Television news operations are increasingly turning to freelance workers for newsroom staffing. This article traces the economic and industry conditions that led to the rise of a non-staff workforce. It proposes that US freelancers operate under a different paradigm from European or other freelancers, and analyzes results from a survey of news workers (freelance and staff) conducted in summer 2007. The survey uses intrinsic and extrinsic factors to measure overall job satisfaction. While there is little overall difference between either group of workers, freelancers do report greater satisfaction in certain areas, especially those relating to worker autonomy and freedom. The article argues that these results demonstrate how freelancers use adaptive strategies to react to temporary or per diem labor patterns in American news. By complicating the assumptions about freelancing, this article offers a more realistic perspective about the desires of the workers and the jobs which they perform.