Home Jobs & Education What is the Average News Anchor Salary?

A news anchor average salary in the US today is $55,757 per year. But according to a Pay Scale survey updated in May 2015 total income of news anchors can reach almost $130,000.

Stay with us to find out what are the most important factors influencing a news anchor’s annual earnings, what you need to do in order to become one and who are the 15 highest paid news anchors in the US according to each network.

News Anchor Karen Mayers speaking with Paul Sullivan on Good Morning Live

News television anchor, Karen Meyers, speaks to Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Paul Sullivan about the NavyÕs role in the global war on terrorism.

Average News Anchor Salary


The average annual pay for news anchors range from $30,154 to $126,225.

Their earnings are affected mostly by work location and experience level. Big metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are by far the best paying locations, all offering packages that exceed the national average. The lowest paying market is to be found in Milwaukee, where salaries are 7 percent lower than the average.

More than 50% of the United States news anchors are experienced professionals. A third of them have more than 10 years of experience, which makes their average earnings vary between $65,000 and $85,000.

What Does a News Anchor Do?

A news anchor is basically the host of a regular news broadcast. His or her job is to inform about national and international events in a professional manner. To put it simple, they present news on television in an informed, researched, but still accessible way to a general public.

News anchors are considered to be at the peak of journalist careers. Often mistaken for newscasters, who broadcasts the news in a brief manner, and also for commentators who provide analysis and even express their own opinion on the stories, news anchors are journalists committed to objectivity and have more complex tasks. They are involved in the creation and editing process of subjects and are likely to represent their networks as public figures.

The most challenging aspect of a news anchor’s job is covering stories and events as they happen, following updates and selecting key-facts to effectively engage their audience.

News Anchors Assets:

  • Charisma takes first place as their success depends on their audience rating.
  • Education – regardless of the degree news anchor have, they are required to have strong analysis and research skills in order to provide well-informed and top quality information.
  • Communication skills – writing skills are important as they often write their own scripts, but the essential ability news anchors need is great verbal communication.
  • Social Media Skills – most of news anchors act as the public face of the network they work for. That is why being present on social media is a major asset.

Summary of News Anchors’ Tasks

Typical duties of a news anchor include:

  • Present live or pre-recorded news happening worldwide;
  • Introduce stories from reporters and correspondents;
  • Research topics assigned to them by a news director or editor-in-chief;
  • Develop new topics and stories;
  • Write their own scripts by analyzing, interpreting and organizing information;
  • Cover events and stories in real time;
  • Update stories if new information comes up;
  • Interview people who can provide valuable information, expertise or opinion about a story;
  • Develop relations with specialists from various fields;
  • Use social media to cover live stories, and engage audience by keeping readers and viewers informed and entertained;
  • Analyze their audience in order to increase rating.

Benefits, Bonuses, Profit Sharing

News anchors can boost their income by means of bonuses and profit sharing. These vary depending on performance. The best scenarios show that the total annual income of a news anchor can incorporate bonuses of $15,000 and close to $50,000 from profit sharing.

Among other benefits, the majority of news anchors get medical coverage and dental insurance as well.

Best Paid News Anchors According to Each Network as for 2014

No wonder being a news anchor offers high levels of satisfaction when there is the potential of a total income of $20 million per year.

Are you curious about who are the highest paid news broadcasters in the US today? According to the TV Guide annual list of best paid TV personalities, hosts from MSNBC, Fox News, CBS and CNN earn millions of dollars.

Have a look at their names, associated network and pay rates, but first take a deep breath, the figures are dazzling!


News Anchor News Broadcast Total Annual Earnings
1.      Matt Lauer NBC, The Today Show $22–25 million
2.      Bill O’Reilly Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor $18 million
3.      Robin Roberts Good Morning America $14 million
4.      Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News $13 million
5.      Anderson Cooper, CNN, Anderson Cooper 360 $11 million
6.      Shepard Smith, Fox News, Shepard Smith Reporting $10 million
7.      George Stephanopoulos GMA , This Week $9 million
8.      Rachel Maddow MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show $7 million
9.      Scott Pelley CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes $7 million
10.  Bret Baier Fox News, Special Report With Bret Baier $6 million
11.  Maria Bartiromo Fox Business $6 million
12.  Katie Couric Yahoo! News $6 million
13.  Megyn Kelly Fox News, The Kelly File $6 million
14.   David Muir, ABC World News, 20/20 $5 million
15.  David Gregory NBC News, Meet the Press $4 million

Job Prospects & Requirements

If you consider entering the field this might not be the right moment as job prospects for news anchors in the next 7 years are not promising. The US Bureau of Labor Statistic anticipates a decline of 13 percent concerning the jobs for reporters, correspondents and news analysts in general.

The employment growth for this occupation is mostly affected by the fact that the majority of news anchors in the US are experienced professionals, leaving little room for entry-level applications.

However, if you decide to start building a career in television broadcasting, please note that competition is stronger in metropolitan areas, where pay rates are higher, and employers prefer applicants with previous work experience. Even if you don’t have a degree in Journalism, they might be interested in potential specialists in fields such as Politics, English, Web design or Multimedia Production.

Quick Job Facts


Average News Anchor Salary

 $55,757 Entry Level Average Salary (0-5 years experience)$41,000 Mid-career Average Salary (5-10 years)$57,000 Experienced Average Salary (10 – 20 years)$65,000 Late Career Average Salary (20 years+ experience)$85,000 Education Required

 Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communications or any related subject

  Job Experience Required

 Internships and previous work experience represent an advantage Work Environment

 Television Broadcasting Best Paying Locations

 New York, L.A., Chicago   

Worse Paying Location

 Milwaukee Job Outlook 2012-2022Expected to decline or to show little difference in the next 7 years  Work HoursFull-time, meeting dead-lines, working nights and weekendsHighest Paid News Anchor Salary in the US$22–25 million (Matt Lauer, NBC, Today)

Note: Information on salaries from this article is based on data provided by 781 reporting individuals to a salary survey created by Pay Scale in May 2015.

Image Source: wikimedia

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