Local morning hosts being the highest-paid on-air talent in radio may not shock anyone. But it might be a surprise to learn that local radio salaries can rival, even surpass, annual earnings for some TV and music industry professionals, especially in the top markets.
That’s one big takeaway in a new salary survey conducted by Billboard. Across all market sizes, morning show hosts earn salaries ranging from $100,00-$400,000 annually in large markets, $50,000-$200,000 in mid-size markets and $30,000-$100,000 in small markets. That’s compared to a “Saturday Night Live” booker ($175,000-$225,000), late-night TV talk show supervisors, producers and bookers ($100,000-$200,000) and TV morning show music supervisors/producers ($100,000-$200,000).
Local radio morning hosts may only be on the air for three or four hours daily, but their work extends off-air. These hosts can earn additional money with book deals, speaking fees, endorsements and ratings-based bonuses, Billboard notes. Interestingly, large market on-air talent for other dayparts can earn more than behind-the-scenes managers with big-market on-air jocks earning between $70,000-$150,000, compared to promotions directors in large markets ($50,000-$90,000) and medium markets ($30,000-$70,000), and program directors in medium markets ($50,000-$175,000) and small markets ($30,000-$90,000).
Program directors in large markets were the highest earners among station execs, earning between $80,000-$250,000. Across the industry, the top salaries go to nationally syndicated radio hosts, who earn from $90,000-$1 million. Morning show sidekicks in small markets, who might someday graduate to lead a show, earn between $30,000-$50,000 per year.