If you’ve never delved into the crazy world of TV news anchors’ salaries, be warned – you’re about to feel insanely jealous. Thanks to their often daily presence on our TV screens, the most popular and engaging anchors quickly become household names all across America. Who hasn’t heard of Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, or Brian Williams? This popularity often translates into insanely high salaries. I’m talking in the millions, here.
Quite a few news stars of ABC, NBC, CBS, and other networks earn well above $1 million per year. One particularly well-paid star recently renewed his contract for a staggering $15 million per year. Want to find out who that lucky duck is, and what some of the country’s other most-loved news anchors bring home each year? You’ll have to read on and find out…
Scott Pelley: $5 Million
Current 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley has had a long and distinguished journalistic career. He’s been with CBS since 1989 and served as their official White House Correspondent from 1997 to 1999. He then made a name for himself on the CBS Evening News, acting as the lead anchor of the program from 2011 to 2017. Despite his abrupt and unexpected firing from the show in 2017, Pelley remained with CBS show 60 Minutes. He’s currently estimated to earn around $5 million per year, around half of what other network anchors rake in. Alleged friction between Pelley and CBS News president David Rhodes could be behind this.
Diane Sawyer: $12 million
Diane Sawyer is nothing short of a legend in the TV journalism world. In a career spanning over fifty years, she’s held a number of prestigious positions and won a whole host of awards. Starting off as a White House press aide and literary assistant to then-President Richard Nixon, she moved to CBS news in 1978 as a reporter. She worked her way up the ranks, eventually becoming co-anchor of the CBS Early Morning News and a regular contributor to 60 Minutes, before moving to ABC in 1989. She’s been with the network ever since, hosting the ABC World News until her retirement in 2014. That final position led to her raking in a staggering $12 million per year. Wow! Despite her retirement, Sawyer still produces special reports and conducts high-profile interviews for ABC.
Ann Curry: $10 million
Ann Curry is another much-loved face in the world of broadcast journalism. She was affiliated with the NBC News network for 25 years, beginning her stint there as a Chicago bureau correspondent in 1990. After spending a few years as the anchor of NBC News at Sunrise, she moved to the Today show in 1994, becoming a news anchor alongside the now-disgraced Matt Lauer in 1997. When Curry left NBC in 2015, she was estimated to be earning around $10 million per year. However, she broke free from the network to spend more time focussing on reporting and has a PBS show – We’ll Meet Again – premiering this year.
Brian Williams: $10 million
Brian Williams is another news anchor whose career has been mired in issues over the past few years. After serving as the anchor of the NBC Nightly News for over a decade, he was removed from his position in 2015 after it emerged that he’d “misrepresented” certain events during coverage of the 2003 Iraq War. Williams’s $15 million salary was taken away, and he was demoted to the role of chief anchor on MSNBC. He hasn’t suffered too much, mind: he still reportedly earns $10 million per year in his new position. That’s certainly not a figure to complain about!
Chris Cuomo: $2.5+ million
Legal specialist Chris Cuomo has had a pretty distinguished career so far. Starting off as an occasional reporter for Fox, CNBC, CNN, and MSNBC, he eventually got a permanent position as the news anchor for Good Morning America. Remaining with the show from 2006 to 2009, Cuomo later moved on to the role of chief legal reporter at ABC. These days, he’s the co-anchor of CNN’s morning show New Day. His work doesn’t go unrewarded – he’s currently got a contract with the network worth $2.5 million per year. That doesn’t cover all of the independent reporting he does, or his show Inside With Chris Cuomo – he probably earns a whole lot more. Nice!
Kate Bolduan: $200K
At the age of just 34, CNN journalist Kate Bolduan has had a pretty impressive career. She started at CNN as a national correspondent for CNN Newssource, covering events such as the 2008 presidential election. She later co-anchored The Situation Room alongside Wolf Blitzer, before moving to New York to become the host for CNN’s morning show At This Hour. Despite advancing her career significantly over the last few years, Bolduan is paid a LOT less than others in similar positions. She rakes in just $200,000 per year, a much lower sum than many of her colleagues.
Rachel Maddow: $7 million
MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is one of the network’s highest-paying stars, earning a reported $7 million per year. Maddow has been with MSNBC for most of her career, getting her start as a panelist on the show Tucker. She got her first taste of hosting when she filled in for Keith Olbermann on his show Countdown in 2008, with Olbermann being so complimentary of Maddow’s work that she was given her own show mere months later. The Rachel Maddow Show will be celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and is still as popular as ever.
