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What Are the Salaries of TV Anchors?

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A television news anchor provides much of a news broadcast’s identity. While helping segue between taped and live segments filed by reporters out of the studio on location and reading news stories written for on-air broadcast, the flow of a news broadcast depends upon an anchor’s skills. A news anchor’s earnings vary widely according to the size of the station at which he is located and the market in which he broadcasts. Anchors on broadcasts with a large audience typically earn more than those with small audiences.

News Anchor Salary Range

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The many variables involved in a news anchor’s salary make the range for the position rather broad. Payscale reports total earnings of news anchors to vary from $37,074 to $94,640 as of November 2010. Broadcast news reporters earned an average wage of $18.18 per hour in May 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, reflecting the fact that many on-air personalities at small stations only work part time.

Celebrity News Anchors

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Large figures in the news industry earn much higher salaries: In 2005, New York’s WNBC news anchor Chuck Scarborough earned $3 million, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams made $4 million and Charlie Gibson of "Good Morning America" earned $7 million, according to “New York Magazine.” Pat Kiernan of a much smaller station in New York, NY1, earned $200,000 in 2005.

By Employer

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The larger news networks typically provide higher salaries than independent stations can afford, although their salary ranges are still very wide. Anchors who work for Fox News Network and its affiliates can expect a salary of $50,000 to $125,000 annually as of November 2010, according to Payscale, while CNN’s news anchors make, on average, from $73,698 to $101,232. Anchors at ABC affiliates commanded the highest earning potential, with a salary range that extended from $47,500 to $147,500.

By Region

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The city in which a news anchor works also impacts his earnings. Stations in larger cities tend to have larger audiences, which helps drive up anchors’ earnings. Additionally, housing costs and other cost-of-living expenses in metropolitan areas push up a news anchor’s salaries when compared to areas with cheaper built-in expenses. Salary Expert reports anchors’ earnings vary widely across the 10 markets it surveyed. Those in Orlando, Florida, earned the most, averaging $137,091 annually in 2010, and those in Charlotte, North Carolina, earned the least, with an average annual salary of $47,672.


Wilhelm Schnotz has worked as a freelance writer since 1998, covering arts and entertainment, culture and financial stories for a variety of consumer publications. His work has appeared in dozens of print titles, including "TV Guide" and "The Dallas Observer." Schnotz holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Colorado State University.

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