These news anchors know that journalistic integrity is not all it takes to be at the top of the television journalism game. We wake up with them, we eat dinner with them, sometimes we go to bed with them, as they appear on our televisions every day to deliver us all the biggest breaking stories out of Washington D.C., Hollywood, and all over the world. They may have different takes on the hot topics of today, but one thing is certainly true, they have earned their reputations as television reporters. So how much do these top-tier newsfolk earn each year?
Since her career began behind the scenes at Good Morning America at age 16, Abby Huntsman has been bouncing around news networks before landing at The View in 2018. The former Fox News correspondent was estimated to be earning $3 million before boarding ABC, but a switch in salary isn’t what brought Huntsman to the network.
Huntsman interned for iconic anchor Diane Sawyer, and the experience made a real impression on an impressionable Huntsman, “I always think of her as someone that I hope I can try to be like.” After, Huntsman hoped to find herself back on ABC, and now couldn’t be happier, “I feel so lucky to have a job where I don’t feel limited.”
The (former) NBC news anchor of Megyn Kelly Today famously bid farewell to Fox News for NBC with the promise of a three-year contract offering her a purported $69 million. After it was confirmed that Kelly was indeed leaving Fox News, reports ran rampant about the notable news anchor’s yearly draw.
Despite figures ranging from $18 – $33 million a year as host of Megyn Kelly Today, Kelly wouldn’t spill her salary specifics. The veteran television journalist did have this to say though, “I earn every penny that is in my salary. Every penny.” As one of the highest-paid anchors on television, that’s a lot of pennies!
In December 2017 E! News anchor Catt Sadler gave one of her most revealing exposés yet as an anchor in entertainment news – her yearly salary. After twelve years with the network, Sadler signed off the air on her star-centric show after finding out that she was making half her co-host’s take-home.
Despite being, in Sadler’s words, “similarly situated,” within the network, Sadler was making $600,000 a year, while her co-host, Jason Kennedy, was making nearly double, with estimates coming in at $1 – 1.2 million. But don’t worry, there’s no bad blood between the two, with the network explaining that the pay disparity is in keeping with company policy of paying per seniority.
Named one of the Most Powerful People in Media by The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, Kelly Ripa has been a big part of millions of viewers mornings since joining Live! in 2000. All these years later, you’d better believe everyone’s favorite bubbly blonde is bringing in the big bucks.
Ripa is reported to be raking in $20 million a year as of 2018 and after nearly two decades as co-host of Live!. Currently on her third co-host, Ryan Seacrest, the daytime duo has been breaking entertainment news in interviews with the who’s who of Hollywood to rave review – and she’s got the Daytime Emmy awards too to prove it!
Getting in on the ground floor, Nancy O’Dell started on Access Hollywood in its 1996 debut. Known for dishing on everything hot that’s coming out of Hollywood with nothing but straight Southern class, O’Dell is currently serving as co-host of Entertainment Tonight. O’Dell has more than earned her place as one of the top entertainment news earners out there today.
Earning approximately $2 million each year, entertainment news veteran Nancy O’Dell joined Entertainment Tonight in 2011 and for her, the co-hosting gig was a childhood dream come true. “I remember watching Entertainment Tonight from my home in South Carolina as a teenager and thinking, I’d love to work for that show!”
Ever since entering the arena of sports news on ESPN, Erin Andrews has stolen the show, becoming a star sportscaster. Since starting out in 2004, Andrews has exited ESPN for Fox Sports, where the reporter is reported to be earning $2 million a year.
No longer the rookie of sports reporters, Erin Andrews is an ace at the sideline interview, handling amped up athletes with ease. For Andrews, it’s more that just sports stats, it’s about stories – from her sportscaster dad specifically. “He helped me become a fan of the sport, and I wanted to be able to share those stories on-air with viewers for a living.”
Univision’s viewership went way up after they brought Puerto Rican meteorologist and journalist Jackie Guerrido onto their afternoon news program Primer Impacto (First Impact). Guerrido’s got to be doing a good job over at Univision, because the co-host of Hispanic hit Primer Impacto is reported to make a sizeable yearly salary of $900,000.
Jackie Guerido’s pay for Primer Impacto puts her in the upper tier of top-earning news anchors, with a total take-home estimated at $10 million. Guerrido got her start on radio in Miami, before moving over to meteorology at Despierta America and eventually moving up as co-anchor on Primer Impacto.
After Erin Andrews traded up on ESPN from College GameDay to Sunday NFL Countdown, Samantha Steele Ponder was drafted to take over hosting duties. Steele Ponder would eventually take Andrews’ old anchor gig once again, on Sunday NFL Countdown, where she’s currently call games from the sidelines.
Rapidly rising in the sportscaster ranks, Steele Ponder scores a surprising salary for someone so young, making a sweet $4.9 million. Football is a family affair for Steele Ponder, who married Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder in 2012. The next generation of Ponders will probably be football superfans too, with Samantha Steele Ponder reporting while pregnant with baby no. 3 during Super Bowl 2018.
MSNBC was lucky to nab Natalie Morales as an on air anchor in 2002, just as the journalists career was set to take off. Covering a wide range of big breaking news stories for MSNBC, Morales moved to the Today Show in 2006, where she’s been an anchor ever since.
As a well regarded newscaster, Natalie Morales makes approximately $2 million a year anchoring the Today Show and acting as a correspondent on Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News. Over the course of her career, Morales has covered the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, the trial of Scott Peterson, and more.
Award winning anchor Brooke Baldwin has been boosting network ratings since she’s started sitting behind the desk on CNN Newsroom in 2008. As a popular political journalist, and an accomplished anchor, Baldwin’s big pay day is more than double the average annual salary for an anchor at CNN.
While the average anchor at CNN is making about $58,432 per annum, as an experienced anchor, Brooke Baldwin is bringing in nearly triple at $153,000 a year. Baldwin’s often discussing the biggest breaking stories and political bombshells live as they leave Washington D.C., but in her spare time, Baldwin is building an impressive resume as a director of documentaries for CNN.
After bouncing around a from network to network, including some time at ESPN, Versus, Big Ten Network and GSN, Thompson as taken her hosting skills to Fox Sports. As the face of Fox NFL Kickoff, Thompson takes fans into a football frame of mind as the pregame to Erin Andrew’s show Fox NFL Sunday.
Getting her start in sportscasting in 2006, Charissa Thompson quickly took top spot as a favorite among football fans. Thompson’s take-home reflects her fan favorite status on Fox Sports, with a yearly salary of $1 million. Her fun football commentary and obviously ease on camera will definitely make her top-earning sportscaster soon.
As one of the most recognizable and respected journalists on air today, Anderson Cooper has been covering breaking news as an anchor on CNN since 2001. The silver-haired host of Anderson Cooper 360 and contributing correspondent on 60 Minutes can consider himself one of the top earning television newsmen with a cool $12 million per annum.
Before assuming his position as news anchor over at CNN, Anderson Cooper started out as a summer intern at the CIA while studying political science at Yale. A self-described “news junkie since I was in utero,” Cooper’s approach to reporting is admirable, “Be honest about what you see, get out of the way and let the story reveal itself.”
Before she was breaking barriers as the only African-American woman to host a daily news show on any of the three major cable news networks (ABC, CBS, NBC), Harris Faulkner got her start in a different form of news delivery – freelance writing for LA Weekly. Currently, Faulkner is breaking news as the anchor on The Fox Report.
For her work on Fox News’ The Fox Report, Harris Faulkner is filing away an annual salary of $400,000. Faulkner takes her role as an African-American newswoman seriously, saying, “It’s a tremendous amount of responsibility.” But Faulkner is having fun too, “I consider it a calling and a blessing that I get to do it.”
Fox News network star Sean Hannity is spread out across multiple platforms, appearing as a political commentator, host of his eponymous Fox News show, and taking to talk radio too. In 2018, Forbes estimated Hannity to take in an impressive haul, hitting the ranks of highest-earning hosts with a salary of $36 million annually.
Sean Hannity’s nightly Fox News program, Hannity, pulls in the most viewers in its timeslot, delivering a mix of monologues, guest commentators, and opinion pieces to approximately 3 million viewers. Hannity isn’t looking to hang up his hat anytime soon (and with that salary, who would?), saying, “I feel blessed to be in this business.”
NBC has been home to newsman Brian Williams since 1993. The network knew what Williams was capable of early on, seating him behind the Weekend Nightly News desk in his debut at NBC. As the current Chief Anchor on MSNBC and the host of nightly news show The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, the veteran journalist is estimated to earn $10 million annually.
For his work reporting on Hurricane Katrina, Williams, along with the entire staff at NBC Nightly News were awarded a Peabody Award. Brian Williams has also been awarded an honor any anchor would be happy to hear, and was called a “fastidious newsman” by none other than news icon Walter Cronkite.
Susan Li has come a long way before landing her job as a journalist on Fox Business Network. Born in China and growing up in Toronto, Li has been a business news reporter all over the world with CBC, CCTV, CNBC Asia, CNBC Europe, and CNBC (U.S.). Li left CNBC in August 2017, where it’s estimated she was earning approximately $650,995 a year.
As an anchor for Fox Business Network, Susan Li bring a lot to the table. The international anchor is not only fluent in stock market speak, Li can also speak Cantonese and Mandarin fluently. Since signing with Fox, Li has interviewed important figures like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
One of the most decorated television journalists to date, Diane Sawyer is definitely an iconic anchor. From her first job in journalism in 1967 to her tenure as the anchor on ABC World News, Sawyer has earned her status as a serious reporter and her rather sizable salary of $22 million altogether per annum.
Following in the footsteps of famed anchor Walter Cronkite, Diane Sawyer had a signature sign off at the end of each night as anchor on ABC World News, “I’ll see you right back here tomorrow night.” Sawyer was steady figure on the nightly news, before deciding to focus more on investigative specials and interviews.
The big three cable news networks clearly caught onto the accountability Katie Couric conveys as an anchor, with the veteran television journalist had stints at NBC News from 1989-2006, CBS News from 2006-2011, and ABC News from 2011-2014. In her time at CBS, Couric was contracted for $15 million a year, making her the highest paid journalist in the world!
After exiting ABC News to anchor online as Yahoo’s global news anchor, Katie Couric was reportedly taking in $10 million. Couric ended her contract as Yahoo’s anchor to clear her schedule for the continued growth of her production company. But, ever the professional, Couric will pop by Yahoo News on a “project basis.”
As the original moderator of The View, Meredith Vieira is a veteran television journalist, breaking into broadcast news in 1975. It wasn’t long before CBS News caught Vieira as a correspondent, before eventually making her co-anchor on CBS Morning News. Today, Vieira is perhaps best known for her work co-anchoring The Today Show on NBC.
After many years in as an on-air anchor, Vieira has proven herself to be a valuable anchor. Accordingly, Vieira earns an estimated $8 million annually. Vieira continues to act as a special correspondent for NBC News and contributes regularly to Today, NBC Nightly News and other news programs on the network.
Today she’s known as the anchor of her own CNN Show, Erin Burnett OutFront reporting live from different borders around the world, but before then, Erin Isabelle Burnett graced the screens on CNBC as the host of Street Signs and the co-anchor of Squawk on the Street. If that doesn’t ring a bell, then her appearances on NBC and MSNBC networks and The Celebrity Apprentice might spark your memory.
The Maryland native known for her stellar documentary and reporting skills has landed her an annual salary of $3 million. This means that as a veteran and skilled news anchor, her salary is higher than the average annual salary at CNN, which according to paysa.com, ranges between $50,555 to $106,896.
There are few reporters in the same ranks as Robin Roberts, who has been a reliable presence on daytime TV since 2005. As co-anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America, Roberts has helped raise the morning program’s ratings, and taken the daytime team to four Emmy wins for Outstanding Morning Program.
After the dismissal of her one-time co-anchor Matt Lauer, Robin Roberts rose to one of the title of one of TV’s highest paid hosts, earning a reported $18 million a year. Roberts regularly hosts awards show pre-shows covering red carpet arrivals, and on her own has won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2014.
Highly respected reporter Lester Holt has been raising the bar as anchor of NBC Nightly News since taking over from Brian Williams in 2015. In assuming the role as host, Holt became the first African-American to anchor a nightly newscast on his own.
As of 2015 Lester Holt was reported to be receiving $4.5 million a year but has since been estimated to make more to match predecessor Brian Williams’ salary. In addition to his nightly newscast, Holt hopped into the hot seat as moderator of the first Presidential debate in 2016, and easily earning respect from both sides for his fairness.
With high standards and a strict stance on hard news, Mika Brzezinski has been holding court as co-host on MSNBC’s Morning Joe since its debut in 2007. While many wouldn’t mix their professional and private lives, Mika Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough became a real-life couple, marrying in 2018.
While it’s reported that her co-host and husband Joe Scarborough hauls in a hefty paycheck of $8 million a year, reports vary on Mika Brzezinski’s salary. While some outlets have the Morning Joe anchor averaging $2 million a year, it’s believed that Brzezinski bumped up to anywhere between $4 – 8 million after re-negotiating her contract.
When Michael Strahan left Live! With Kelly and Michael much was made about his reasons for switching teams to Good Morning America, but a bump in salary might have something to do with this former-footballer’s decision. Strahan’s income, altogether, per annum, puts him in the top ten earners on television today.
Together with his position as a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday, Michael Strahan is scoring somewhere around $21.5 million a year. Spiking up from a yearly pull of $10 million to approximately $17-20 million after moving from Live! to Good Morning America, it’s not hard to see that Strahan’s strategy was a smart one.
Former White House Director of Communications to President Clinton, George Stephanopoulos is no stranger to the press. So, it seems pretty fair to say that Stephanopoulos’ salary is equal to his years of experience as a political advisor and as an anchor.
Since George Stephanopoulos’ stint as Senior Advisor to the President, he started as a political analyst for ABC News, eventually rising to his current role as Chief Anchor at ABC News. With his many anchor duties across ABC News including Good Morning America, This Week, and sometimes serving as a substitute on ABC World News Tonight, Stephanopoulos sees a salary of $15 – 18 million.
Despite the satirical tone on-set at The Daily Show, Trevor Noah is still delivering the news to late night watchers weekly. Taking on the title of anchor from late-night news’ titular host Jon Stewart, Noah is nailing it as a comedic newsman.
Trevor Noah’s sarcastic stylings as he delivers the details of the day’s news, have proved The Daily Show fans he can keep up with his predecessor. Leading the late-night news pack, his The Daily Show income is expected to total $4 million a year. Noah nabbed himself a nice deal with Comedy Central, when he extended his contract for another five years, keeping him on air as anchor and including year-end specials until 2022.
Sources: time.com, forbes.com, ninjajournalist.com