reported a whopping $17,900 salary increase back from the dips reported in both 2007 and 2008.

On the whole, however, directors are far more pessimistic about increasing salaries in 2009. Only 11 percent expect salaries to increase this year—down from 48 percent in 2008—while 55 percent expect them to remain flat. Just 6 percent of directors anticipated a salary decrease in 2008. Now, 20 percent of directors expect salaries to decrease, with the majority of respondents—16 percent—anticipating a decline by 10 percent or more.

Manager-level circulators also benefited from some extra cash this year, but not nearly as much as director-level supervisors. Consumer managers experienced salary growth by $5,900, while b-to-b managers reaped only $1,600 more. Managers report that their work environment continues to be a challenge, as well as the difficult retailer market. One respondent specifically pointed to: “Retailers cutting mainline space and number of titles.”

Managers also anticipate a 20 percent salary decline, up from 5 percent in 2008, with 10 percent anticipating a slump in the 5 percent to 9 percent range. The majority of managers (59 percent) see salaries staying constant, up from 37 percent last year. Like directors, managers are very down on growing salaries this year. Just 19 percent of respondents expect an increase this year, down significantly from 52 percent in 2008.

Changing Role of Circulators

As publishing models continue to evolve, so do the responsibilities of circulators. This year, the Circulation Salary Survey debuted the new title “Audience Development Manager/Director,” which tackles responsibilities such as site development, SEO and SEM tactics, traffic and analytics. Consumer managers/directors cite a $88,700 mean salary, with b-to-b experiencing a $69,800 salary, both on par with the sector.

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