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Need Some Income and Love Sports? Try Living Off the Starting Salary for a Sportscaster


According to The Bureau of Labor statistics report titled “The Employment Situation: February 2009,” the national unemployment rate reached 8.1 percent in February of 2009, up from 7.6 percent the previous month. Not a cheery statistic. In fact, I was watching a news segment on this very subject when it dawned on me; all of these TV hosts are still employed. Is the television industry suffering financially like so many other industries?

The TV News Beat

Most people know that newspapers are definitely hurting as readers move to the internet. According to a recent Forbes article, “Newspaper Industry Suffers Dual Blows,” the owners of The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee are cutting 15 percent of their workforce. This is just one of many recent layoffs for the newspaper industry. By comparison, has anything catastrophic happened in the world of TV because of the economic downturn?

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Back in April of 2008, according to an L.A. Times article, “CBS Layoffs Signal a Financial Squeeze on TV Stations,” many prominent news anchors nationwide lost their jobs because TV audiences are moving to the Web as well. This is certainly a trend that may continue, particularly if the dreams of Bill Gates and other computer visionaries  come true.

The article goes on to state that more advertisers are moving to the Web, leaving TV stations’ budgets tighter than ever. And, in the round of layoffs that occurred a year ago, a certain trend was noticed: more experienced broadcasters were cut. This is likely because they are more expensive. Does this mean there’s room for new faces on TV? Is this a surprise bonus for young aspiring broadcasters brought on by the recession?

New Opportunities in TV: What’s the Starting Salary for a Sportscaster?

The fact that fresh talent is cheaper led me to consider the possibility that, if you’re looking for entry-level work, TV may be an avenue. It’s not necessarily the strongest industry, and there are few slots available. But, let’s take a look at what PayScale’s salary data is for TV hosts and hostesses just for fun.

My guess is that one of the most sought-after gigs on TV is being a sportscaster. Remember that guy who attended Obama’s speech and let Obama know that he was working full time at McDonalds but wanted to be a sports announcer? Obama ended up creating an opportunity for him. It was a sweet story.

Well, I think that one guy represents millions of guys and gals out there who would be happy to live and breathe sports news and statistics all day. But, are they willing to live off of the starting salary for a sportscaster? Let’s do some research first.
For starters, let’s look at what most brand new and long-term TV new anchors are likely making:

By comparison, it turns out that sports anchors have higher earning potential long term. Below you’ll find not only the starting salary for a sportscaster, but what they may be making down the road:

$36,000 to start may be a bit tight.  But, making $72,414 in 10 years just for talking about something you love sounds pretty appealing.

Get Your TV Career Started Now

While the economy tumbles, turns and changes everyday, consider that if you’re young, ready to work hard and willing to get paid less for a while, now just may be a decent time to get into the TV business. Or, if you’re even wiser, the online TV business.

Find more on
• Curious how your salary compares? Try our salary calculator.
• Wondering what you’ll be earning in the future? Give GigZig a try.
• Check out our new blog, Compensation Today

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