The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) was officially launched on September 7, 1979. It has since become a global leader for everything sports related. The network airs live, pre-taped, and historically significant games from every sporting genre. ESPN also airs original programming such as talk shows, documentaries, and series.
It's been the go-to channel for sports fanatics for over 40 years. One of the reasons people love ESPN is their stellar line up of talent they keep in the announcer chairs. The personalities cover the spectrum from colorful and blunt to knowledgeable and analytical. Many commentators have gotten their start on those comfy leather chairs. Many have also become millionaires.
Read on for a list of the 20 richest ESPN anchors of all time.
20. Joseph Tessitore - Net Worth: $5 Million
Joseph Tessitore was born January 1, 1971 in Schenectady, New York. He graduated from Boston College with a degree in management.
Tessitore started his partnership with ESPN in 2002 with Top Rank Boxing, where he provided blow by blow commentary. He's also hosted and commentated for college football and Monday night football on the network.
In addition to his anchor duties, Joseph has produced award winning documentaries and hosted the channel's New Years Eve programming on several occasions. Tessitore's net worth is $5 million.
19. Steve Levy - Net Worth: $6 Million
Steve Levy was born on March 22, 1965. He grew up in Bellmore, NY and graduated from the state University of New York at Oswego.
His career began on WFAN radio and the MSG network. Since 1993, Steve has worked as a host/announcer for ESPN.
He's been in a seat on the network's centerpiece show, Sportscenter, and has announced for Major League Baseball, NFL, and college football games. In addition to ESPN.
Levy has appeared in movies like The Ringer, Parental Guidance, and Fever Pitch. His overall net worth is $6 million.
18. Jay Bilas - Net Worth: $6.5 Million
Jay Bilas was born on December 24, 1963 in California. He played basketball for Duke University from 1982-1986.
His broadcasting career for ESPN began in 1995 as an analyst for college basketball. Jay has also been a co-host on the programs, College Game Night and College Game Day, since 2000.
Bilas has appeared in various commercials and authored a book called "Toughness." Jay Bilas has a net worth of $6.5 million.
17. Michelle Beadle - Net Worth: $8 Million
Michelle was born on October 23, 1975 in Italy. She has dual citizenship in Italy and the United States. She attended the University of Texas and graduated with a degree in communications.
Beadle started her career as a sideline reporter for the San Antonio Spurs. Beadle then went on to work at Fox Sports, TNN, The Travel Network, and Animal Planet before landing on ESPN in 2009. In addition to her on-camera duties hosting Winners Bracket and Sports Saturday, she co-hosted Sports Nation with Michael Kay.
Michelle left ESPN to host Access Hollywood. Michelle Beadle has a total net worth of $6,5 million.
16. Linda Cohn - Net Worth: $10 Million
Cohn grew up on Long Island watching sports. At 15, she played in the boy's hockey team at her high school. After graduating from the State University of New York - Oswego, Linda started her broadcasting career for New York radio station, WALK - AM, in 1981.
In 1987, Cohn became the first full-time female sports anchor on national radio. In 1992, she was hired by ESPN to work on SportsCenter. Cohn was then added as a commentator for WNBA games in 2005. She published her memoir, "Cohn Head: Breaking Into The Boys Club", in 2008. Cohn's net worth is $10 million.
15. Mike Tirico - Net Worth: $14 Million
Mike Tirico was born on December 13, 1966 in New York City. He went on to graduate from Syracuse University and started working as a sideline reporter for their local television station.
Tirico started working at ESPN in 1991 as an announcer for Sunday Night Football and a host of SportsCenter. After 25 years with ESPN, Tirico left to join NBC sports, where he took over the broadcasting duties of Bob Costa and Al Michaels.
He has since covered high profile events like the Olympics and the US Open. Tirico's net worth is $14 million.
14. Samantha Ponder - Net Worth: $15 Million
Samantha Ponder was born on December 11, 1985 in Pheonix, Arizona. She graduated from Kings College in New York City and began her career as a sideline reporter for Fox Sports Network.
