The birth of digital terrestrial TV is expected to create nearly 10,000 jobs in all levels of broadcasting in the first year, an industry insider told The Nation.
Most staff will be hired by the 24 commercial digital terrestrial TV channels, while the rest will be recruited by leading production houses and media and creative agencies to support digital TV businesses.
"Though many new players in digital terrestrial TV broadcasting have been operating their own satellite-TV channels, they need additional staff to support further TV production and need more marketing and sales support to expand new client bases," the insider, who requested anonymity, said.
The same source said that 300 to 400 people could be recruited per station.
After Voice TV grabbed a licence to operate a digital terrestrial TV channel for news programmes, it announced it needed reporters, news anchors, graphic motion designers, co-producers, coordinators, traffic controllers and sales and marketing staff.
Spring News Television also needs more reporters, co-producers, editors and IT and sales support staff.
Both Voice TV and Spring News TV will soon be transformed into digital terrestrial TV channels.
Panuchai Srinualnad, deputy production director at Si-Phaya Publishing, said that when Daily News TV transformed into a digital terrestrial channel more staff would be added.
Nation Multimedia Group chairman Suthichai Yoon said that with the convergence newsroom it would be able to utilise and manage content from its media outlets such as newspapers and two digital TV channels, Nation TV and Now.
Therefore, he said the company might not need to recruit a large number of additional employees in the first year.
The industry insiders also suggested that new entries into broadcasting like Bangkok Media and Broadcasting, Mono Broadcast, Amarin Television, 3A Marketing (Bright TV) and Triple V Broadcast (Thairath TV) might require more staff in large numbers. A source at ThaiRath TV said that there was about 170 staff working for ThaiRath TV at present but it was not enough. It needed more 100 to ensure the station operated well.
Apart from those new players, The Nation understands that leading free-to-air broadcasters like Bangkok Broadcasting and Television (BBTV) – the operator of Channel 7 – is also recruiting new employees.
In preparation for its newly obtained digital terrestrial TV licence for variety programming in high definition, BBTV needs additional staff in administration, human resources, legal production and news.
The insiders said not only do the digital TV players need new employees but TV production houses were also adding more jobs to meet increasing demand from the new digital free-TV channels.
JSL Global Media chief executive Vachara Vaewuthinand said his company wanted new staff and was training new TV hosts, artists and singers to support its holistic TV production.
Vachara said that once digital TV arrived, the company would continue working with leading analog free TV stations such as TV5, Channel 7 and Modernine TV.
JSL currently produces eight variety programmes, talk shows and dramas, totalling 13 hours a week, for those three broadcasters.
After talks with digital TV operators such as Amarin TV, PPTV, Voice TV, MCOT, Nation Multimedia Group, True Corporation, Thai Rath TV and GMM Grammy, Vachara said JSL wanted to add 25-30 hours per week to its TV production schedule.