As digital mediums continue to build momentum and increase revenues for publishers, it seems that salaries for circulation and audience development professionals have been reflective of the positive new growth their companies are seeing. Many categories are seeing an average increase from the previous year—all in all, the average salaries for audience development managers; circulation managers and circulation directors or top circulation executives have increased across the board—whether they fall in the b-to-b or consumer verticals.

While the price of labor seems to be going up for magazine professionals, the benefits seem to only be had by men: the wealth gap between men and women fell to more than $21,000 for those in a circulation executive or director role, which represents a decrease of about $7,800 from the year before. Similarly, men in the audience development manager or director role are now annually making an average $31,000 more than their female counterparts, an increase of more than $13,000 for the guys from last year.

Though these shocking disparities still exist in the category of gender, the gap between consumer and b-to-b publications appears to be closing. Business-to-business circulation directors or top circulation executives saw large gains when compared to their consumer counterparts. Audience development managers and directors also saw steady increases in both the b-to-b and consumer categories.


Circulation Director or Top Circulation Executive

The biggest gainers for circulation directors or circulation executives comes in the Northeast—those working in this position and geographic region saw an average salary increase of about $24,900 to $130,900 in 2011 compared to 2010. The American West had the biggest losses in this category by about $14,000, bringing the average salary down to about $71,300 in 2011 from $85,300 in 2010. While the West had the largest regional loss, those in the South are still paid the least, coming in at only $64,800, a decrease of about $8,300 from last year.

In all, the New York City area still has the highest salary at about $144,300, an increase of about $13,300 from the previous year. Those outside of New York City lost an average of about $2,000 a year, bringing the average salary for the position down to $73,700.

Though trends vary geographically, the average salary for a circulation director or top circulation executive increased for b-to-b publications by about $13,700 to $95,900. Those in the same role at consumer publications also saw an increase of about $5,100 to $106,800. Those with the least amount of time in this position—three or fewer years—are enjoying higher salaries than those with more time in the role. On average a person with three or less years makes about $106,300 a year; those with 3 to 9 years make about $85,000 and those with 10 or more were found to make about $90,500.


Audience Development Manager/Director

The professionals holding the title of audience development manager or director have got good news for 2011: A pay increase. The average salary for a b-to-b audience development director in 2010 was $70,200, which was increased by $4,700 in 2011 to $74,900. Those at consumer companies that hold the same role also saw their average salary go up to $93,000, an increase of about $12,200 from the previous year.

According to the survey results, salaries may still be linked to how much a company brings in in revenue. Companies that make less than $10 million pay their audience development managers an average of $67,800, according to the survey. That represents a gap of about $25,700 for those that work in the same position in companies that have more than $10 million in revenue—an gap increase of about $7,900 from the prior year.

Those in the New York City area make an average of $27,700 more a year, an increase of $7,700 to about $101,000. The Northeast area has the highest average salary for the category of audience development manager or director—those in this region will get about $91,500 on average, about $22,900 more than those in the lowest paid region, the Midwest. Additionally, those that work on more than one publication within the audience development manager or director category make less on average than those who work on one publication, taking home about $78,300, about $8,400 less than those that work on a single title.


Circulation Manager

Circulation managers within the consumer space are fairing well, seeing an average pay increase of about $6,900 this year to $60,900. Individuals working on more than one publication within this category make an average of about $49,400, which is about $4,200 more a year than those working on a single publication. There is still a large gap between paid only publications and mixed controlled and paid circulations: a gap of about $19,000. The average salary for paid only publications is about $57,100 compared to $38,100 for those in the mixed category.

When looking at age, those with more years still enjoy higher average salaries. People who are under the age of 40 in the circulation manager position make an average about $39,500, about $4,300 less than the previous year. Those that are over 40 saw a $5,000 increase in their average salary to $56,000 a year—in total the gap between the ages rose by a total of $16,500, a $9,300 increase in difference from 2010.

Circulation managers with more years at a company may not necessarily be earning more. On average, individuals that have spent 5 to 9 years at their present company make an average of about $54,500, which is about $5,500 more than those that have been in the same role for 10 years or more. Additionally, the survey revealed that those that have spent less time in their current position of circulation manager (3-9 years) make about $56,800—about $9,300 more than those that have been there for 10 or more years.


The sample list of 1,561 was provided by Red 7 Media and Readex Research from Audience Development’s domestic circulation. Data was collected via mail survey, with 345 usable responses—a 22 percent response rate.

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