It may seem like news broadcasters have easy jobs, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reach the top ranks of the news media. One thing that’s for sure, however, is that those who do reach the upper echelons of TV news are paid well for it. Here are some salaries of TV news personalities that you’ll be shocked by.
Katie Couric, $15 Million
When you become a household name like Katie Couric has over the last few decades, you definitely get paid according to your prestige level. Katie worked hard to become co-anchor of The Today Show, which was a role that she held for 15 years before becoming the first female anchor in CBS Evening News history. Most recently, she was seen on Yahoo! News as the team’s global anchor.
Meredith Vieira, $11 Million
Meredith Vieira first entered the public eye during her time on 60 Minutes, in which she served as a news correspondent. She also earned a lot of national attention on The View, where she was one of the original panelists. To round out her impressive resume, Vieira hosted the popular game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? for some time. She can now be seen serving as a special correspondent on NBC as well as on The Today Show, where she is a co-anchor.
Samantha Steele Ponder, $5 Million
Samantha Steele Ponder had big shoes to fill when she took over for Erin Andrews on ESPN’s popular show College GameDay in 2012. Samantha performed admirably and has seen her career progress steadily ever since. She can be seen as a sideline reporter during ESPN’s Thursday night coverage of college football and also as the host of the network’s Sunday NFL Countdown each weekend.
Cari Champion, $1 Million
Cari Champion first found a role that suited her when she took her passion for tennis and turned it into a broadcasting role on the Tennis Channel. Since then, she has blossomed into an all-around sports anchor and moved on from just reporting on tennis to become an anchor for ESPN’s SportsCenter. She has also worked in other areas, including entertainment news, in the past.
Jon Stewart, $25 Million
Jon Stewart has certainly come a long way since his humble beginnings as a stand-up comedian in New York City. Although he would eventually move on from stand-up comedy, he used his comedic timing during his short-lived talk show on MTV. While that opportunity didn’t last long, he parlayed it into his legendary run on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. He was making a cool $25 million per year when he retired from the show in 2015!
Anderson Cooper, $11 Million
Anderson Cooper could have had a much different lifestyle than the one he currently lives, as he began adulthood as a CIA intern during college. After finishing school, though, he knew that journalism was his true passion. The hard-working journalist did his own reporting in Myanmar and earned a break in the news industry, and the rest is history. He has since hosted his self-titled show, Anderson Cooper 360°, and served as a correspondent on 60 Minutes.
Megyn Kelly, $15 Million
Like Anderson Cooper, Megyn Kelly originally wasn’t certain that journalism was the career for her. She began her career as a lawyer, but decided to take some journalism classes, nonetheless. However, she picked up the necessary skills quickly as an intern for a local NBC affiliate and went on to get her first reporting job on ABC. Since then, she has gone on to appear on several Fox News programs and now hosts Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.
Tomi Lahren, $200 Thousand
Tomi Lahren has parlayed her social media fame and viral videos into a burgeoning career in news commentary. Along with her self-titled show Tomi on TheBlaze, her videos were shared so often on social networks that BBC news compared her Facebook following to that of Donald Trump himself. She has been seen regularly as of late on Fox News and also works for the pro-Trump organization Great America Alliance.
Shepard Smith, $10 Million
This well-known news anchor began his career at a few local news stations throughout Florida. He was able to get his big break on Fox News when the network first launched in the mid-1990s, and that has been his home for the ensuing two decades. Shepard has hosted Studio B as well as his show Shepard Smith Reporting, which has aired continuously since 2013.
Chris Cuomo, $2.5 Million
After appearances on CNBC, MSNBC, and other networks as a guest and commentator, Chris Cuomo was eventually hired by Fox News to report news for the network. After his stint there, Cuomo became a news anchor for Good Morning America, where he worked from 2006 to 2009. He now serves as the host of Cuomo Prime Time and co-anchors CNN’s morning show, as well.
Brooke Baldwin, $1.5 Million
After beginning her career as a reporter for a local Virginia station, Baldwin got her first big break at a different station in Washington, D.C. Then, she joined The Rick List on CNN in 2008. She eventually took over that show and moved on to even bigger and better things by getting her own show. She can currently be seen on CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin.
Erin Andrews, $1 Million
Erin Andrews has always been a sports buff, so her start as a reporter for the Tampa Bay Lightning made perfect sense. She would eventually go from Fox Sports Florida to ESPN in 2004, where she made a name for herself covering college football but would go on to cover the NFL and Major League Baseball, as well. Since 2010, she has hosted Dancing with the Stars while working as an NFL sideline reporter since 2014.