Tamron Hall: $700+K
Tamron Hall was one of MSNBC’s biggest stars until she left the network last year. Earning upwards of $700,000 for her role as a reporter and fill-in anchor, Hall appeared on a number of popular shows. She got her big break filling in for Keith Olbermann on Countdown, before getting her own show – The Big Picture – alongside David Shuster. After Big Picture ended, Hall served as a regular fill-in for Natalie Morales before leaving MSNBC when her contract expired. While her initial plan was to front a Harvey Weinstein-produced talk show, the scandal surrounding the disgraced producer led to the idea being abandoned. She is instead working with streaming network Hulu on a new show, Tamron’s Hall Pass, due to premiere sometime this year.
Lester Holt: $4.5 million
Broadcast journalism veteran Lester Holt made history back in 2015 when he became the first African-American to solo anchor a weekday network nightly newscast. The newcast in question is NBC Nightly News, a show that Holt took over after Brian Williams’ suspension and which reportedly pays him $4.5 million per year. Prior to taking on this role, Holt spent 19 years with rival network CBS. He left the network for NBC in the year 2000 and has since racked up some impressive credentials. As well as his work as a news anchor, Holt is known for moderating the 2016 presidential debates, in which his fellow journalists claim he asked “tough but appropriate” questions.
Connie Chung: $2 million
Connie Chung has worked for pretty much every major network out there during her 45-year career. She’s been an anchor or reporter for CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and MSNBC over the years – impressive stuff! She’s known to be one of the best-paid journalists out there, and while her current paycheck isn’t public knowledge, she earned up to $2 million per year while she worked for CNN. While she and her husband Maury Povich are pretty much retired now, Chung still undertakes the occasional reporting job. It’s also work noting that she looks flipping amazing for her 71 years, and needs to share her anti-aging secrets with us all.
Wolf Blitzer: $3 million
As well as having one of the coolest names out there, Wolf Blitzer is famous for his long-standing and successful journalistic career. He currently anchors no less than two shows for CNN, the self-titled Wolf and The Situation Room. The latter of these reportedly earns Blitzer no less than $3 million per year. His loyalty to CNN has quite literally paid off: he’s been with the network since 1990 and started out as its military affairs correspondent. Blitzer has also held the roles of White House Correspondent and CNN Newsroom anchor. Not bad! As for his unique name, it apparently runs in his family: Wolf was also the name of Blitzer’s maternal grandfather.
Elizabeth Vargas: $3 million
When Elizabeth Vargas announced that she’ll be leaving ABC in May 2018, we were all a bit surprised. Vargas has been with the network since 1996, starting off as a newsreader on Good Morning America. Since then, she’s worked on Primetime Monday, co-anchored 20/20, filled in for Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, and become the first evening news anchor of Puerto Rican and Irish-American descent. However, even a reportedly large salary leading to her worth being around $3 million couldn’t convince Vargas to stay with ABC for good. Her next move is, as of yet, unknown, but we’re sure it’ll be a successful one.
David Gregory: $4 million
Political analyst and journalist David Gregory was reportedly offered $4 million to leave his long-time network NBC and join CNN. He made the move in 2016 after over a decade at his previous network. During that time, Gregory had filled in for both Lester Holt and Matt Lauer on their respective shows, presented the NBC Nightly News as a stand-in when necessary, and fronted his own show, Meet the Press, from 2008 to 2014. However, Gregory claimed that NBC just wasn’t the right fit for him, and he’s now much happier presenting political coverage for CNN.
Erin Burnett: $3 million
Erin Burnett is one of CNN’s most popular anchors. She’s been with the network since 2011 after spending the first years of her career with CNBC. Her investigative journalism led to huge chemical company Transammonia cutting ties with its Iranian business contacts, a report that was nominated for an Emmy award. For CNN, Burnett presents the prime-time news program Erin Burnett OutFront, filmed in the network’s New York studios. Her annual salary is a staggering $3 million, one of the highest for any female news anchor. Not bad at all! Burnett also spends her time making various documentaries and special reports, not being content with just sitting behind a news desk.
Gayle King: $5.5 million
Gayle King is one of CBS News’ most valued talents. Her recent contract renewal only confirms that: back in 2016, King signed on for three more years at the network in a deal worth $16.5 million. That’s no less than $5.5 million per year! While she’s currently the anchor of CBS This Morning, King has had a long and varied career. Until 2011 she hosted her own show, The Gayle King Show, which was only canceled because she took the CBS This Morning. She’s also worked as a special correspondent on Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Most importantly, King is Oprah‘s actual BFF, a role pretty much all of us wish we had.
Anthony Mason: $100K
Veteran journalist Anthony Mason has had a TV news career spanning decades. He joined CBS as a correspondent all the way back in 1986, working in London and Moscow throughout the late 80s and early 90s. He settled down in NYC in 1993, and after years of service was named co-anchor of CBS This Morning Saturday in 2012. After Scott Pelley was fired from the Evening News, Mason filled in as anchor until a permanent replacement could be found. Despite all of this hard work, Mason earns considerably less than his colleagues, pulling in just $100,000 a year. It doesn’t seem fair, really!
Ted Koppel: $10 Million
Veteran broadcaster Ted Koppel hasn’t put his career to bed quite yet – and who can blame him? By the end of his stint on Nightline, Koppel was raking in around $10 million per year. Add to that his earnings from his work on CBS News Sunday Morning, editing the Discovery Channel and contributing to The Rock Center With Brian Williams and you have one very wealthy man. Koppel spent 42 years with ABC and 25 of those with Nightline, eventually leaving both the program and the network in 2005.
Megyn Kelly: $15-20 million
It took a lot of money to convince long-standing Fox News reporter and anchor, Megyn Kelly, to leave her network of 13 years for NBC – somewhere between $15 million and $20 million per year, in fact! Prior to her 2017 move, Kelly was a regular contributor to a number of Fox News shows before landing her own gig, America Live, in 2010. She left the show in 2013 to go on maternity leave but soon returned to begin hosting duties on her new show The Kelly File. However, when her Fox contract expired in 2017, Kelly made the move to NBC. She now hosts two shows: Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly and Megyn Kelly Today.
Robin Roberts: $14 million
Good Morning America host Robin Roberts has had a long and illustrious career. She began her career 35 years ago as a sports journalist on local TV back home in Mississippi, before joining national network ESPN in 1990. She remained at the network for 15 years before moving to ABC to take on a non-sports role. Roberts began her news anchoring role at Good Morning America while still reporting for ESPN, before being promoted to GMA co-anchor in 2005. She reportedly earns about $14 million a year for her work on the show. Roberts is a tough cookie in general, beating breast cancer in 2008 and coming out as gay in 2013.
Chris Matthews: $5 Million
MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews has been the subject of controversy in recent weeks after it emerged his network paid off a producer who accused him of sexual harassment. Despite these claims, Matthews remains on the air and is still raking in a $5 million salary. Matthews is best known for his nightly talk show Hardball with Chris Matthews, although he also saw success with The Chris Matthews Show until 2013. Whether he’ll keep his position in the wake of allegations about his sexual conduct is as yet unclear; MSNBC is reportedly waiting to see if any more potential victims come forward.
Andrea Mitchell: $750K
Despite being in the broadcast journalism business for fifty years, Andrea Mitchell still hasn’t broken the $1 million salary mark yet. She currently earns $750,000 yearly for her role as Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News, despite holding the position for nearly a quarter of a century. Surely she deserves more, NBC? Mitchell has also been hosting Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC since 2008 and served as NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent from 1993 to 1994.
Natalie Morales: $2 million
Not to be confused with the actress of the same name, journalist Natalie Morales has been a regular fixture on NBC since 2002. After starting out as an MSNBC news anchor and correspondent, she got her big break in 2006 when she became co-anchor of and a national correspondent for the Today show. Morales became the show’s permanent news anchor in 2011 after the departure of Ann Curry and remained in this position until she moved to Los Angeles in 2016. She’s now the Today West Coast anchor, and reportedly earns $2 million per year for her troubles.
David Muir: $5 million
David Muir is one of ABC’s most prominent news anchors. He joined the network back in 2003 as the anchor of the overnight program World News Now, quickly making his way up the ranks. In 2007, he became co-anchor of World News Saturday before being promoted to the position of permanent weekend anchor on World News with David Muir. Muir is currently the editor and lead anchor of ABC World News, taking over from Diane Sawyer back in 2014. Alongside his work as co-anchor of 20/20, the position earns Muir a massive $5 million salary.
Keith Olbermann: $10 million
Keith Olbermann has had a pretty up-and-down career over the past few decades. He started off as a sports broadcaster, netting $350,000 per year from a gig with ESPN. He later left the network is mysterious and controversial circumstances. Olbermann burnt bridges with its producers who apparently fired him after he criticized ESPN on The Daily Show. In 1997, he moved into the world of news journalism, hosting his own show on MSNBC. Countdown with Keith Olbermann was highly successful but came to an abrupt end in 2011. Olbermann donated money to Democratic party Congress candidates just after one appeared on his show, leading to his firing.
Next, Olbermann moved to Al Gore’s network Current TV, earning a reported $10 million per year, before Gore fired him from that too in 2012. He’s most recently presented an online show for GQ called The Resistance, with Olbermann giving his commentary on the Trump presidency.
Bill Ritter: around $1 million
Journalist Bill Ritter has been a staple of New York’s local news coverage for years now. He’s been co-anchor of WABC-TV’s 6pm Eyewitness News since 2003 alongside Sade Baderinwa. While Ritter has never made his salary public, we can guess he earns about the same as his colleague: around the $1 million per year mark. Ritter has appeared on 20/20 as a correspondent for several years now and has featured on Good Morning America since 1993. He’s famous for his revealing interviews and no-holds-barred reporting style. He’s also a pretty recent college graduate, gaining a degree from The New School in 2016. It’s never too late!
Savannah Guthrie: $1 million
After joining NBC in 2007 as a news anchor, Savannah Guthrie worked her way up to become co-anchor of The Today Show alongside Matt Lauer in 2012. After Lauer’s removal from his post at the end of 2017 due to sexual misconduct allegations, she became its sole host until NBC named Lauer’s replacement, Hoda Kotb. Guthrie has a net worth of around $2 million, and while her salary is much lower than her disgraced former colleague’s alleged $20 million-a-year paycheck, $1 million isn’t exactly pennies.
George Stephanopoulos: $15 million
Back in 2014, ABC offered George Stephanopoulos a frankly ridiculous amount of money to stay with the network for seven more years. The network offered Stephanopoulos a staggering $105 million – that’s about $15 million per year. WHAT? The Good Morning America and ABC World News anchor was mired in controversy shortly afterward when it emerged that he’d made various donations to The Clinton Foundation without telling ABC. Despite worries that this showed a conflict of interest, Stephanopoulos kept his job and his insane paycheck.
Sean Hannity: $27 million
Conservative commentator and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity has definitely seen his popularity reflected in his paycheck. Despite often courting controversy among the left with his sensationalist statements, his huge right-wing fanbase makes him a great asset to Fox. That’s probably why the network pays him a whopping $27 million each year. His show Hannity constantly pulls in a huge audience – whether that’s for enjoyment reasons or to simply see what he’ll say next. Hannity also hosts a popular talk radio show, although he’s kept a low profile recently following his controversial endorsement of the infamous Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
Shepard Smith: $7-8 million
Fox’s Shepard ‘Shep’ Smith has been with the news channel since its very creation in 1996. He’s done well for himself over the years, covering huge stories like the death of Princess Diana and the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. He’s also made the news himself recently after he publically came out as gay back in May 2017. Currently, Smith is the host of the hit segment Shepard Smith Reporting and is also the managing editor of the Breaking News division of his network. He earns between $7 and 8 million for his work.
Courtney Friel: $300K
Former Fox News anchor Courtney Friel has done pretty well for herself since leaving its main channel back in 2011. Friel decided at that time to move to Los Angeles to present Fox’s local news coverage there, staying with KTTV Fox 11 for a further year. She then left the network altogether and currently works for The CW-affiliated channel KTLA. Friel earns $300,000 a year, lower than her counterparts on major networks but still not an insignificant amount. She anchors various news broadcasts each weekend and spends the rest of her time reporting on various stories throughout the Los Angeles area.
Brooke Baldwin: $1 million
Things are going pretty well for CNN’s Brooke Baldwin at the moment. Not only is she a highly successful news anchor who makes above $1 million per year, but she’s also engaged to her British TV producer boyfriend. Happy times all around! Baldwin is currently the anchor of CNN Newsroom from 2 pm to 4 pm ET and will soon celebrate her 10th anniversary of working at CNN. She’s covered major events like the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and has been nominated for various awards. Her career is only getting better!
