In one sentence: Less than you might have thought… Let’s start with the highest salaries.
The EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, the highest editorial position, is supposed to have complete control over every department of his publication, except the business one. He decides the editorial policy and how to maintain it. The editors-in-chief of newspapers draw salaries from $50,000 to $90,000 a year. The average salary of the large city editor-in-chief is not far from $110,000.
The MANAGING EDITOR is next to the editor-in-chief. He is the executive officer. Under the editor-in-chief, he actively carries out the policy of the publication. Managing editors receive annual salaries from 10 to 25 percent less than what editors-in-chief earn.
EDITORIAL WRITERS are journalists who do the bulk of the editorial work of the publication. Because of the convenience of the Internet, some editorial writers work at home. Writers who work remotely a few days out of the week are paid by a salary, or by the column inch. It is common nowadays for a daily newspaper to have a number of editors-at-large, each one a specialist in one specific department. Editorial writers in large cities may draw salaries of from $25,00 to $35,000 a year. Probably few ever receive more than $45,000. Special editorial writers, who give but a part of their day, receive space rates or by the column—they earn salaries from $8,000 to $12,000 a year.
The CITY EDITOR of a newspaper or regional news website oversees the local reporters. The city editor must understand timely topics and what his readers want to read. The city editors of large papers and news organizations, online and offline, receive anywhere from $40,000 to $51,000 a year.
HEADLINE WRITERS are responsible for the headings of articles and news, and the writing these headlines is very important work. They get anywhere from $25,000 to $44,000 a year. If a newspaper or magazine decides not to employ headline writers, then the editors, copy editors and writers work the headlines.
LITERARY WRITERS and FREELANCE WRITERS are responsible for special columns, book reviews and other cultural arts articles. They mostly work away from the newspaper office. Their salaries run from $10,000 to $20,000 a year, the average being not far from $12,000.
DESK EDITORS are readers and correctors of manuscript of every kind and class. They must, first of all, be good grammarians and users of pure English, and also possess much discretion. On great dailies these editors draw salaries of from $30,000 to $45,000 a year.
COLUMNISTS, those who write by the column and are paid for what is printed, receive from $25 to $75 a column.
REPORTERS on large newspapers are paid from $200 to $700 a week; the average pay is no more than $500 a week. A first-class, competent reporter may earn up to $600 a week.
A COUNTRY EDITORS’ average income is from $35,000 to $55,000 a year. The maximum income of a country editor and proprietor does not exceed $85,000, except in rare cases. Many country editors earn about $45,000 annually.
Read the whole article by Justin C. Baker:
Editorial Positions and Annual Salaries at Small and Large Newspapers