Scott Pelley, $5 Million
Scott Pelley worked in journalism for years in Texas, taking jobs in cities such as Lubbock, Fort Worth, and Dallas. He eventually caught on at CBS News, where he made a name for himself on the national stage and worked for 30 years. After anchoring the evening news for six years, Pelley has gone on to work as a correspondent for 60 Minutes, pulling a hefty salary in the process.
Rachel Maddow, $7 Million
Rachel Maddow has risen to become one of the most popular liberal news personalities in the US. She not only hosts The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, but she also has a radio version of the show. She also co-anchors with Brian Williams for big events that are covered by NBC. Whether you agree with her views or not, it’s hard to deny Maddow’s popularity.
Diane Sawyer, $12 Million
Unlike most of the news personalities on this list, Diane Sawyer got her start as a weather forecaster. From there, she was hired by CBS News in 1978, where she began to earn a reputation as a trusted reporter. Since working for CBS, she has gone on to higher profile jobs, including stints on Good Morning America and 20/20.
Bill O’Reilly, $20 Million
Love him or hate him, this controversial news personality has become a household name over the past twenty years. Bill O’Reilly started with Fox News when the network began in 1996 and stayed with them until 2017, when his career ended among accusations regarding past scandals. Still, O’Reilly made a lot of money over two decades while headlining his show, The O’Reilly Factor.
Lara Spencer, $3 Million
Lara Spencer has done a little bit of everything during her successful career in TV news. Not only has she contributed to The Early Show on CBS and hosted The Insider, but she also worked as the host of Antique Roadshow on PBS. Her other entertainment hosting credits include HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. She now co-anchors Good Morning America and has authored two books.
Amy Robach, $300 Thousand
Amy Robach started off as a WTTG anchor in Washington, D.C., before landing a gig at NBC News in 2003. She stayed there for four years before taking a position as co-anchor of Weekend Today for the following five years. Since 2012, she has worked for ABC News, where her fans have watched her on Good Morning America and as a news anchor for the past three years.
Brian Williams, $10 Million
Brian Williams earned the trust of the entire NBC viewership during his ten-year stint as lead anchor on NBC Nightly News. However, his career hit a huge stumbling block when he was found to have made up a story about being caught under fire during his Iraq War coverage in 2003. Since the scandal, he has been with MSNBC, where he hosts The 11th Hour with Brian Williams.
Lester Holt, $4.5 Million
Lester Holt is a longtime veteran in the news business, having worked in the business for over three decades. He started off with CBS, where he worked with various affiliates before making the move to MSNBC in 2000. It took him just three more years to become NBC Nightly News‘ substitute anchor and get a role on The Today Show. Holt now anchors NBC Nightly News on weekdays and hosts Dateline.
Chris Matthews, $5 Million
Chris Matthews actually started off in newspaper journalism with the San Francisco Examiner. He covered political news while also writing a column for the San Francisco Chronicle. By 1997, he got his shot at a talk show, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews. That show has aired for over 20 years, and he also hosted The Chris Matthews Show for 11 years before ending the second show to focus on Hardball.
Al Roker, $8 Million
As the weekday weather reporter for The Today Show, Al Roker is certainly the most famous meteorologist working today. He succeeded the legendary Willard Scott in 1996 after working on The Today Show off and on as a substitute anchor. Before he started on The Today Show, he worked on NBC News at Sunrise, which he originally started with back in 1983.
Billy Bush, $3 Million
Billy is not the most famous man in his family. That’s because he’s related to two US presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Billy worked as an Access Hollywood correspondent before taking over the show as primary anchor. He had begun to work as a co-host on The Today Show before the famous audio recording between Bush and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump surfaced and hurt his career.
Joe Buck, $5 Million
The son of an announcer, Joe Buck worked his way through minor league baseball as a play-by-play announcer before eventually getting hired by Fox Sports. Since 1994, he has achieved a number of notable accolades, including being the youngest regular NFL announcer and calling a few dozen combined World Series and All-Star Games.
Erin Burnett, $3 Million
Before CNN came calling, Erin Burnett was working as a Goldman Sachs financial analyst. Since then, she has gone from writing for CNN’s Moneyline to hosting CNBC’s Street Signs. She also co-anchored Squawk on the Street before moving back to CNN in 2011. She moved in large part to get the opportunity to host her own show, called Erin Burnett OutFront.
Matt Lauer, $28 Million
With Tom Brokaw retired, Matt Lauer may be the most famous news personality on television today. Laurer has gone from working as a substitute reporter for NBC’s The Today Show to co-anchor, which is his job title today. Although he started as a producer, he has worked his way up to a prestigious job on a popular program and a $28 million annual salary.
Kelly Ripa, $16 Million
Several of the most famous news personalities began in other fields, but Kelly Ripa is a particularly interesting case as she started off as a soap opera actress. After many talk show appearances, she was named the co-host of Live with Regis and Kelly! When Regis Philbin retired and left the show, Kelly took over as lead personality and got a healthy pay raise in the process.
Elizabeth Vargas, $750 Thousand
In 1993, Elizabeth Vargas joined the team at NBC News as a correspondent for “Dateline NBC” and substitute anchor on “Today”. After jumping between various news programs, she was named an anchor on the weekend edition of “World News Tonight”. Sadly, Peter Jennings was diagnosed with cancer not too long after, so she became a fill-in for Peter Jennings for the weekday edition of “World News Tonight”. She became co-anchor of “20/20” in late 2006.
Jimmy Kimmel, $15 Million
Before making his big debut on TV, Jimmy Kimmel was a radio host, who had been fired from several jobs. He got his big break in 2007, when he was hired as the sidekick of Ben Stein on “Win Ben Stein’s Money”. After gaining popularity, he was given his own show, “The Man Show”, on Comedy Central. Today, he hosts the late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”.
Nancy O’Dell, $3 Million
After working as a reporter and anchor for a local station in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Nancy O’Dell moved to Las Vegas. It was there that she began her career in entertainment reporting. She worked for the show “A Current Affair”, until it ended in 1996. That same year, she joined the new show “Access Hollywood”. She remained as anchor and reporter for “Access Hollywood” for over 10 years. She left in 2009 and became an anchor for “Entertainment Tonight”, in 2011.
Ginger Zee, $125 Thousand
After graduating from University, Ginger Zee worked in various markets in the U.S. such as Flint, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. During her time in Chicago, she worked at an NBC operated station. NBC noticed Ginger’s talents and asked her to be a guest meteorologist on the weekend edition of “The Today Show”. Soon after, in 2012, she was hired for “Good Morning America”. In 2013, she was named the show’s chief meteorologist.
Jimmy Fallon, $16 Million
Jimmy Fallon began his career as a comedian. His goal was to be a regular on “Saturday Night Live”. He achieved this goal in 1998. After spending several years on the show, he left in order to pursue more roles in films. He returned to his TV roots in 2009 to be the host of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”. He left after 5 years on the show as he was named the 6th permanent host of “The Tonight Show”.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, $1 Million
Elisabeth Hasselbeck gained national fame after placing fourth on “Survivor: The Australian Outback”, in 2001. After her time on the reality show, she hosted a show on the Style Network for 1 year. In 2003, she auditioned and was offered a permanent panelist spot on “The View”. She worked on “The View”, until 2003, when she was offered the position of co-host on “Fox & Friends”. In 2015, she resigned as co-host on “Fox & Friends” in order to have more time with her family.
Ainsley Earhardt, $400 Thousand
In 2005, Ainsley Earhardt began working for KENS-TV in San Antonio, Texas, as a weekday anchor for the station’s morning and noon newscast. She remained there for 2 years, until she was hired by the Fox News Channel. Today, Ainsley acts as co-host of “Fox & Friends”. She also has her own segment on the new show “Hannity”. Along with those two positions, she has appeared as a panelist on “The Live Desk”, as well as co-hosted “America’s News Headquarters”.
Gio Benitez , $750 Thousand
Prior to being hired by ABC news in 2013, Gio Benitez worked for a CBS station in Miami, Florida. Since joining ABC as a correspondent, Benitez has worked on shows such as Good Morning America, World News Tonight, 20/20, and Nightline. He has reported on a wide range of events such as the Boston Marathon Bombing and the earthquake in Haiti. He has has 2 Emmy awards and has been nominated for several others. He is also the current host of the Fusion channel’s version of Nightline.
Wendy Williams, $15 Million
Wendy Williams got her start in broadcasting as a radio host. Her outspoken personality quickly gained lots of attention. She was given a nationally syndicated talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, in 2008. In 2009, she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Her show has been nominated for several Emmy awards and was recently renewed for the 2019-2020 television season.
Josh Elliott, $4 Million
Josh Elliot received his big TV break when he was hired by ESPN in 2004, as a panelist for several of their shows. He moved from sports to news in 2011, when he was hired to work as an anchor on “Good Morning America”. From 2014-2015, he worked for NBC. In 2016, it was announced that CBS News had hired Elliot as its lead anchor for its digital news service CBSN. He was let go from his position, after he publicly announced he would be resigning from his role before informing network executives.
