Who Are the Highest-Paid News Anchors and What are their Salaries?

The journalism industry is notorious for its poor remuneration and as such, you have professionals who spend much of their career making an average income. On the other side of the divide though, you have personalities that have distinguished themselves with their work. They regularly cover big news stories and get to rub shoulders with the newsmakers. They also collect several awards in the process thus becoming a brand unto themselves. The networks often scramble to keep these personalities happy, with fat paychecks, with the result that you have some of them making more than your average movie star and living like one as well.

These are The Highest-Paid News Anchors and Their Salaries

15. Tucker Carlson

Salary – $6 million
Net worth – $30 million
TV Network – Fox News Channel

Tucker Carlson
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Fox News Personalities naturally attract controversies with their perspectives but Tucker Carlson takes his to a whole new level with his provocative comments. He has been accused of making unfavourable remarks about immigrants, Muslims, women, and people of color, and many have called for him to be boycotted or sacked. Several corporate sponsors have heeded these words and withdrawn their ads from his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, but the show keeps on dominating ratings. This has helped Fox to maintain its position as the leading cable news network in America and as such, they keep on rewarding him with juicy pay.

14. Rachel Maddow

Salary – $7 million
Net worth – $25 million
TV Network – MSNBC

Rachel Maddow
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It doesn’t come as a surprise that Rachel Maddow makes it to the list of the highest-paid news anchors in the world. From radio to television, and the print media, this liberal-minded personality has forged a career that most of her peers can only dream of. Her flagship work, The Rachel Maddow Show, has fetched her not less than three Emmy awards. She has also received numerous other accolades such as the Gracie Award of 2009 and the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine (2010). Maddow was also bestowed with an honorary doctorate of laws degree by Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, in 2010.

13. Scott Pelley

Salary – $7 million
Net worth – $16 Million
TV Network – CBS

Scott Pelley
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Fans of the popular CBS news show, Evening News, would fondly remember Pelley for the six years that he capably hosted the show. That reign saw the show achieve its highest ratings and so Pelley came to be a household name. He was however unceremoniously sacked from it and re-assigned to another show in 2017. Pelley has since come out to reveal that his ordeal had to do with the fact that he complained about the hostile environment at the network. According to him, nothing was done about his complaints and he was even told that he might lose his job. When he persisted in what he believed to be the truth, the network executives reassigned him from his signature show in a bid to muzzle him.

12. Bret Baier

Salary – $7 million
Net worth – $20 million
TV Network – Fox News Channel

Brett Baier
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Another Fox personality who ranks amongst the highest-paid news anchors in the world is Bret Baier. Baier is the chief political correspondent for the network. He also hosts his own news and political commentary show known as Special Report with Bret Baier. Baier has largely managed to avoid the controversies that plague most of his colleagues but he did draw criticism for the airing of a chart which suggested that the stock market often rises during the social upheaval that trails the killing of unarmed black men in America. The report was aired in June 2020 and many slammed Baier and Fox for not giving enough context to the graphic.

11. Joe Scarborough

Salary – $8 million
Net worth – $25 million
TV Network – MSNBC

Joe Scarborough
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A former congressman-turned-journalist, Scarborough is never afraid to give his two cents on burning issues in the American polity. Such outspokenness has drawn the ire of the Trump-led administration on several occasions. The 45th American president once referred to Scarborough as Psyche Joe, and his co-host (and coincidentally his wife), Mika Brzezinski, as low I.Q Mika. Trump also sought to resurrect a long-discredited theory that Joe was somehow responsible for the death of one of his congressional aides in 2001. The man however remained resolute in front of all this barrage and his flagship program, Morning Joe, continues to top the ratings.