Ponder left Fox to join the ESPN family as a college football and basketball sideline reporter. She then moved up to hosting College Game Day and the Sunday NFL Countdown. She is married to former NFL quarterback, Christian Ponder.
It has been reported that Samantha's yearly salary is $4.9 million a year. Her overall net worth is $15 million.
13. Tony Kornheiser - Net Worth: $16 Million
Kornheiser was born on July 13, 1948 in Lynbrook, NY. From 1979 to 2001, he was a sports writer for Newsday from 1970 to 1976 and The New York Times from 1976 to 1979.
Kornheiser joined ESPN and filled a variety of anchor roles on shows like Pardon The Interruption and as a color commentator for Monday Night Football.
Over the years, Tony has written 3 books, including, "Pumping Irony" and "Bald As I Wanna Be." He's also written for ESPN magazine and made radio announcements for college games. Kornheiser has a net worth of $16 million.
12. Skip Bayless - Net Worth: $17 Million
Born in Oklahoma, Baylsss received a scholarship for sportswriting from Vanderbilt University. Upon graduation, he wrote for the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times. Baylis was honored with an Eclipse award for his outstanding contribution to sports journalism.
In 1989 he joined the legendary Dick Schaap as his co-host on ESPN's show, The Sports Reporter. Skip went on to host his own show, First Take, for many years before leaving the network for Fox Sports. Baylis has a net worth of $17 million.
11. Suzy Kolber - Net Worth: $18 Million
Born on May 14, 1964 in Philadelphia, Kolber graduated from the University of Miami. After college, Suzy worked for CBS sports as a video coordinator in New York City.
She also worked for WTVJ in Miami, where she won a local Emmy for her sports coverage. In 1993, she signed with ESPN and began covering NFL games from the sideline.
Kolber went on to host NASCAR Countdown and co-host other network shows. Over the years, she has done commercials for Pepsi and Chevy. She has also contributed her voice to various XBOX, Sega, and PlayStation games. Suzy has a net worth of $18 million.
10. Mike Wilbon - Net Worth: $18 Million
Wilbon was born in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism. He began working as a sportswriter for The Washington Post in 1980. In 2010 he joined ESPN as a commentator/announcer for various sporting events.
Over the years, he has covered 10 Olympic Games and every Super Bowl since 1987. In 2013, Winon and other ESPN personalities were guests of President Obama at the White House. His net worth is $18 million.
9. Dick Vitale - Net Worth: $20 Million
Dick Vitale is the only remaining anchor from ESPN's original line up. Born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1939, Vitale is known for his colorful commentary and catch phrases.
He announced the first basketball game ever televised by ESPN in 1979. In addition to announcing, Vitale was also a college and professional basketball coach. He coached Rutgers from 1971 to 1973 and the Detroit Pistons from 1973 to 1979. He wrote his autobiography "Living The Dream."
Vitale also has done commercials for DiGiorno pizza, Agricola, Hooters, and Oberto jerky. Dick Vitale has a net worth of $20 million.
8. Stephen A. Smith - Net Worth: $20 Million
Stephen A. Smith was born in the Bronx, New York. He graduated from University of Winston-Salem with a degree in journalism. After college, Smith worked as a sports writer for The Winston-Salem Journal, The NY Daily News, and The Philadelphia Enquirer.
Joining ESPN in 2003, Smith became one of the most popular commentators with his straightforward and frank opinions. In addition to other duties, he has hosted the shows, NBA Shoot Around and Pardon The Interruption, as well as his own, The Stephen Smith Show.
He presently has an $8 million a year contract with the network. Smith's overall net worth is $20 million.
7. Colin Cowherd - Net Worth: $25 Million
Colin Cowherd was born on January 6, 1964 in Aberdeen, Washington. He graduated from Eastern Washington University and began his career as a commentator with the San Diego Padres.
In 2003, he joined ESPN as the host of his own show called The Herd, as well as SportsCenter. He was known for his blunt assessments of player's performance.
