Sports Anchor Career Info
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Journalism, broadcasting, or communications|
|Experience||Internship or student media experience preferred|
|Key Skills||Strong verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, and research skills; able to work well under pressure; knowledge of video cameras and editing equipment; neat appearance (for television positions); ability to travel when needed|
|Salary||$36,390 (2016 median salary)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job postings by employers (August 2012), PayScale.com
Sports anchors research, write, produce and report on sports events and news for radio or television stations, as well as for some websites. They may interview athletes and individuals in the sports industry at the professional, semi-professional, collegiate and high school levels. Some individuals might find the pressures of deadlines to be stressful, while others might enjoy that stimulation.
Sports anchors need to have strong verbal and written communication skills. They should also have the ability to multi-task, strong research skills, the ability to work well under pressure and the ability to travel when needed. According to Payscale.com, sports anchors in the United States earned a median annual salary of $36,390 in 2016.
Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Sports anchors should have a bachelor's degree in journalism, broadcast journalism, communications or a related field, like sports journalism. Some schools are beginning to offer sports journalism concentrations through kinesiology degree programs. Classes may include script writing, investigative journalism, sports writing, media ethics or broadcasting.
Many employers prefer anchors to have experience with either college or even high school sports reporting for entry-level positions. Schools often have newspapers, radio stations or television stations to help journalism students practice sports reporting. Internships can serve as a valuable experience for aspiring sports anchors as well.
The Society of Professional Journalists recommends that all journalism students take a course in accounting. Sports reporters may be required to report on financial stories, such as complicated contracts or endorsement deals.
Move to a Larger Market
Many sports anchors get experience at small or local stations before moving to a larger market. Prospective sports anchors should learn how to write scripts and use video equipment before pursuing anchoring gigs in large markets. Novices can establish a persona and develop their on-air personalities. Employers typically look for demo reels when interviewing, so sports anchors should begin archiving their best anchoring experience. On-air personalities may also be charged with the responsibility of managing their own social media. Large markets may rate an anchor's marketability based on their ratings. Sports anchors in smaller markets can build a following and prove they have the type of personality that attracts an audience.
Some sports anchors aspire to work for a national broadcasting company or in syndication. Major broadcasters often prefer anchors with several years of experience and a polished on-air persona. They may also be looking for someone who can multi-task and create content for the Web, television or radio.
Aspiring sports anchors should first complete a bachelor's degree program in journalism or a related field. Internships and on-air experience are also key to finding a job as a sports anchor.