The Top Paying Media Jobs

Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue magazine
Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief of Vogue magazine. Edward Berthelot/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Although the media world isn’t known for paying high salaries, those who work their way up the ladder will find that there are top paying media jobs to be had. It may take time, hard work and perseverance, but you can find that pot of proverbial gold at the end of the rainbow. Here’s a rundown of some of the top paying media jobs:*

Editor-in-Chief

The boss of a magazine (or a book publishing imprint), and the one at the top of the masthead, famous editors-in-chief like, say, Graydon Carter (who runs Vanity Fair) pull down a very hefty salary.

In book publishing, the average salary for an editor-in-chief looms around $100,000. This is also about what an e-i-c at a smaller magazine might make (although, outside of New York, both jobs probably pay less). Still, that number is by no means the ceiling. This salary will rise meteorically with the size (and name cache) of a publication or imprint.

Although it’s been reported that big-name people in the industry make much more -- Bonnie Fuller, who used to head US Weekly and was then at Star Magazine was making a reported $1.5 million in her job at the latter publication -- the big-time salaries are usually to be found in the major markets like New York and L.A.

Art Director

Like editors-in-chief art directors, who also work at both book publishing imprints and at magazines, oversee the visuals of either the magazine or book jackets. Especially at big magazines an art director’s job is highly creative and makes a big impact on the look and feel of a magazine.

With that top spot, can come some nice money. In New York, on the lower end, an art director will be making about $70,000. At a bigger magazine, this figure will rise over the $100k mark. Again, the size of the salary will match the size and caché of the publication…and the market it’s in.

Producer

Although TV news has been slumping, producers who work behind the scenes at network news and at network news shows (like Dateline) also make well into the triple figures.

Though we might see a slip in these salaries as we move into the future, TV is still more lucrative (at least in those senior positions) than print.

TV News Anchor

As with these other positions mentioned, an anchor’s salary is especially dependent on the market. Someone anchoring the local news in Tacoma, Wash., say, will not be making nearly as much money as someone at the news desk in New York City or Los Angeles. And anchors helming the major network news programs, as you probably know, are making major money -- Katie Couric took the news anchor spot at the CBS Evening News for a reported $15 million annually.

But, even if you’re not Katie Couric, you could be making $100k or more to anchor a program in a big market. (In a mid-size market, like say Cincinnati, you’d make between $40k and $70k but, in a small market, your salary could swing lower to low thirties or in the twenties.)

Director of Publicity

A senior-level publicity position, likely working in book publishing, can net someone from $70k to over $100k. (Again, the higher salary comes with being in a bigger market and at a bigger imprint.) Although publicists outside of publishing can make more, publicity can also be a lucrative career choice further down the line.

*NOTE: Salaries, as noted, vary widely depending on where your job (geographically) and what company you’re working for. And, even in the same city, an art director at one magazine is not necessarily going to be making the same as an art director somewhere else.