10. Maria Bartiromo

Salary – $10 million
Net worth – $50 million
Network – Fox News Channel

Maria Bartiromo
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For several years, Maria Bartiromo built a formidable reputation as a financial reporter per excellence. She worked for the likes of CNBC and made history as the first TV journalist to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Such a glowing reputation is now under threat thanks to her coverage of the polarizing Trump administration. Maria has interviewed the 45th American president on several occasions and she has been criticized for not taking the president to the task but rather agreeing with everything that comes out of his mouth. She has also been berated for giving him the platform to disseminate unproven facts.

9. Hoda Kotb

Salary – $8 Million
Net worth – $30 million
Network – NBC

Hoda Kotb
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Kobt’s annual paycheck may be substantial but it has fueled the debate on the long-running issue of equal compensation for men and women in the workplace. The veteran journalist took over as the main co-anchor of NBC’s Today Show following the disgraceful ousting of the former host, Matt Lauer, over sexual harassment allegations in 2017. Lauer reportedly earned as much as $20 to $25 million per annum while Kobt is getting $8 to $10 million. The optics of this has led to outcries of gender discrimination but industry sources have suggested that it may not be so. According to them, the broadcast industry generally pays new people in old roles significantly less than the former occupants until they can prove themselves. These sources have also pointed out that salaries in the broadcast media will keep on declining given the fact that we live in a digital world where people easily get their news off the internet rather than resort to traditional media.

8. Shepard Smith

Salary – $10 million
Net worth – $25 million
Network – Fox News Channel, CNBC, NBC.

Shepard Smith
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Occupying the 8th spot on the list of the highest-paid news anchors in the world is former Fox News personality, Shepard Smith. For about twenty-three years, Smith was an indistinguishable part of the Fox fabric, hosting several shows and covering major news items such as the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. He received several contract extensions and with each one, came increased paychecks. Smith was indeed set to spend forever with Fox and so, it shocked many when he announced his departure from the network in 2019. He failed to disclose any reason but sources say it may not be unconnected with his desire for freedom to really state the facts as they are rather than pandering to the whims and caprices of the Trump administration.

7. Anderson Cooper

Salary – $12 million
Net worth – $115 million
TV Network – CNN

Anderson Cooper
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Popular CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper, may have been born with the proverbial silver spoon but he always made sure to forge his own path in life and record achievements based on his own merits. Such a dogged mindset has contributed to making him one of the highest-paid news anchors in the world with an annual salary of $12 Million. He has also built up a fortune, estimated at a whopping $110 million, by sheer dint of hard work. There were no trust funds or handouts from his late mom, socialite-turned-fashion designer, Gloria Vanderbilt. He only inherited her $1.5 million estate upon her demise in 2019. Cooper had previously stated that he wasn’t a big fan of inheritances as it was more or less like a curse and so, many have speculated that he may give the money away.

6. George Stephanopoulos

Salary – $15 million
Net worth – $40 million
TV Network – ABC

George Stephanopoulos
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Ever since George Stephanopoulos joined the ABC News network in 1997, it has been nothing short of a match made in heaven. This former democratic advisor has hosted several of their popular programs such as Good Morning America and This Week. He has also cemented a position as the chief anchor of the network; hosting breaking news stories and providing special reports on matters of global or national significance. It, therefore, came as no surprise when he got an improved four-year contract in 2019. Under the terms of the deal, he would make from $15 million to $17 million per annum for his work and stay at ABC beyond the 2020 election. He is therefore poised to continue shaping the American debate even under the administration of the Democratic Party’s successful candidate – Joe Biden.

