Do I need an agent to represent me in the TV News Business?

Let’s just start by acknowledging this is a loaded question with a lot of opinions on both sides. In order to help guide how you ask yourself the question to ultimately make a decision, we’ll look at some of the most significant pros and cons of having a tv news agent.

Pros of having an agent

  • Less time and stress spent on job searching, building a reel and setting up interviews
  • You always have someone in your corner should issues arise at your job down the road
  • You have someone to handle the often unpleasant negotiation conversations
  • Your agent probably has a better idea what a particular job is paying or should pay in that market
  • You have counsel to look over your contract
  • You have a consultant/coach/mentor that desires to see you succeed
  • You have access to all of their connections and network to get your work seen by people you may not have access to. This can prove significant considering most of the talent at top markets and networks have representation. Also, agents are often aware of job openings before they’re posted. 

Cons of having an agent

  • Agents can be expensive, taking anywhere from 5 to 10% of your salary on average
  • An agent may still require a percentage of your salary even if you found the job yourself, although it may be a smaller percentage
  • The wrong agent can be difficult to work with, hard to reach, or unproductive for your career
  • Sometimes they can’t get you any more money
  • You may be better at selling yourself than an agent and you may not need that agent to get that job
  • If you are satisfied with your current position or don’t desire to change stations, an agent may not be as valuable to you
  • It often requires signing a contract with an agent so if you don’t like your job or your agent, that might be an unpleasant situation

The bottom line: Take time to think about what’s most important to you overall. Know that there are people who are happy and have agents and there are people who are happy and don’t have agents. If you decide to be open to looking for an agent, don’t rush to sign with them. Take your time, check out their reviews on our website, and thoroughly interview them to make sure they are the right fit for you. Reference ‘6 Questions to Ask An Agent Before You Hire Them’ for more tips.