Of the roughly 38,300 announcers (including news anchors) working in the United States, more than 60 percent worked for radio and television broadcasting companies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Many others are self-employed, providing announcing services on a freelance basis to networks and stations, advertising agencies, independent producers, or to sponsors of local events. Some also work for state, local, and private educational services.
Some companies own several television or radio stations; some stations belong to networks such as ABC, CBS, NBC, or Fox, while others are independent. While radio and television stations are located throughout the United States, major markets where better paying jobs are found are generally near large metropolitan areas.
Most news anchors start in jobs such as production assistant, researcher, or reporter in small stations. As opportunities arise, it is common for anchors to move from one job to another. Network jobs are few, and the competition for them is great. You must have several years of experience as well as a college education to be considered for these positions.
You must audition before you will be employed as a news anchor. You should carefully select audition material to show a prospective employer the full range of your abilities. Many companies request demo reels as a way to screen prospective candidates in advance. At auditions, you may be asked to read material that you have not seen previously, such as a commercial, news release, dramatic selection, or poem.
Radio and television news anchors move up by moving on. In other words, one of the main ways to advance within the industry is to move to a larger market or larger station. The ultimate goal of many news anchors is to advance to the network level. Others advance by becoming news directors, station managers, or producers.
Tips for Entry
Improve your speaking abilities and leadership skills by joining Toastmasters (https://www.toastmasters.org).
Hone your news writing skills by volunteering to create text for your town's local cable station.
Fine-tune your interviewing skills by learning how to ask appropriate open and closed questions.
Join your school newspaper or journalism club.