$52K-a-year doesn’t cut it for Aspen man | VailDaily.com

$52K-a-year doesn’t cut it for Aspen man

Charles Agar
Aspen Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Paul Conrad/The Aspen TimesGrassroots TV executive producer Corby Anderson directs Aspen Valley Hospital community relations manager Ginny Dyche, right, and Castle Creek Terrace director Maggie Gerardi during a location taping of "Medicine in the Mountains" last year.

ASPEN, Colorado ” GrassRoots TV’s second-in-command resigned on Thursday, citing low pay as the reason for stepping down.

Corby Anderson, 35, said his $52,000 salary is not a living wage in the Roaring Fork Valley.

“It’s a bummer,” Anderson said. “I would love to stay, but I can’t afford it.”

Anderson has been with GrassRoots TV for more than six years, acting as station manager and executive producer.

“Corby was and is and always will be an essential part of what GrassRoots is,” said GrassRoots TV director John Masters.

And though Anderson’s wage is high for most cities or for work at a community TV station, Masters said it’s not enough for Aspen.

“Everybody asks for more money,” Masters said. “This is not a new story. Everybody’s underpaid. I’m underpaid, for sure.”

Masters makes more than $90,000 annually.

“I guess I’m just disappointed that I couldn’t make my worth evident enough,” Anderson said.

Anderson left the station briefly in the late 1990s, then returned in 2000 when Masters took the helm.

“John basically has a structure in this company that everyone’s equal except for him,” Anderson said.

In a call from Denver International Airport on his way to interview with a Monterey, Calif., marketing company, Anderson said he was frustrated that he didn’t move up in the hierarchy.

“After seven or eight years working for a company, I figure you’d be looking for some promotion,” Anderson said.

He asked Masters for a raise twice, but the executive director told him, “It’s not going to happen,” Anderson said.

In June, Anderson interviewed for a job at a public access station in Santa Cruz, Calif. When he didn’t get it, Masters told him to “keep looking,” Anderson said.

Anderson took on work as a columnist at the Aspen Daily News and edited video at night to try and make ends meet.

“I was basically wearing myself out to get by here,” he said.

Recently married, Anderson bears the weight of a subprime mortgage on a condominium in Carbondale.

“We’re the folks you’re reading about,” he joked about the recent crisis.

And though he plans to refinance, Anderson will leave the valley for a new home in Marina, Calif., by the end of the year.

The California native said he plans to continue writing, and might even try his hand at a novel.

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