"You cannot climb a tree from the top" is an expression that is usually used by our mentors to encourage us to be willing to do even the menial jobs until we get that corner office or become so famous that reporters will be scrambling to feature a piece of our lives on their segments. Some will give up before getting to the top of the proverbial tree while others will push until they have it made their home. Lester Holt has become a familiar face on television, but the journey has not been easy. He is among the highest paid anchors on NBC so let's get into how he has achieved his net worth of $12 million.
Landing his time job on the radio
Lester Holt went to Cordova High School and graduated in 1977. As with every teenager looking to have a taste of freedom, the first thing he went looking for was a job. Lester, therefore, tried his luck by applying to multiple companies, one of which was NBC. Unfortunately, in August 1977, a couple of months after his graduation, he received a letter informing him of his rejection to work at NBC.
Maybe that was destiny aligning him to get the experience he needed to be a big shot in the broadcasting corporation. So, Lester proceeded to enroll in California State University, Sacramento to study government and journalism, courses that put him on the right path of the career he holds today. While in college, Lester began pursuing his love for journalism through a few radio stations such as Krak run by the college. His first time on air was on a Country and Western station where he was a disc jockey, and he only got a full-time gig when he was willing to report the news, according to Wikipedia.
He must have enjoyed his time covering the news because he dropped out of college to pursue the radio station job with KCBS in San Francisco. He, therefore, was offered a Jeep Cherokee that had police scanners as well as two-way radios and once he got to the streets and began reporting news, he knew that was where he belonged, and Lester never looked back as he told CNBC .
His time at CBS
Lester's decision to be in the journalism profession landed him at WCBS-TV in 1981, where he was stationed at New York City as a reporter. He worked there for a year before moving to an affiliate station in Los Angeles, KNXT where he was both a reporter and weekend anchor. Lester returned to WCBS-TV in 1983 this time around with the job description of not just a reporter but as a weekend anchor as well. He held this position until 1986 when he moved to WBBM-TV, Chicago, where he stayed for 14 years as an evening news anchor. It is during this time that Lester gained most of his reporting skills since he was not glued to his anchor desk. He also traveled around the world reporting news from troubled states like Iraq, Somalia, and Haiti.
Sometimes being in a good position for too long can have us feeling comfortable; like we have reached our destination until something happens to knock some sense back into our heads. For Lester, this occurred in 2000 when after working for WBBM-TV for 14 years, he was demoted from being an anchor. That is such a rude awakening, and it took a toll on Lester who despite having a strong work ethic, realized he was not good enough, and he had to get better at his job.
Of course, once you give your life to someone and they do not appreciate it, you realize it is time to go where you are valued, and that is what Lester did. He tried his luck again at NBC, and this time he was lucky to have been hired by MSNBC in 2000. Lester began climbing the ladder by becoming a substitute anchor at NBC Nightly News and for Today in 2003. He must have impressed his employers because on 9 May, 2007 he became a full-time weekend anchor for NBC Nightly News.
Things got better for Lester although it was at the expense of someone else, Brian Williams in 2015. Brian had taken a medical leave for knee replacement surgery leaving Lester to replace him as the weekend anchor in 2013. However, in 2015, Brian made inaccurate statements regarding the Iraq war, which landed him a suspension and Lester became his replacement. In June 2015, he was named as the permanent anchor for the weekday NBC Nightly News. With the appointment, Lester made history for being the first African-American to anchor a weekly nightly newscast, solo.
How does he make his money?
Lester Holt is a man of many talents, and he has not only carved a niche with anchoring news, but he also was among the moderators for the presidential debate in 2016. He did such an excellent job that despite Huff post saying that television journalists should not be moderators of presidential campaigns, Lester has still managed to be among the moderators for the first democratic presidential debate, later on, this month.
As a journalist NBS appreciated him with a salary of $4 million per year, but since his promotion in 2015, his salary was raised to $4.5 million. However, when Lester replaced Brian Williams, his agents wanted him to get as much as Brian was getting; $10 million every year for five years. The negotiation was more of a tug of war because some believed although Lester had attracted solid ratings, he still was not there yet. All the same, Lester does more than sitting at his desk since he is also a reporter but still manages to get paid less than what Matt Lauer used to get; $20 million every year with the privileges of a helicopter flying him back and forth from his farm in the Hamptons. according to Shadow and Act.
Lester knows how far he has come and he is not taking anything for granted. After all, this job is what has enabled Lester Holt net worth to reach $12 million, and if he continues doing what he does, it will more than double in the next coming years.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker