The magnet attracts figures from the crowd. Talent acquisition concept.

Is your media organization struggling to fill open head count? If so, you’re not alone.

A rapid change in broadcast technology has combined with a generational workforce shift — creating a skills shortage across the M&E sector. Here we present four ways the industry is addressing the challenge and some practical resources to get you started.

portrait of Glodina Lostanlen

Dr. Glodina Lostanlen  LinkedIn Icon

Chief Process Officer Imagine Communications

Technology has moved at lightning speed over the past two decades. More recently, this rapid change has combined with a workforce shift, as many experienced broadcast engineers are retiring or approaching that point in their careers. The industry is losing a skilled talent pool familiar with the transmitters, tubes, wires, and workflows that drive the traditional broadcast systems still in use today.

While younger hires entering the field may bring essential expertise in IT and networking, they often lack valuable knowledge and skills possessed by their predecessors. And this fresh talent simply isn’t entering the field at a rate sufficient to replace experienced engineers.

So, how are media companies handling this challenge?

1. Extending the Search

Widening recruitment to overcome industry shortages

Many organizations are casting a wider net — hiring engineers, cloud architects, and software developers who are comfortable in IT and then training them on broadcast systems and workflows. Providing industry-specific training enables new team members to gain the skills they need to contribute successfully to hybrid environments that incorporate both traditional and newer cloud-, software-, and IP-based technologies.

2. Attracting Talent

Strategies for recruiting tomorrow’s media leaders

The best time to build a workforce pipeline is in advance of a talent gap, whether it’s due to retirements, job shifts, or creation of new roles with new responsibilities. Recruitment can be a long, uneven process, and rarely is there an easy fix that can quickly address capacity issues or beef up capabilities in the short term.

But even in reactive scenarios, it’s still possible to set the stage for hiring the best possible candidates. While compensation will always matter to any potential hire, particularly in a competitive landscape, quality of life is also a high priority for many younger employees. For example, the option of working remotely, some or all the time, is no longer a luxury — it’s often an expectation.

Other recruits are seeking a sense of purpose. For them, understanding the context and meaning of their work will be important. They may be interested in knowing how they are contributing not just day to day, but in a larger sense — as part of the organization and within the larger industry.


The 2024 IBC conference will host a program of sessions that examine best practices for promoting the industry to the next generation. Learn more →

3. Training New Hires

Equipping newcomers for technological shifts

Traditional broadcasting looks very different from the IT realm familiar to many new industry hires, so the knowledge gap can be significant and the learning curve steep. Ideally, training would begin within an educational setting, at the university level. But for the most part, new entrants to the field will receive the bulk of their education while on the job.

While mentoring and hands-on learning in the workplace is valuable, organizations already facing scarce engineering resources often find it difficult to take time away from daily operations for training tasks.

Industry bodies such as AIMS, SMPTE, and the IABM provide training courses, educational sessions, and networking/mentoring opportunities. Organizations and individuals who take advantage of these services will find that they cover the full breadth of technologies and applications critical to engineers working in media today.


IABM and SMPTE offer a wide range of media tech courses, from instructor-led and independent study online to bespoke on-site training.

4. Staffing Into the Future

Future-proofing teams for media advances

Even with a multifaceted strategy for retaining skilled engineering talent, organizations simply cannot prevent some degree of staff turnover. And the pace of change continues to accelerate.

The generation of broadcast engineers now leaving the workforce was inclined to long-term commitments, but the next generation of workers appears more likely to seek new opportunities after a few years with one organization.

Though broadcasters and technology suppliers may not build engineering teams with individuals who stay for decades, with thoughtful hiring and training, they still can develop the resources and expertise essential to remaining competitive in today’s media marketplace.


The Global Media & Entertainment Talent Manifesto is a new membership organization that aims to address the skills crisis facing the media technical industry. Find out more →

As broadcasters have joined the broader media and entertainment industry in adopting cloud-based technologies and software-centric platforms, we need a workforce with the knowledge and skills to support this transformational shift.  Let’s work together to inspire the next generation of M&E professionals to join our exciting industry!

Ready to help reshape the way the world watches TV?

Ready to help reshape the way the world watches TV?

Ready to help reshape the way the world watches TV?

May 14, 2024 - By Glodina Connan-Lostanlen
Chief Process Officer
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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.