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Studies: pay, PVRs and phone line use

Thu, 09/20/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

• Are you paid enough? No really. The Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association says you are and then some — "The cable industry meets and sometimes exceeds compensation compared to the overall media communications industry," it says. And CTHRA went right to an objective source — HR pros, it says.

Of the 17 cable and telecom companies sampled, average corporate base salaries rose by about 3 percent, the study says, and total compensation for corporate positions rose an average 8.4 percent over a year ago.

Regionally, average base salaries were up about 5 percent a year between March 2000 and March 2001, and average compensation jumped 8.9 percent annually. At the system level, ABS rose 3 percent between 2000 and 2001, as did total cash compensation.

New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., were highest paying for cable programmers, whose base salaries rose by 6.1 percent. A 4.5 percent increase in total cash compensation reflects slightly lower bonuses than in previous years, CTHRA says.

• Consumers with Personal Video Recorders like them, but nonusers want a few changes before they jump on board, says a study on PVRs.

According to the NextResearch Inc. study, 61 percent of current users want a PVR on every TV, although 69 percent use them to fast-forward past commercials. Still 44 percent of users have more premium channels than in the previous year, while 43 percent have more total channels.

But users say more than one manufacturer should have PVRs that record two shows simultaneously. And users say they'll adopt the technology when PVRs overcome certain key barriers, including units' compatibility with more than one cable or satellite service and when PVRs have permanent storage ability.

NextResearch polled 347 PVR owners and more than 1,000 non-owners to measure the technology's impact on TV viewing behavior. The study also found 47 percent owned TiVo units, with RePlay not far behind at 35 percent. Trailing way behind was Philips at 7 percent, Sony at 6 percent, UltimateTV at 4 percent and satellite at 1 percent.

• So how trustworthy is your industry? Rochester, N.Y.-based The M Booth/Harris Trust Monitor polled consumers on how much they'd trust certain industries to do the right thing if one of their products had a serious problem.

Six percent distrust computer software companies and 3 percent strongly distrust them. Twenty-one percent distrust telephone companies, and 12 percent strongly distrust them. A full 22 percent distrust Internet companies, while 8 percent profess a strong distrust.

• That collective phone disconnect you're hearing across the country may not be from tiffs with the phone company. A Gartner Dataquest survey says between January and June, 6 percent of all U.S. homes had replaced extra phone lines with a telecom upgrade — usually DSL from their ILEC. Most were using the extra line for fax and dialup anyway, Gartner says.

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