Gap between b-to-b and consumer editorial compensation narrows

Consumer media editorial salaries remain above equivalent business-to-business salaries, according to the newly released 2012 ABM / MPA Compensation Survey, conducted by Towers Watson. However, a look at the data in the annual reports for 2011 and 2012 reveals that the gap between the two industries is narrowing – as trade editorial compensation tended to rise in 2012, and consumer editorial compensation tended to fall, as shown in the following infographic:


Each dot on this graph is the average compensation for a particular position. Disclosure constraints require that the job title associated with each dot remain unrevealed. However, the distribution of consumer positions falls farther to the right than the trade positions – confirming that average salaries are higher in consumer media. The top-to-bottom alignment of positions, however, shows that only one of 11 consumer editorial positions saw an average increase in salary over the 2011-2012 period, while only 1 of the trade editorial positions fell on average over the same time period.

Of the 11 trade and 11 consumer job titles sampled in the above graphic, nine are exactly congruent: Executive Editor, Managing Editor, Copy Editor, Senior Editor, Associate Editor, Staff Writer/Reporter, Assistant Editor, Art Director and Designer. Towers Watson does not release data on certain under-reported job titles for which a significantly large sample size was not available.

Further analysis, including a look at how non-editorial titles compare, will be forthcoming in 2013.

The 2012 ABM / MPA Compensation Survey report was issued by Towers Watson, a global consulting firm with special expertise in human resources. Including data from more than 50 companies – including 21 ABM members – the survey reveals the latest compensation trends for media professionals. Only participating members are eligible to receive the full report. However, ABM members can still participate in the survey and receive a copy of the final results (although it will not include their data). To do so, contact Towers Watson compensation analyst Kevin Kraus at 914-289-3389 or e-mail

By Michael Moran Alterio



  1. Pingback: Trade sales staff earned less than their consumer cousins in 2012, but their salaries are rising faster « MediaPace
  2. Pingback: B-to-B editorial expenses on the rise
  3. Pingback: B-to-B editorial expenses on the rise | Media Pace

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