Michael Strahan, $17 Million
As Michael Strahan had spent over 15 years in the NFL, it is no surprise that after his retirement, he was hired as a sports analyst. However, his outgoing personality made it easy for him to also transition to news and entertainment reporting. For 4 years, he co-hosted “Live! with Kelly and Michael”, before he became a full-time anchor on “Good Morning America”. Along with “GMA”, he is also a regular analyst on “Fox NFL Sunday”.
Terry Moran, $250 Thousand
Terry Moran has always been an ace reporter when it came to judicial and political affairs. After spending 7 years working as a correspondent and anchor for Court TV, he was hired by ABC News. He began his work on ABC as correspondent to the U.S. Supreme Court. He has since moved up the ranks and was named Chief Foreign Correspondent in 2013. He still remains in that position and is based in London.
Maria Bartiromo, $6 Million
Maria Bartiromo spent time working at CNN before she was hired by CNBC. During her time on CNBC, she filled many roles such as anchoring the “Closing Bell” and hosting “On the Money with Maria Bartiromo”. She moved to Fox News in 2013, where she once again took on several roles. She currently hosts “Mornings with Maria”, “Wall Street Week with Maria Bartiromo”, and “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo”.
Sam Champion, $2 Million
Sam Champion began his professional career as a weatherman in Kentucky and Florida. In 1998, he landed a role on an ABC affiliate station in New York City. After showing his talents there, he was moved to the network’s flagship station to begin working on “Good Morning America”, in 2006. He left “Good Morning America”, in 2013, to pursue a position at The Weather Channel. Until 2016, Champion acted as a host and managing editor of the channel.
Paula Faris, $600 Thousand
Paula Faris worked for a NBC affiliate in Chicago, before she was hired by ABC news in 2012. For two years, she acted as anchor on “World News Now” and “America this Morning”. She was promoted, in 2014, to co-anchor of the weekend edition of “Good Morning America”. Along with currently working on “GMA”, she is also a regular panelist on “The View”.
Martha Raddatz, $2.5 Million
Martha Raddatz decided to pursue a professional career before she finished college. Therefore, she never received her degree. She worked for National Public Radio covering the Pentagon, from 1993-1998. In 1998, she was hired by ABC News. Today, she is the network’s Chief Global Correspondent as well as regularly fills-in on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”.
Katy Tur, $500 Thousand
After working for a NBC affiliate in New York, Katy Tur was moved to the network’s flagship station. She was the network’s main correspondent in covering the Trump Presidential campaign. She has since wrote and published a book, titled “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History”, which is about her experience being so close to the campaign. She can be seen regularly on many of the network’s shows such as “Today” and “Meet the Press”.
Dan Rather, $6 Million
Dan Rather was one of the 3, “Big Three” news anchors of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. He, along with Peter Jennings and Tim Brokaw, anchored their respective network’s nightly news for over 20 years. Rather anchored the “CBS Nightly News” for 24 years and he retired in 2005.
Martha MacCallum, $8 Million
Martha MacCallum’s most recent role at Fox News was as the anchor of the temporary program “The First 100”. The show was created to cover the exit of the Obama administration and the entrance of the Trump administration. The show was so well received that it was reformatted and became a permanent show called “The Story with Martha MacCallum”. She had previously worked on “The Live Desk” and “America’s Newsroom”.
Chuck Todd, $750 Thousand
Chuck Todd is a political extraordinaire. He is currently NBC’s Political Director, the moderator of “Meet the Press” and the host of “MTP Daily”. Before “Meet the Press”, he was the host of “The Daily Rundown” and the network’s Chief White House Correspondent. He is also a regular political analyst on “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and “Today”.
Robin Roberts, $14 Million
Like many other people on this list, Robin Roberts had a relatively humble start as an anchor at a local station in Mississippi. From there, she moved on to Atlanta, Nashville, and eventually ESPN, where she worked for 15 years, beginning in 1990. Robin left ESPN in 2005 and today works as co-anchor of Good Morning America, where she started as a feature reporter.
George Stephanopoulos, $10 Million
George Stephanopoulos began his ascent to mainstream fame as Bill Clinton’s communications director for the two-time president’s 1992 campaign. From there, he went on to serve as the White House’s communications director and eventually, a career as a journalist. He now has high profile gigs as the co-anchor of Good Morning America and host of This Week on ABC.
Ann Curry, $5 Million
As a 1978 graduate of the University of Oregon, Ann Curry knew that she wanted to pursue a career in journalism. She did her internship at Oregon’s KTVL before becoming the station’s first female news reporter. She was able to move to a much larger market in Los Angeles, where she won two local Emmys. She now works with NBC on the flagship NBC Nightly News program.