How Much Money Does a Local Newscaster Make?

by Tony Guerra Google

    Local newscasters such as on-scene reporters and news anchors work for thousands of television, radio and cable outlet stations across the country. Newscasters may work a specific beat such as on-air crime reporting, or special assignments or in-depth news pieces. Newscasters working as anchor personalities also participate in the production of news reporting, including topic research, copy editing and voice overs for on-air segments. Generally, salaries for local newscasters depend on the size of their stations and the markets they serve.

    TV Newscaster Salaries

    Though newscasters frequently become locally known radio and television personalities, those outside of large metro areas earn fairly middle-class salaries. A 2010 RTDNA/Hofstra University survey, in fact, found median local TV newscaster salaries ranged from $29,000 to $280,000 for reporters and anchors. Also, median salary for on-air TV news anchors was $59,000 and $50,000 for weathercasters. RTDNA/Hofstra found that some newscasters in smaller markets were making only $18,000 annually. Newscasters in large metro area markets such as New York City earn top salaries.

    Radio Newscaster Salaries

    Radio newscaster salaries are generally less than salaries for their TV counterparts, with reporter pay running from $30,000 to $46,000 annually. Radio news producers and directors also earn relatively low salaries as well. Radio news producers, for example, earn from $30,000 to $45,000 annually while directors earn from $32,000 to $65,000. By contrast, TV news producers earn $30,000 to $110,000 and directors $75,000 to $200,000 annually. According to RTDNA/Hofstra, local radio and TV broadcaster salaries haven't managed to keep up with inflation.

    Pros and Cons

    TV and radio newscasters are journalists and get to inform the public about newsworthy events, frequently in fast-paced environments. Depending on the size of the particular radio or TV market, a newscaster may also have many opportunities for travel. However, if you're uncomfortable working under sometimes tight deadlines, a career in broadcast journalism or newscasting may not be for you. Also, career advancement and better pay as a newscaster may require regular relocation to ever larger markets to secure higher-paying positions.

    Newscaster Industry Outlook

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 2010 median pay for reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts was $36,000 per year. Also, BLS says that employment for reporters and similar professions is projected to moderately decline by 6 percent through 2020. Generally, you must have at least a bachelor's degree in journalism or communications to break into the newscasting or news reporter fields. Many reporters and newscasters enter the industry via time spent in internships or through work as college news reporters.

    About the Author

    Tony Guerra served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy. He also spent seven years as an airline operations manager. Guerra is a former realtor, real-estate salesperson, associate broker and real-estate education instructor. He holds a master's degree in management and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies.

    Photo Credits

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