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Salaries can vary by the market (town) size, amount of experience, your popularity with the public, ownership of the particular television station, and for many other reasons. Generally speaking, the higher the market the higher the salary that one would be paid. The reason for this is because larger markets can make higher ad revenues. There are over 200 markets in the U.S. with cites like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia being near the top. Working in a small market may mean living in a town that you have never heard of before in a mostly rural area.

At a television station, there are three meteorologists on average to cover the newscasts during the week. The chief meteorologist is the head of the team. He is the highest paid. The morning and noon meteorologist is usually next in salary paid. The weekend meteorologist is the lowest paid on average. Keep in mind there are always exceptions to the rule. Also, it is important to note that some TV stations have possibly four or even five meteorologists on staff. The extra weathercasters may be vacation relief or have other responsibilities. Smaller TV stations may only have two weathercasters to cover the week with limited newscasts. Cable Television also has a hierarchy in salaries in which there is a large scale difference between those that are seen as the "stars" and others that work times other than prime time hours.

Television stations are owned by different groups, or media companies. Some media company ownerships tend to pay more than others. This is a result of the personal business philosophy of that stations owner. One station may try to get away with the "bare bones" in making a newscast, and skimp on salaries and other areas. Another station may reward its employees with good salaries and benefits. Knowing people in the news business is really the only sure way to know if a certain station will pay a reasonable salary for its market size.

A person's popularity is another way to measure salary. News stations regularly research how popular their personalities on-air are. A meteorologist that may be a local celebrity or has been in a market many years may be paid well above what that market size calls for. On the reverse side, a large market may hire someone with relatively little experience that may make less than what would be expected in that market.

Finally, what kind of salaries can be expected? In a top 10 market, the chief meteorologist may make $500,000 or considerably more. The morning and noon meteorologist make about $150,000 - $200,000 and the weekend meteorologist about $100,000. Keep in mind that most meteorologists don't make anything close to these salaries. As a comparison, the chief meteorologist makes about $70,000 in market 100, and less than $20,000 in market 200. In TV cable, weathercasters make a wide margin as well - from the range of less than $50,000 to well over $250,000 for the prime time weathercasters. There are no hard and fast rules concerning salaries, just generalities. You are as valuable as the management at the station will pay you.

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Q: What is the average weather man's salary?
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