Forbes ‘Surprised’ Local TV Pay is Low

By Kevin Eck 

The news is probably no surprise to anyone who works in local TV, but has included reporters and anchors on its list of “13 Surprisingly Low-Paying Jobs.”

According to the list, reporters in newspaper, radio, TV or other mediums, took in an average of $43,640 per year.  For the bottom 10 percent the number is closer to $20,000. While reporters in Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts averaged $71,450 and $64,080 respectively, those in Montana, Iowa and Idaho earned less than $29,500.

The survey also had a category they called “Radio and TV announcers” who earned an average of $40,510 a year. For those living and working in Wyoming, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Alabama and Kentucky, the average pay was less than $27,740. Those in the bottom 10 percent earned an average of $17,150.

To be included in the unlucky 13, the average pay for people in the profession had to be less than $50,000. Forbes got the data for their report from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not included in the Forbes list of low paying jobs that are surprising, were camera operators and broadcast technicians. According to the study, the highest paid markets for camera operators were in California, Colorado, South Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois with pay ranging from $53,250 to $71,600.

For comparison, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, the poverty guideline listed in the Federal Register for the 48 contiguous states including the District of Columbia falls at $11,490 for a single person household. The level can be higher or lower, however, depending on the state.

If you ‘d like to explore the Bureau’s Employment stats on your own, click here.