TV, Radio and Sports Announcers perform a number of duties both on an off the air, primarily adding commentary or passing on pertinent information to the general public by means of broadcast media. Sports announcers specifically call the play by play action and provide commentary for live action sports in his or her area. Announcers read prepared scrips or improvise and ad ad lib commentary to to live competition games, conduct interviews, or announce important public-service information. Announcers often must write their own material, which often requires hours of research beforehand. Announcers can either work for a large television studio or for a small radio station either corporate owned or independently owned. With rapidly advancing technology and increased accessibility, announcers can also be internet based with both video and radio as well.
Salaries for TV, Radio and Sports announcers working for independently own local media ranges between $12.50 and $13.75 per hour. Additional income can be made by conducting product endorsements on air. Announcers working for independently owned media or who conduct their own broadcasts via the internet often only make what advertising sponsors will pay to be featured on their show.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Job Description and Outlook
TV, Radio and Sports Announcers are responsible for passing on pertinent information such as local news, weather reports and alerts to the general public by means of either broadcast television or local radio. Sports announcers call the play by play action and provide critical commentary for live action sporting events that occur locally. Both Television and Radio Sports announcers will be dispatched on site to view the game from a press box at the stadium or other facility or the designated media section at sporting events. Here they will provide play by play commentary, including descriptions of the game play as well as other remarks such as player information, facts and other pertinent info.
TV and Radio announcers can either be general anchors such as those who host the local news, or can specialize in topics such as entertainment, local news, crime, traffic watch, weather and other topics. Announcers must be well informed of their topic, often times conducting research before hand to develop a newsworthy story for television or radio.
TV and radio announcers often work out of studios where they either record materials for later use or conduct a live on air show. TV and Radio announcers will either read off a script or teleprompter to pass on public service information, local news, traffic updates or weather information. Since many broadcast medias have the potential to stream 24 hours a day, some radio and television announcers may be required to work long hours during the night as well as holidays.
Demand for TV, Radio and Sports Announcers is expected to slow in the future as rapidly advancing technology makes it possible for viewers to watch live sports via internet, and as social media and other ways of transmitting information to individuals begin to outpace that of the local news capabilities. Because of this, competition for open spots will remain competitive as less and less positions are made available.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Training and Education Requirements
TV, Radio and Sports announcers often take formal education in broadcasting at local colleges or trade schools. These programs prepare students to work with common equipment frequently used in broadcasting stations. While not formally required, it is common for TV, Radio and Sports announcers to have a Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, film and television or broadcast media. Experience or classes in Public Speaking, English, Political Science as well as knowledge of a variety of Sports and general knowledge in the community gives a prospective candidate and advantageous edge over others.
Prospective announcers often must undergo years of on the job training doing support tasks such as interning or working as a production assistant and research before being granted the opportunity to do a live broadcast on air. In addition, prospective television broadcasters must have a well groomed and likable appearance. Both TV, Radio and Sports Announcers must have strong voices which transmit well over the airwaves. Voices must be well controlled and without stutter or other speech impediment. Additionally, the ability to read casually from a script, improve or ad lib, or read from a teleprompter is also necessary to successfully complete the job.
There is no formal certifications required, however completion of a broadcasting program from a trade school or college is helpful. Additionally, a Bachelor of Arts degree from a four year university in either communications, journalism, broadcasting, film and television or theater is also helpful.
There are several professional associations for TV, Radio and Sports Announcers. These include the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers, the American Sportscaster Association, as well as a number of local city and state Public Announcer associations.