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How Much Do Local News Anchors Make

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Be the Face of the News as You Support Your Family

News anchors are the hosts of local television news broadcasts, sharing news and providing live commentary during news programs or in recorded segments. If you enjoy broadcasting, have a passion for journalism and want to be a vibrant part of your community, a career as a local news anchor could be fun and rewarding. Hours can sometimes be unusual, so reliable child care makes this a viable career if you have little ones at home. Salaries for local market news anchors are modest, but they increase based on the size of the market and with experience.

Job Description

Local news anchors are the recognizable faces of the news program and generally become well-known in their communities, as viewers grow accustomed to watching their programs day in and day out. News anchors are well-versed in broadcasting, journalism, investigative reporting and the art of improvisation. Expect to be responsible for investigating leads on stories, interviewing people, and being easily available to document a story at the last minute. Good dialogue and an on-air rapport with your co-hosts are important, as is the ability to switch gears easily when unexpected news or circumstances pop up during a broadcast. Social media management is an increasingly large part of the job, as you interact with viewers on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Local news anchors frequently arrive on set well in advance of the broadcast for makeup, wardrobe and to review the upcoming newscast before going live. Perseverance, thoroughness, flexibility and a knack for prioritizing duties are important in reporting the news in a timely, accurate manner.

Education Requirements

Earn a bachelor's degree in journalism or communications to enter the field and then complete an internship with a news broadcasting station to learn the ropes, establish professional references and make connections to land your first job. Be prepared to work as a reporter for a few years before securing your first anchor position. If you desire an anchor position in a large metropolitan area, earn one in a rural setting before moving to the larger market.

Education, employer and geography all play a large role in the salary for a local news anchor. The median annual salary for all reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts is $56,680, which means that half earn more than this, while the other half earns less. The top 10 percent earns more than $163,490, while the bottom 10 percent earns less than $25,690.

About the Industry

Local news anchors typically work at local television broadcasting studios, which can be small or large, depending on the metropolitan areas served. Some studios are in the downtown areas of large cities, while others are in the suburbs or in small towns. Large news stations are big enough to hold more than one filming studio for broadcasts shot during different parts of the day. In smaller stations, the same set is often used, but tweaked to give a slightly different look for morning, lunch and evening news. It's not unusual to start your broadcasting career as an anchor on the early morning or lunch news before becoming an evening news anchor. Some evening news anchors work two evening broadcasts, so work hours can sometimes run late into the evening.

Years of Experience

Both experience and geography play a large role in the salary for a local news anchor. Expect to make more in larger metropolitan areas. One projection for all news anchors looks like this:

  • 1‒3 Years: $38,005
  • 4‒6 Years: $45,629
  • 7‒9 Years: $48,855 
  • 10‒14 Years: $52,573 
  • 15 or More Years: $56,134

Job Growth Trend

Job opportunities for all broadcast news analysts, including local news anchors, is expected to show little to no change over the next decade. Declining ad revenue is causing a standstill in the industry. Competition for positions is steep, so stand out from the crowd while earning your education to secure an internship that could lead to employment.