News anchors are some of the wealthiest celebrities in the world. Good news anchors typically have to prove themselves throughout their career. In order to get high paying jobs most newscasters and journalists have built a career based on knowledge, experience and integrity. However, to get to the top of the list of earners in this field there needs to be something special, another level that can be reached. This level cannot even be quantified by years of experience or training. These are the people that seem to have that “special something” that draws viewers in as well as increases their value to producers. And because of that “special something” most of these news anchors are viewed as “untouchable” with regards to job security.
Here are the 20 richest news anchors in the world: *This list has been updated according to the latest data as of 2019
20. Lester Holt – $12 million
Lester Holt is the anchor of NBC’s “Weekday Nightly News” and anchors “Dateline NBC”. He makes $4 million a year and has a net worth of $12 million. Holt was born in California in 1959 and majored in government at the University of California, Sacramento. He began working for CBS in 1981 as a reporter in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. He joined MSNBC in 2000 and became the full time co-anchor of NBC’s “Weekend Today” following the death of David Blume. Holt became anchor of “NBC Nightly News”, the weekend edition, in 2007. Lester Holt took over NBC’s “Weekday Nightly News” for Brian Williams in 2015. Holt lives in Manhattan with his wife Carol Hagen. They have two sons.
19. David Gregory – $12 million
Since last year David Gregory has served as a political analyst for CNN. Before that he hosted ABC’s Sunday morning news program “Meet the Press”. David Gregory has a net worth of $12 million and earned $4 million last year. Born in 1970 in Los Angeles, Journalism appealed to Gregory at an early age. He began working as a television reporter in Arizona at the age of 18. Gregory graduated from American University in Washington DC in 1992 majoring in International Studies. While there he worked for the campus radio station. He began his career working at the NBC affiliate in Sacramento, California. Gregory started at NBC co-anchoring news shows on CNBC and then as the substitute co-anchor for Lester Holt on “Weekend Today” in 2003. From 2005 through 2014 Gregory was a substitute for Matt Lauer on the “Today Show” and as a fill in anchor for “NBC Nightly News” and “Weekend Nightly News. In 2008 Gregory began serving as the moderator on “Meet the Press”. David Gregory and his wife Beth Wilkinson, a former Federal Prosecutor, have 3 children.
18. Erin Burnett – $13 million
Erin Burnett is the anchor of CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront”. She has a net worth of $13 million and makes $3 million a year. Burnett was born in Maryland in 1974. She studied political science and economy at Williams College in Massachusetts. She was a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs and began working for CNN as a booker and writer for programs including “Moneyline” and “Lou Dobbs”. She then served as vice president of CitiMedia. Erin Burnett worked for CNBC before returning to CNN in 2011 where she has her own prime time news program. Burnett is married to David Rubulotta, a finance executive. They have a son and daughter.
17. Steve Kroft – $17 million
Steve Kroft has been an award winning correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes” since 1990. He has a net worth of $17 million and earned $5 million last year. Kroft was born in Indiana in 1945. He went to Syracuse University and served in the US Army in Vietnam. He began his journalism career in 1971 as a reporter at a television station in Syracuse. He received his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1975. Kroft worked as an investigative reporter in Florida before joining CBS in 1980 as a reporter working in New York City. Four years later Kroft became a foreign correspondent for CBS in London. After joining CBS, Kroft earned an Emmy award for his story on Chernobyl. He won a Peabody award for his story on the Gulf War in a 1992 segment on “60 Minutes.” He and his wife, Jennet Conant, a journalist and author have one son.
16. Lawrence O’Donnell and Tucker Carlson – $16 million
Lawrence O’Donnell is the host of “The Last Word with Laurence O’Donnell” on CNBC. He has a net worth of $16 million and reportedly earns $5 million a year. O’Donnell was born in Boston in 1951. He studied economics at Harvard University. He published his first book “Deadly Force” in 1983. He served as a Senate legislative aide from 1989 through 1995 and then as a senior aide to Senator Moynihan. O’Donnell worked as a writer for “The West Wing”. He joined MSNBC in 2009 as a regular contributor to “Morning Joe”. He began his own show in 2010. Before getting his own show on the cable network, O’Donnell frequently filled in as host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.
