What Does a TV News Producer Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More

Image shows two people working at a switch board of a tv station with various screens in front of them. Text reads:

Image by Nusha Ashjaee © The Balance 2019

TV news producers typically plan and manage regular news broadcast from start to finish. Their duties can vary depending on the size and type of company they work for, but in all cases, producers must have solid news judgment and be able to work in a fast-paced environment.

TV News Producer Duties & Responsibilities

The job generally requires the ability to perform the following duties:

  • Manage TV news broadcasts.
  • Coordinate activities of the news production team.
  • Oversee the type and order of news stories to create a cohesive show.
  • Ensure productions run on time and on budget.
  • Monitor news broadcasts and be on hand to solve problems as needed.

Before a newscast, a TV news producer works with a team to decide which stories to cover and when. During the newscast, a producer leads the production department crew in the control room to make sure the newscast is executed cleanly on the air.

A TV news producer usually spends the workday inside the station, unlike a TV news reporter who is out gathering stories all day. While TV news producers must work closely with the news anchors, it is vital to have a good working relationship with everyone in the building.

TV News Producer Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers salary data for producers and directors, which includes TV news producers:

  • Median Annual Salary: $71,680 
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $163,540
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $34,450 

Education, Training, & Certification

The path to becoming a TV news producer can look different for each person. In addition, education and training requirements can vary by company.

  • Education: A producer usually needs to have a college degree in communications, journalism, or English. A background in business or political science can help a TV news producer appear more specialized when looking for work.
  • Training: Many producers start as interns or production assistants and receive on-the-job training that prepares them for career advancement. Aspiring producers may also seek mentors to advise them along their journey.

TV News Producer Skills & Competencies

To be successful in this role, you’ll generally need the following skills and qualities: 

  • Leadership skills: A TV news producer is a calm leader in a crisis, whether that's during breaking news coverage or when some piece of technical equipment breaks.
  • Creativity: This job requires the ability to create a vision of what a successful newscast should look like before it's completed.
  • Attention to detail: Newscasts have a lot of moving parts, and TV news producers must have an eye on them all to ensure a polished final product.
  • Communication skills: Producers must effectively coordinate with news anchors and all staff involved in the production of a newscast for it to come together successfully.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow 12% through 2026, which is faster than the overall employment growth of 7% for all occupations in the country.

Work Environment

TV news producers are ultimately responsible for the final product of each news broadcast. They constantly work under tight deadlines and manage the many elements of a newscast at once. Because of this, people who excel in this position usually thrive in high-pressure environments.

Work Schedule

According to the BLS, one-third of TV news producers work more than 40 hours per week, and evening, holiday, and weekend work is common.

How to Get the Job

GET AN INTERNSHIP

Get your foot in the door in the TV news industry so you can work your way up to a TV news producer position. Look at the top companies for internships in the entertainment industry.

START AS A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Find out what it's like to be a production assistant and apply for jobs at the news companies of your choice.

GET A FELLOWSHIP

Organizations such as PBS offer fellowship programs for graduate and undergraduate students to gain practical experience working in news broadcasting.

Comparing Similar Jobs

People who are interested in becoming TV news producers may also consider other careers with these median salaries: