15 Highest Earning TV Journalists and How They Made It

By Margaux Pangilinan

They give you the news as it happens. Newscasters have a big role in our everyday lives, providing the latest news from different industries that are relevant to us.

Of course, with this big responsibility on their shoulders, it’s expected that the networks they work with (and not to mention their popular appeal on television) would get them big incomes.

Today, we are going to look at the top 15 highest earning TV journalists and how they made it big until now.

15. Erin Burnett

 

Salary: $3 million

Erin Burnett is one of CNN’s most notable news personalities with her own show Erin Burnett Outfront. Aside from this, she also co-hosted Squawk on the Street, which aired on CNBC from 2005 to 2011.

People / © DANIEL ZUCHNIK/WIREIMAGE, Forbes / © JOHN NOWAK

She first started her career in Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst. She then worked in the company’s investment banking department, which gave special insights on Wall Street and also the general financial industry.

14. Lester Holt

 

Salary: $4 million

People know Lester Holt well as the long-time NBC news broadcaster and host for Dateline NBC and Weekday Nightly News. He may be 60 years old, but he still brings the news and updates as they happen.

Variety / © JOSE LUIS VILLEGAS/THE SACRAMENTO BEE VIA AP, POOL, FILE; CNBC

He got his news anchor job on NBC when long-time host Brian Williams was suspended from being an anchor in 2015.

13. Lawrence O'Donnell

 

Salary: $5 million

Lawrence O’Donnell hosts his own top-rated show The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC. His show is so popular that it got him to have a reported gross worth of USD $16 million.

IMDB, NY Post / © Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

O’Donnell also stands out from our list of broadcasters, as before getting into the world of broadcasting, he was an aide to New York Senator Patrick Moynihan. He was also a writer for the television show The West Wing.

Behind his busy schedule, he is also a strong contributor to causes. His own initiative for African school children called “Kids in Need of Desks” has raised around USD $6 million worth of donations.

12. Tucker Carlson

 

Salary: $6 million

Tucker Carlson is the host of his own show Tucker Carlson Tonight, which is aired on Fox news. His career started when he was a reporter for the Akansas-Democrat Gazette, then continued later into CNN’s show Crossfire.

GQ, Variety / © AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

One of the things that got his net worth to be in such great numbers was his publishing deal for his book titled Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.

11. Rachel Maddow

 

Salary: $7 million

Rachel Maddow is a news anchor for MSNBC. She is a pioneer in the new industry and is the first ever lesbian to be a host of a major news show. The show The Rachel Maddow Show successfully aired on the said network in 2009.

The Stranger, Hollywood Reporter / © Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Before getting her own show, she was one of the original hosts for the left-wing national radio network Air American in 2004 and 2005. In 2005, her first job at MSNBC was as a network contributor, then she got up in the ranks when she was a substitute host for various network news programs in 2008 and 2009.

She didn’t stop there, as she also published her own book in 2012 titled Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. The said the book became a New York Times best-seller.

10. Scott Pelley

 

Salary: $7 million

Pelly has been with CBS News for over thirty years and has been a long-time news anchor in the network from 2011 to 2017. He is also one of the long-time correspondents on 60 Minutes. Before this big success of his life, Pelly’s previous work was being a White House chief correspondent before getting into CBS.

Deadline, Hollywood Reporter / © Sonja Flemming/CBS

He published his own book titled Truth Worth Telling: A Reporters Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times, which is a memoir of his career as a reporter. The said book also tells a story of his life, covering critical world events like the war on Iraq and 9-11.

9. Bret Baier

 

Salary: $7 million

He is the host of the Fox News show Special Report with Bret Baier and made a name for himself as one of America’s most top-rated news anchors. He started working for Fox in 1998.

Yahoo Finance, The Wrap

He served as the network’s White House correspondent before he got his own primetime news show. He is also notable for having covered news from dangerous war-torn countries like Iraq and Afghanistan 20 times. For a critical job that covers dangerous places, it no question that he has earned a lot and gained a big reputation in the industry since.

8. Shepard Smith

 

Salary: $10 million

He is the host of his own news show Shepard Smith Reporting, which is aired on Fox News. He is more than just a new anchor and host; he also plays the role of managing news editor for Fox.

@shepnewsteam / Twitter.com, NY Daily News / © Richard Drew/AP

Before getting into Fox in 1996, he started his broadcasting career way back in California and Florida.

7. Maria Bartiromo

 

Salary: $10 million

Maria Bartiromo is known for being one of the critical and no-nonsense finance and business reporters for CNBCShe is now with Fox Business Network as chief global business editor. She is not just in the world of news but also in Hollywood films like Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Taking of Pelham 123, and Risk/Reward, to name a few.

Forbes, Variety / © REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Her husband Jonathan Steinberg is a Wall Street financer. Reports say that because of her big role in the world of business news, she has an annual net worth of USD $50 million. Her annual salary in Fox News was recorded at USD $10 million.

6. Anderson Cooper

 

Salary: $12 million

Long-time CNN journalist Anderson Cooper is the host of his own news channel Anderson Cooper 360. His wit and his bravery on looking into some important issues have gotten him a lot of praise in the news media industry and also to the viewing audiences.

Britannica, Westerly News / © Commons Wikimedia

Anderson is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, who recently passed away at the age of 95 due to cancer. As a result of his inheritance to her mother’s estate, his estimated net worth is still a question even to this day. But, reports say that it would be around USD $100 million.

5. George Stephanopoulos

 

Salary: $15 million

George Stephanopoulos is the co-anchor for ABC’s show Good Morning America and an anchor for ABC World News. Working and being in these two popular news programs got him to earn an estimated net worth of $40 million with an annual salary of USD $15 million.

WSB, Page Six / © Getty Images

Aside from being a popular TV news personality, he was a former aide to former President Clinton. He also worked for the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis, who lost to George H. W. Bush. He worked for the Clinton administration until 1996. He then went on to become a broadcaster in 2002.

4. Michael Strahan

 

Salary: $17 million

After retiring as the New York Giants’ defensive end for the NFL in 2007, Michael Strahan started working as an analyst for Fox NFL Sunday. His fame as an athlete, as well as being a television personality, has also paved the way for him to do other jobs like hosting for big events.

TIME / © Taylor Hill—2016 Taylor Hill/Getty Images, TIME / © Pamela Hanson

He was previously on the daytime talk show Live! with Kelly and Michael from 2012 to 2016. Being part of the show got him to win the Daytime Emmy Award twice!

3. Robin Roberts

 

Salary: $18 million

People know Robin Roberts as the co-host for ABC’s popular morning show Good Morning America. She then left the network to work for the popular sports news channel ESPN in 2005.

In Style / © Getty Images, NBA

Roberts is a cancer survivor and has been one of the active voices when it comes to cancer awareness and recovery. It was confirmed in reports that her huge millions of net worth came from her work at ABC.

Being one of the popular and memorable hosts on Good Morning America, she earned four Emmy Awards.

2. Diane Sawyer

 

Salary: $22 million

Diane Sawyer made it big in her career when she was the first-ever woman correspondent for the CBS show 60 Minutes in 1984. She is also a news anchor for CBS Morning News, and ABC World News from 2009 to 2014.

ABC News, TIME / © Larsen & Talbert/Icon

Being part of the industry since the 80s, it’s no question that her net worth also matches her reputation as one of the most popular news anchors out there. She is the widow of Hollywood director and producer Mike Nichols, who passed away in 2014.

1. Sean Hannity

 

Salary: $40 million

Sean Hannity is a Long Island, New York resident who got his name big in the industry when he got hired by Fox News back in 1996. He was the host for Hannity and Colmes, a news and political talk show on the Fox News channel, which aired until 2009.

Biography, Washington Post

He is now a host of his titular show The Sean Hannity Show, which earned him millions. It was also confirmed that this show had earned an estimated net worth of USD $250 million.

Before getting into television, his career in media started in being a radio broadcaster in the 1980s. He even has a talk show at the University of California where he studied. His long-time years as a broadcaster with Fox earned him the status of one of the wealthiest news personalities in the United States.

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