TV Anchor: Job Description, Salary and Requirements
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a TV anchor. Get a quick view of the requirements and details about schooling, job duties and internship experience to find out if this is the career for you.
TV anchors, also known as newscasters, news analysts or news anchors, are the on-air people that deliver news stories to the broadcasting station's audience. These professionals are usually required to have a bachelor's degree. Internships or work experience are frequently needed for employment. TV anchors often work their way up the reporting ranks to land the job after working as a reporter, news writer or correspondent.
Job Description for a TV Anchor
TV anchors work out of a studio and may also travel to do on-site or live reports. Working hours for TV anchors may vary depending on news or feature story coverage; they may have to work uncommon or erratic hours due to breaking news and late-night or 24-hour news broadcasts. Working holidays may also be required and conditions may be stressful as they race to meet deadlines.
TV anchors are at ease with being in front of a camera and have good verbal skills. They have a clear, pleasant speaking voice and nice appearance. Good grooming and hygiene practices are essential. Makeup is often applied to both men and women to neutralize the studio's lighting.
Job Duties for a TV Anchor
TV anchors deliver newscasts throughout the day, but they are not just spokespeople. Anchors gather information and write news stories of their own, in addition to reading the stories written by other news reporters. TV anchors are sometimes responsible for editing and rewriting news stories to ensure they are accurate and fit within the time and space allotments.
Prior to presenting a story, TV anchors may research current events happening in the local community and state, national, and international regions. They then determine which stories are the most newsworthy and interesting, and organize them so that the most pertinent pieces are presented first. Additionally, these professionals may introduce news correspondents that are reporting on the scene and ask them relevant questions that the public may want to know. TV anchors may also engage in commentary about various community issues and conduct interviews of key figures.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean salary of broadcast news analysts in the TV and radio industry was $89,240 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that employment for these professionals was expected to decline by about 2% between 2012 and 2022.
Requirements for a TV Anchor
Most employers tend to prefer TV anchors with a background in journalism or mass communications. Coursework for bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism include reporting, news writing and editing, broadcast reporting and writing, television news production, and media ethics. A mass communications major takes courses like journalism, multimedia communications, electronic media, broadcasting, and media ethics.
Practical experience while attaining a college degree is also beneficial for broadcasting students. Students can work at their college's broadcasting station, part-time jobs, or internships to learn and apply basic skills, and gain work experience in the industry. College graduates generally work their way up the ladder before finding a seat at the news desk. Many TV anchors first prove themselves as competent reporters, writers, or correspondents first before advancing.