Kelly Ripa: $20 million
Talk show host and actress Kelly Ripa boasts a pretty impressive $20 million annual income from both her acting and presenting duties. As well as her television and film roles, Ripa has ventured into news broadcasting as the co-host of CNN’s Heroes, an annual special that honors individuals who’ve made an overwhelmingly positive contribution to their community – or to the world. While her main gig is still talk show Live! With Kelly, she may well continue down a more journalistic path yet. Who knows what CNN has in store for her next!
Maria Bartiromo: $6 million
Somewhat controversial Fox News personality Maria Bartiromo has served three major networks during her career so far. Starting off as a producer at CNN, she moved to CNBC in 1993 to anchor her show On the Money With Maria Bartiromo. While she apparently earned around $4 million each year during her stint at CNBC, this apparently wasn’t enough to keep her at the network. Bartiromo moved to Fox in 2013, signing a $6 million-per-year contract. She recently made the news for her rather prolific use of the “block” tool on Twitter. Firstly, she claimed that there were no sexual assault claims against President Donald Trump – a statement that’s demonstrably false. Then, Bartiromo blocked any journalist or media personality that dared to disagree with her. Oh dear!
Bret Baier: $7 million
News anchor Bret Baier has been a part of the Fox News team since 1998, starting out as the Atlanta bureau chief. He worked his way up the ranks to become chief Pentagon correspondent, getting the job by driving from Georgia to the Pentagon on the day of 9/11 to report from the scene. He became Fox’s White House Correspondent during the final years of Goerge W. Bush’s presidency, leaving the post shortly after Bush left his. Baier is now the host of the popular show Special Report. He earns a pretty decent salary, bringing in $7 million per year.
Lawrence O’Donnell: $4 million
For someone who’s spent a lot of his career filling in for other people, Lawrence O’Donnell has sure done well for himself! These days, O’Donnell is best known for his MSNBC opinion and news show The Last Word. His hosting duties earn him an impressive $4 million salary! Prior to The Last Word‘s inception in 2011, O’Donnell often filled in for Keith Olbermann on Countdown – a show that his program eventually replaced. Aside from his work with MSNBC, he’s had a pretty varied career. He started off as the aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, before using his political expertise to contribute to the hit drama The West Wing. He’s also previously tried his hand at acting, portraying Lee Hatcher in the HBO show Big Love.
Katie Couric: $10 million
Katie Couric is one of the best-known faces in the world of TV journalism, and her salary reflects that. Her most recent contract with Yahoo! News was worth a cool $10 million per year. Not too shabby! However, it was a bit of a downgrade from her CBS anchor days: that gig was apparently worth $15 million yearly by the time Couric left the network. Wow! Couric has recently left her regular position Yahoo! News to work with them only on a project-piece basis. She’s going to be spending most of her time working on her own production company, Katie Couric Media. She’s currently partnering with National Geographic to produce a number of documentaries, the first of which – Gender Revolution – premiered last year. Good for her!
Anderson Cooper: $11 million
CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper is doing pretty well for himself these days. His current contract with the network is reported to be worth no less than $11 million per year, with his show Anderson Cooper 360° being the source of most of his salary. No wonder he owns a multi-million dollar property in Manhattan, two homes in the Hamptons, and numerous pretty flashy cars! Despite being a member of the famous Vanderbilt family, Cooper has had to earn his fortune the hard way. Recent reports have suggested that he’s not in line to inherit any of his mother Gloria’s $200 million fortune, but also couldn’t care less. He made his money himself and is proud of it.
Erin Andrews: $2 million
Sports anchor Erin Andrews is a familiar face for fans of two very different activities: football and dancing. As well as being an NFL sideline reporter for Fox, Andrews is also now a host of Dancing With The Stars after appearing as a contestant in 2010. Her annual salary is reputed to be around the $2 million mark! She also recently got a $55 million payout after undergoing a pretty disgusting stalking incident. After a man named Michael Barrett filmed her getting changed through a peephole in the Nashville Mariott Hotel, Andrews sued both her stalker and the hotel for negligence and invasion of privacy. Barrett also faced a prison sentence and a pretty heavy fine. As he should!
Christiane Amanpour: $2 million
As the Chief International Correspondent for CNN, British-Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour is reported to earn around $2 million per year. Amanpour has had a long and successful career so far, starting out at CNN back in 1983. She received international attention after her coverage of Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait in 1990 and became known for her fearless attitude towards reporting from war zones. She initially served as CNN Chief International Correspondent from 1992 to 2010, after which she briefly moved to ABC to anchor This Week. However, this move was short-lived, and Amanpour returned to CNN in 2012.