5. Robin Roberts

Salary – $18
Net worth – $45 million
Network – ABC

Robin Roberts
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Fans of the popular ABC show, Good Morning America, would be very familiar with Roberts but what they may not know is that this amazon spent the first two decades of her career as a sports journalist. A native of Gulf Coast, Mississippi, Roberts began her career as a sports reporter for various local channels. She later joined ESPN in 1990 and spent about 15 years with them during which she contributed to their flagship programs such as NFL Primetime and SportsCenter. It was from ESPN that Roberts joined ABC and since then, she has established herself as a force to be reckoned with. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall Of Fame as well as the Sports Broadcasting Hall Of Fame. Other honors include a George Foster Peabody award, a Gracie award, and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

4. Kelly Ripa

Salary – $20 million
Net worth – $120 million
Network – WABC

Kelly Ripa
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It is never easy to step into the shoes of an iconic star but if there is one person that has succeeded at this, it is Kelly Ripa. A former actress, Ripa was chosen amongst so many contenders to take over the duties of Kathie Lee Gifford on the syndicated daytime talk show, Live!, in 2000. Since then, she has taken it to greater heights despite a revolving door of co-hosts. This has fetched her numerous accolades including about four daytime Emmy awards for outstanding entertainment talk show host. She has also received frequent pay increases and currently has an annual salary of $20 million. Ripa’s earnings are further bolstered by endorsement deals with the likes of home appliance manufacturer, Electrolux.

3. Diane Sawyer

Salary – $22 Million
Net worth – $80 million
Network – ABC

Diane Sawyer
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Fewer women have impacted the world of broadcast journalism in the manner that Sawyer has done. A native of Glasgow, Kentucky, Sawyer began her career in 1962 and in the intervening six decades has gone to set several records and win numerous accolades. She is the first female correspondent of the CBS show, 60 Minutes. She has also received awards such as the Peabody Award, IRTS Lifetime Achievement Award, and USC Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award. Sawyer has partially retired these days and now majorly specializes in documentaries and high-profile interviews. She has so far interviewed Hollywood heavyweights such as Demi Moore and Julie Andrews.

2. Megyn Kelly

Salary – $23 million
Net worth – $45 million
Network – Fox and NBC

Megyn Kelly
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Back in the year 2017, renowned TV host, Megyn Kelly left her long-term employer, Fox, for NBC. The move was filled with high expectations on both sides as NBC desired Kelly to bring her star power to the network while she saw it as the opportunity for much-needed change. Sadly, these high hopes never came to fruition as several of the different programs that Kelly hosted for the network failed to garner good ratings. Matters were further complicated when Kelly was caught up in a blackface controversy in early 2019. NBC decided to cut their losses and so, the lady walked away with every single penny of her $69 million three-year contract which breaks down to a $23 million per annum paycheck.

1. Sean Hannity

Salary – $40 million
Net worth – $250 million
Network – Fox News Channel

Sean Hannity
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The highest-paid news anchor in the world is veteran Fox host, Sean Hannity. Described as the king of cable TV, Hannity’s eponymous news show regularly draws about three million viewers each night. Such a fact means that Fox keeps on doling large paychecks to him in order to keep him happy and stave off advances from other networks. Another fact that contributed to Hannity’s success in recent times is his close relationship with President Donald J. Trump. This relationship saw him score several exclusive interviews with the man himself. Trump also used his infamous Twitter handle to promote Hannity’s show thus leading to a bump in ratings. Now that Trump has lost his reelection bid, one would wonder if it would impact Hannity negatively. This is of course a possibility but it will be reasonable to conclude that the adverse impact won’t be too much.

15 Highest-Paid News Anchors and their Salaries.

15. Tucker Carlson – $6 million
14. Rachel Maddow – $7 million
13. Scott Pelley – $7 million
12. Bret Baier – $7 million
11. Joe Scarborough – $8 million
10. Maria Bartiromo – $10 million
9. Hoda Kotb – $8 million
8. Shepard Smith – $10 million.
7. Anderson Cooper – $12 million
6. George Stephanopoulos – $15 million
5. Robin Roberts – $18
4. Kelly Ripa – $20 million
3. Diane Sawyer – $22 million
2. Megyn Kelly – $23 million
1. Sean Hannity – $40 million

Ngozika Agu
Ngozika Agu
Ngozika can turn any personal finance or entertainment information into an exciting, delightful and compelling article that informs and educates, she can quickly turn random letters into epic stories that not only entertain but also inspires or motivates


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