16. Bret Baier – $16 million
Bret Baier is the host of Fox’s “Special Report with Bret Baier”. His net worth is $16 million and his annual salary is $7 million. Baier was born in New Jersey in 1970. He graduated from DePauw University with a degree in Political Science and English. He worked in news radio before joining CBS and NBC affiliates in North Carolina. Baier became Chief Correspondent of the White House and the Pentagon for Fox network. He replaced Brit Hume as Fox’s host of “Special Report in 2009. Baier has been to Afghanistan and Iraq several times as a war reporter. Baier and his wife Amy have 2 sons.
14. Scott Pelley – $17 million
Scott Pelley has a net worth of $17 million. As a correspondent for CBS’s long running news magazine program “60 Minutes”, Pelley earns $7 million a year. Scott Kelley was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1957. Ge studied Journalism at Texas Tech University. He began his career in news radio in Texas. A report on Guatemalan refugees in 1985 got Pelley noticed by CBS. He was hired by CBS News in News York City in 1989. From 1997 through 1999 Pelley served as CBS’s Chief White House Correspondent. From there he started working on the newly revamped “60 Minutes II”. He interviewed President-elect George W. Bush in 2000 and was the only one to interview President George W. Bush on the first anniversary of the tragedies of September 11, 2001. Pelley took over as anchor and managing editor of “CBS Evening News” after Katie Couric 2011. Scott Pelley is married to Jane Boone, a television correspondent. They have a son and daughter.
13. Rachel Maddow – $20 million
Rachel Maddow is the host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and co-hosts MSNBC’s news program with Brian Williams. She also hosts a syndicated talk radio program. Maddow was born in California in 1973 and attended Stanford University. She received her Doctorate at Oxford University. Maddow joined MSNBC in 2009. She was a panelist on Tucker Carlson’s show “Tucker” and subbed for Keith Oberman and David Gregory. She has written two books. She has been admired for presenting news with civility and persistence. Maddow lives in Massachusetts and New York City.
12. Maria Bartiromo – $22 million
Maria Bartiromo has a net worth of $22 million. She currently makes $6 million a year for her financial news program “Mornings with Maria” on FBN daily from 6 am to 9 am. Bartiromo is a journalist and magazine columnist and has written three books. Bartiromo was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1967. She studied Journalism and Economics at New York University. She became an assignment editor for CNN Business News in 1993 and co-anchored “Closing Bell” for CNBC. Bartiromo was the first reporter to broadcast from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She has won several journalism awards. Maria Bartiromo has been married to Jonathan Steinberg, an investment banker, since 1999.
11. Joe Scarborough – $25 million
Joe Scarborough is the co-anchor of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Mika Brzezinski. He has worked as a lawyer and politician and served in the US House of Representatives from 1995 through 2001. Scarborough has a net worth of $12 million. He is also a visiting fellow at Harvard Institute of Politics. Scarborough was born in 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Law and worked as an attorney before election to Congress. In 2003 Scarborough joined MSNBC hosting “Scarborough Country”. He began hosting “Morning Joe” in 2007. Scarborough has four children and is twice divorced. This year he became engaged to his co-host Mika Brzezinski.
11. Shepard Smith – $25 million
Shephard Smith is the host of Fox News’ “Shepherd Smith Reporting” and managing editor of the channel’s Breaking News Division. Shephard Smith has a net worth of $25 million and currently earns $10 million a year. In a 2003 “TV Guide” poll Smith tied for second with Dan Rather and Peter Jennings as the most trusted news anchor. Smith was born in Mississippi in 1964. He studied Journalism at the University of Mississippi and worked in news radio and local television in Florida. He was hired as a Fox News Edge correspondent in Los Angeles and worked for “A Current Affair”. As a Fox News correspondent Smith covered big news including Princess Dianna’s death, the Florida ballot controversy and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Smith hosted “Fox Report with Shephard Smith” and “Studio B” before anchoring his current news show. Smith is divorced and has no children.
9. Megyn Kelly – $30 million
Megyn Kelly is one of the highest paid newswomen in the industry. Her net worth is $30 million but that may grow after this year. Megyn Kelly reportedly signed a contract with NBC for $18 million a year. Kelly was born in Illinois in 1970. She received her Masters in Communication from Syracuse University and her law degree from Albany University. She worked as an associate in a Chicago law firm before pursuing a journalism career. In 2003 Kelly became a reporter for an ABC affiliate in Washington DC. She began working for Fox News the following year. Megyn Kelly contributed to legal segments on “Special Report with Brit Hume” and “The Bill O’Reilly Factor”. She filled in for Greta Van Susteren in “On the Record”. In 2010 Kelly hosted “America Live” and was a guest panelist on “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld”. She was a moderator during the past presidential debates. In 2016 Kelly hosted a prime time interview program for Fox. With her contract up, Megyn Kelly switched networks to NBC. She hosted Sunday night interview specials including one with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As of this fall, Kelly began hosting the nine o’clock hour for the “Today Show”. Kelly is married to Doug Brint and they have 3 children.
8. George Stephanopoulos – $35 million
George Stephanopoulos has a net worth of $35 million and earns $9 million a year as the co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America”. He also regional sub anchor for “ABC World News Tonight”. Stephanopoulos was born in Massachusetts in 1961 and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He studied Political Science at Columbia University where he worked as a sports broadcaster for the college radio station. Stephanopoulos also has a Masters in Theology and studied at Oxford University as a Rhoads Scholar. He worked on the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis in 1988 and became an advisor to the Democratic Party. Under President Bill Clinton, Stephanopoulos worked as the White House Communications Director. He was also the Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy and a member of the Council on Foreign Policy. Stephanopoulos hosted “ABC This Week” from 2002 until 2009.
9. Robin Roberts – $35 million
Robin Roberts is the wealthiest female news anchor. Her net worth is $35 million and she earns $18 million a year as co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America”. Roberts was born in Alabama and grew up in Mississippi. She played basketball and tennis in high school and went to Southern Louisiana University. Roberts worked as a sports anchor on local news and radio programs. In 1990 she joined ESPN as a sportscaster. She left ESPN in 2005 and joined “Good Morning America” which she helped boost in ratings. Roberts was sidelined by breast cancer in 2007 and myelodysplastic syndrome in 2012. She bravely documented her treatment and recovery for “Good Morning America”.
6. Brian Williams – $40 million
Brian Williams is currently the Chief Anchor for the cable news department of MSNBC. He hosts the nightly “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” for the news station. Williams was managing editor and anchored “NBC Nightly News” for 10 years from 2004 through 2014. Williams was suspended from NBC when it was found that he had fabricated stories about when he covered the Iraq War in 2003. Williams was born in New Jersey in 1959. He studied at George Washington University and The Catholic university of America. He worked in radio news in Kansas, Washington DC and Philadelphia before joining NBC in 1993. He was Chief White House Correspondent for the station. Williams was a substitute anchor for Tom Brokaw on “NBC Nightly News” before taking over as anchor in 2004. Williams lives in Connecticut with his wife of 30 years. Their daughter Allison stars in HBO’s “Girls”. They have a son who is a sports anchor in New York City.
5. Bill O’Reilly – $50 million
Bill O’Reilly, the conservative political commentator for Fox, has a net worth of $50 million. He earned $20 million a year for his show “The O’Reilly Factor” which aired on Fox from 1996 until recently. It was recently revealed that O’Reilly settled several sexual harassment allegations, one for $32 million. It is unclear as yet if O’Reilly has a future as a journalist. Bill O’Reilly was born in New York City in 1949 and worked early on as a news reporter for local television stations and as a reporter for ABC and NBC News. From 1989 through 1995 O’Reilly hosted the entertainment show “Inside Edition”. “The O’Reilly Factor” was the highest rated cable news show for 16 years. O’Reilly was married to Maureen McPhilmy from 1996 until 2011. The couple have a daughter and son.
*4. Matt Lauer – $60 million
Matt Lauer’s net worth is $60 million. The co-anchor of NBC’s “Today Show” earns $23 million a year. Matt Lauer was born in New York City in 1957 and studied Communication and Media Arts at Ohio University. He began his media career as a producer of the local news show in Huntington, West Virginia. He hosted shows in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence and Richmond. He cohosted “Made in New York” with Jill Rappaport, worked as ESPN and co-hosted “Today in New York” with Jane Hanson. He began working as a news reader on “Today” in 1994 and became co-anchor of the morning news program in 1997 when he replaced Bryant Gumbel. When he became the full time male co-host of the “Today Show”, Lauer was admired for his tense interviews, intelligence and good looks. He introduced “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” in 1998 and the special series ran until 2011. Matt Lauer also hosts the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and covers the Olympics for NBC. Additionally, Lauer is a contributor to NBC’s weekly news show “Dateline”. After Lauer’s controversy, divorce, and ousting from NBC we cannot put a clear number on his net worth at this time.
3. Sean Hannity – $80 million
Sean Hannity is the second wealthiest news anchor. His net worth is currently $80 million and he earns $29 million a year as an anchor and political commentator for the Fox News Channel weekdays from 9pm to 10pm and hosts “The Sean Hannity Show” on radio. Hannity was born in New York City in 1961. At the University of California, Santa Barbara, Hannity hosted a talk show for the college radio station. He worked in news in Alabama and Atlanta before he was hired by Fox News Channel to cohost “Hannity & Comles”, a point-counterpoint show with Alan Colmes. Hannity is known for his conspiracy theories including voter fraud, an AIDS cover-up, President Barack Obama’s birth issue and Hillary Rodman Clinton’s e-mail saga. Sean Hannity is best known for his current pro President Donald Trump coverage. Hannity is married to Jill Rhoads. They have two children and live in Long Island, New York.
2. Diane Sawyer – $80 million
Diane Sawyer is one of the most well known news anchors in the world and the richest female journalist. She has had a steady and successful career. Her net worth is $80 million. Diane was born in Kentucky in 1945. In 1963 she won the America’s Junior Miss Scholarship pageant. She graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and entered law school at the University of Louisville but left to pursue Journalism. Her media career began as a weather forecaster at the local Louisville television station. She moved to Washington DC and secured a job as the assistant to Jerry Warran, the White House Deputy Press Secretary. She worked with the Nixon-Ford transition team after President Richard Nixon’s resignation. In 1978 Sawyer began working for CBS News as a reporter. Within a couple years, Sawyer co-anchored the “CBS Early Morning News”. She became the first female correspondent for “60 Minutes” in 1984 and moved to ABC News in 1989 as co-anchor with Sam Donaldson on “Primetime Live”. She co-anchored “20/20” from 1998 through 2000. The previous year Sawyer became co-anchor of “Good Morning America with Charles Gibson. Sawyer began anchoring “ABC World News” in 2009. Since 2014 Diane Sawyer has conducted high-profile interviews and specials for ABC. She is married to director, producer and actor Mike Nichols.
1. Anderson Cooper – $100 million
Anderson Cooper is the richest news anchor. His current net worth is $100 million. Of course it helps to be the son of an heiress. Cooper’s mother is heiress and designer Gloria Vanderbilt. Cooper didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth however. Anderson Cooper was born in New York City in 1967. His father died of a heart attack during open heart surgery in 1978. His older brother committed suicide in 1988. Anderson became driven. Before pursuing journalism, Anderson worked as a teen model with Fords working with Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Macy’s. He went to Yale University and interned with the CIA. He lived in Vietnam for a year and he worked as a fact checker. In 1995 Anderson became a news correspondent for ABC and in 2001 began working for CNN. He started his nightly news program Anderson Cooper 360° in 2003. He goes on location for breaking news and covers political issues. He had a syndicated radio show from 2011 to 2013. In 2007 he hosted “An All-Star Tribute” and “Planets in Peril”. Cooper also began working as a correspondent for “60 Minutes”. In 2010 Anderson Cooper hosted “Anderson Live”.