‘The Pub’ #80: New federal overtime rules — what broadcasters need to know

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(Photo: Thomas Barwick, Getty Images)

(Photo: Thomas Barwick, Getty Images)

If you make less than $47,476 a year, your boss is probably going to come knocking at your desk soon and ask, “Hey, about how many hours a week do you usually work? 40? 50?”

DON’T ANSWER until you’ve listened to this week’s episode of The Pub.

A new federal regulation set to go into effect Dec. 1 will hugely increase the number of American workers who must be paid overtime. That sounds like a good thing — and maybe it is — but it’s only logical that some employers will handle this by lowering base salaries, thus forcing their employees to work overtime every week just to be assured of their old salaries.

According to a client advisory issued by the Washington-based law firm Pillsbury, “broadcasters in particular may feel the impact of the changes given the staffing models used by many TV and radio stations.” Don’t we know it.



On the show this week, Pillsbury attorney Rebecca Rizzo explains why broadcasters — managers and employees alike — need to be particularly concerned with this enormous impending change to how people get paid, and what everybody needs to know.

Also, in the Opening Shot, veteran public radio and podcast producer Julia Barton bemoans the trend of podcast think piece authors (such as myself) adorning their articles with stock art of microphones. She has a hilarious Tumblr documenting this phenomenon: Stock Photos of Microphones Doing Nothing.

(Shutterstock actually noticed Barton’s Tumblr and offered up a lightbox of non-microphone alternatives.)

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We welcome your feedback on the show: You can reach me at adam@current.org or @aragusea on Twitter; my supervising producer at Current, Mike Janssen, is at mike@current.org; and you can contact Current generally at news@current.org or @currentpubmedia on Twitter.

If you’d like to offer a comment to be used in the program, please send on-mic tape (recorded in a studio, with a kit, a smartphone, anything) to adam@current.org either as an attachment or through Google Drive. Please keep it short!

Adam Ragusea hosts Current’s weekly podcast The Pub and is a journalist in residence and visiting assistant professor at Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.