Cowherd was making about $2 million a year at the network, when Fox Sports offered him $6 million a year in 2018. Colin Cowherd has a net worth of $25 million.
6. Mike Golic - Net Worth: $25 Million
Mike was born on December 12, 1962 in Willowwick, Ohio. He played football for Norte Dame University and went on to play in the NFL for the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins.
Golic signed a contract with ESPN in 1995, and has hosted NFL 2Night and Sunday NFL Countdown. He's also hosted his own shows, Mike and Mike and Holic and Wingo.
He has done several commercials, as well as lent his voice to games for XBOX and PS3. Golic's net worth is $25 million.
5. Scott Van Pelt - Net Worth: $25 Million
Born in Brookville, Maryland on July 9, 1966, Van Pelt graduated from the University of Maryland. In 1990, he began working as a sportscaster for WTTG, a FOX affiliate in Washington.
He then went on to work for the Golf Channel from 1998-2000. In 2000, he joined ESPN as a host for SportsCenter.
He's been one of the top golf correspondents on the channel for over 20 years.
Van Pelt also hosts a radio show called SVP and Russillio. Like many of his colleagues.
Scott has lent his voice to sports games for XBOX and PlayStation. Van Pelt has a net worth of $25 million.
4. Mike Greenberg - Net Worth: $28 Million
Mike Greenberg was born on August 6, 1967 in New York City. He graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism.
Mike began his career as a reporter for WSCR in Chicago, where he covered events like the Super Bowl and World Series. Greenburg started his tenure at ESPN in 1996, where he hosted SportsCenter, NBA Countdown, and his own show, Get Up.
He also co-hosted the ESPN radio show Mike and Mike. The popular broadcaster has also authored 4 books, including the New York Times best seller, "Why My Wife Thinks I'm An Idiot." Greenburg has a net worth of $28 million.
3. Chris Berman - Net Worth: $30 Million
Known as "the face of ESPN", Berman was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on May 10, 1955. He graduated from Brown University and began his career with ESPN in 1979.
Over the years, Chris has hosted several programs on the network, including Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday NFL Countdown, Pardon The Interruption, and several Super Bowls.
He has also won National Sportscaster of the Year on more than one occasion.
Berman has made appearances in several movies, like The Waterboy, The Longest Yard, and Grown Ups 2. Chris Berman had a net worth of $30 million.
2. Troy Aikman - Net Worth: $65 Million
Regarded as one of the most outstanding quarterbacks of all time, Troy Aikman was born on November 21, 1966 in West Covina, California.
He attended Oklahoma State University before transferring to UCLA. Upon graduation, in 1989, he was a first round draft pick for the Dallas Cowboys. Aikman remained with the organization for 12 years, leading them to 3 Super Bowl championships.
He was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He worked as the color commentator for Fox football for over 20 years. In 2021, he made the move to ESPN to anchor Monday Night Football.
Over the years, Troy has done commercials for Rent-A-Center, Wingstop, Nike, and Silver Car. He's also invested in NASCAR, and is a minority owner of the San Diego Padres. Airman's net worth is $65 million.
1. Jim Rome - Net Worth: $110 Million
Jim Rome tops the list of the richest ESPN anchors of all time. Rome was born on October 14, 1964 in Los Angeles.
He started his broadcasting career while still a student at the University of California, in Santa Barbara. Over the years, he worked for Fox Sports and FX, hosting sports talk shows like The Last Word.
During his time at WSPN, Rome hosted the extremely popular show, Rome Is Burning. In 2011, Jim left the sports network to join CBS sports. It was here that Jim would start his self-titled, daily radio show.
The syndicated program airs on 200 stations across the United States and Canada. Rome has appeared in movies like, Space Jam, The Longest Yard, and Any Given Sunday.
Rome and his wife own race horses, and are involved with breeding. Jim Rome has a net worth of $110 million.
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Written by Lily Wordsmith
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