The 15 Richest News Anchors in the World by Net Worth

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More than any other field, careers in the entertainment industry are either extremely lucrative — like an actor making tens of millions of dollars for a single film — or hardly pay enough to make ends meet.

That being said, working as a news anchor is one of the more stable television careers to be had — no matter when you are hired, there is always an abundance of topics to report on, whether it is considered to be “news” or not.

The average salary for a news anchor in the United States ranges anywhere from $35,000 to $150,000 — not too bad depending on the city you live in and your lifestyle — but there are some serious outliers. In fact, these outliers make so much money that they are routinely featured on “richest celebrities” lists.

These outliers are some of the most recognizable faces on television, recognized for their unique panache and hard-hitting journalism (or their exploitative sensationalism, depending on your opinion).

More than just a familiar face, these news anchors have managed to make an impressive living with net worths in the millions, and some even building their own empire based around their career. However, a surprising amount have been accused of sexual harassment.

Here is our definitive list of the top 15 richest news anchors in the world as of this year, ranked in ascending order based on their estimated net worth.

15. Erin Burnett — Net Worth: $20 million

Not to be confused with comedian Carol Burnett’s daughter (her name is Erin Hamilton), Erin Burnett is a 45-year-old news anchor who has been working as a reporter since the early 2000s.

Erin Burnett is the anchor of Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN and previously worked for CNBC as co-anchor of Squawk on the Street and the host of Street SignsErin Burnett is the anchor of Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN and previously worked for CNBC as co-anchor of Squawk on the Street and the host of Street Signs (Credit: CNN / YouTube)

She got her start working as an investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs until her financial know-how and well-spoken manner caught the eye of CNN.

The network offered her a writing position on Moneyline, and from there, it was history. After a while, Burnett made her way in front of the camera and has worked as a news anchor on a number of shows across CNN, CNBC, NBC, and MSNBC.

American news anchor Erin Burnett has an estimated net worth of $20 million and is the mother of three childrenAmerican news anchor Erin Burnett has an estimated net worth of $20 million and is the mother of three children (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

Erin Burnett’s financial knowledge may have helped her forge a career as a news anchor, but now she travels across the world after returning to CNN to host her own show, Erin Burnett OutFront. She is currently estimated to earn $6 million a year, resulting in a $20 million net worth.

14. Shepard Smith — Net Worth: $25 million

Best known for his 23 years run with the Fox News Channel, 58-year-old Shepard Smith has been working as a news anchor for nearly three decades.

Shepard Smith left Fox News in 2019 after 23 years at the network and joined CNBC as a prime-time anchorShepard Smith left Fox News in 2019 after 23 years at the network and joined CNBC as a prime-time anchor (Credit: CNBC)

While employed by Fox, Shepard hosted a number of notable programs, including Studio B, Shepard Smith Reporting, and Fox Report.

Since 2020, Shepard Smith has hosted The News with Shepard Smith, a daily news report on CNBC, earning a roughly $10 million salary and a $25 million net worth.

13. Joe Scarborough — Net Worth: $25 million

Though he may be known best for his iconic combination of thick-rimmed glasses and voluminous coif, 58-year-old Joe Scarborough has had a storied career.

He practiced as a lawyer from 1991 to 1993, before running for office. Scarborough was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by Florida’s first congressional district in 1994 and held the office until 2001.

Joe Scarborough with his third wife Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski Scarborough and his stepdaughter Carlie HofferJoe Scarborough with his third wife Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski Scarborough and his stepdaughter Carlie Hoffer (Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock)

Scarborough was very popular with his constituents and was given a 95 percent lifetime rating by the American Conservative Union.

Charles Joseph Scarborough is the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC with his wife Mika BrzezinskiCharles Joseph Scarborough is the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC with his wife Mika Brzezinski (Credit: MSNBC)

Joe Scarborough’s popularity as an elected official has translated into a lucrative career as a news anchor, hosting Morning Joe and Scarborough Country on MSNBC. He earns an estimated yearly salary of $8 million and has a $25 million net worth.

12. Tucker Carlson — Net Worth: $30 million

52-year-old Tucker Carlson is currently one of the most — if not the most — controversial characters on this list.

Appearing on CNN’s Crossfire and MSNBC’s Tucker, Carlson currently hosts Tucker Carlson Tonight, which has been aired on the Fox News Network since 2016.

One of the most-watched personalities on cable news, Tucker Carlson has an estimated net worth of $30 millionOne of the most-watched personalities on cable news, Tucker Carlson has an estimated net worth of $30 million (Credit: Fox News)

A staunch Republican and devoted supporter of former United States President Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson is a polarizing figure due to his political beliefs.

While his fans laud his protectionist, nationalistic views, he has frequently been criticized for his past use of racial epithets and his anti-immigration stance, leading to advertiser boycotts of his show.

Currently, Tucker Carlson earns roughly $6 million dollars a year and has a net worth of a cool $30 million.

11. Lester Holt — Net Worth: $35 million

48-year-old Lester Holt is more than just a friendly face. In fact, he is the friendliest face! In 2018, a poll showed that Americans trusted Holt more than any other TV news anchor in the United States.

Best known for his appearances on Dateline NBC and for becoming the permanent anchor on NBC Nightly News in Brian Williams’ stead, making Lester Holt the first African-American man to be the sole anchor on a daily nightly newscast. Go Lester!

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt has two sons with his wife, Carol Hagen, whom he married in 1982NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt has two sons with his wife, Carol Hagen, whom he married in 1982 (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

The American public’s trust in Lester Holt, in addition to the way he strives to deliver apolitical news, has earned him a $35 million estimated net worth and a salary of $10 million each year.

10. Rachel Maddow — Net Worth: $35 million

If Tucker Carlson is the news anchor most despised by the American political left, 48-year-old Rachel Maddow holds that distinction for those on the right end of the spectrum.

A graduate of Oxford’s Lincoln College, Maddow is the host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, a nightly broadcast where the anchor reports about global and national events, giving viewers an unrestrained view into her political opinions.

American television news program host and liberal political commentator Rachel Anne Maddow hosts The Rachel Maddow ShowAmerican television news program host and liberal political commentator Rachel Anne Maddow hosts The Rachel Maddow Show (Credit: MSNBC)

Though she may be a polarizing figure, Rachel Maddow is undeniably successful, as she has earned multiple Emmy Awards for her work as a news anchor and has even received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album with her 2019 non-fiction book, Blowout.

She currently has an estimated $35 million net worth, which may increase significantly due to her yearly salary of $30 million. Her longtime partner is artist and photographer Susan Mikula.

9. George Stephanopoulos — Net Worth: $40 million

Like Joe Scarborough, 61-year-old George Stephanopoulos has also had a political career before shifting his sights to the nightly news.

Stephanopoulos first served as the White House Communications director in 1993 before taking the position of Senior Advisor to the President during the Clinton administration, from 1993-1996.

George Stephanopoulos (R) is a coanchor with Robin Roberts (C) and Michael Strahan (L) on Good Morning AmericaGeorge Stephanopoulos (R) is a coanchor with Robin Roberts (C) and Michael Strahan (L) on Good Morning America (Credit: ABC)

After joining the journalism field, Stephanopoulos’ insider knowledge of politics helped catapult him to coveted anchor spots.

Currently, George Stephanopoulos co-hosts Good Morning America alongside Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan and hosts ABC’s Sunday morning program, This Week. Stephanopoulos currently earns a $15 million salary and has a $40 million estimated net worth.

8. Megyn Kelly — Net Worth: $45 million

Perpetually blonde Megyn Kelly’s life has been rife with scandal throughout the 51-year-old news anchor’s nearly two-decade-long career. She has appeared on America Live, America’s Newsroom, and has been employed by ABC, Fox News, and NBC.

Douglas Brunt and his wife, television journalist Megyn Kelly, have three children and reside in Rye, New YorkDouglas Brunt and his wife, television journalist Megyn Kelly, have three children and reside in Rye, New York (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

Kelly even scored a spot on TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in 2014, before her program, Megyn Kelly Today, was canceled three years later after the anchor held a segment about blackface.

Though Megyn Kelly has not always been the most upstanding character in the eyes of the media, she was the subject of the 2019 film, Bombshell, where she is portrayed by Charlize Theron.

Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and John Lithgow as Roger Ailes in the 2019 drama film BombshellCharlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and John Lithgow as Roger Ailes in the 2019 drama film Bombshell (Credit: Annapurna Pictures / Denver + Delilah)

Currently, Kelly is the host of SiriusXM’s The Megyn Kelly Show, earning $23 million a year with an estimated $45 million net worth.

7. Brian Williams — Net Worth: $50 million

Best known for his long career with the NBC Nightly News, 62-year-old Brian Williams was the subject of one of the most infamous journalism scandals in recent history.

Though he had worked on the show since 1993, Williams was suspended from NBC Nightly News in 2015 after it was revealed that he had lied on national television.

Brian Williams with his wife Jane Stoddard Williams and their daughter Allison WilliamsBrian Williams with his wife Jane Stoddard Williams and their daughter Allison Williams (Credit: DFree / Shutterstock)

In 2003, Williams was reporting in Iraq and had led viewers to believe that the helicopter he had traveled in had come under enemy fire — a claim which was disproved. Williams publicly apologized and recanted his story, but he was demoted from the top spot on NBC Nightly News.

Most recently, the anchor was the host of MSNBC’s The 11th Hour. Brian Williams currently has an estimated net worth of $50 million, earning $6 million yearly.

Married to Jane Gillan Stoddard since 1986, they’re the parents of actress Allison Williams and sports anchor Doug Williams. He is not related to American sportscaster Allison Williams.

6. Maria Bartiromo — Net Worth: $50 million

Lovingly nicknamed the “Money Honey”, 54-year-old Maria Bartiromo is the go-to gal for all things financial.

Bartiromo has earned a number of accolades during her three-decade-long career, including an Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award, a Gracie Award, and two Emmys; the Emmy Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story and the Emmy Award for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting.

Wall Street financier Jonathan Steinberg has been married to Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo since 1999Wall Street financier Jonathan Steinberg has been married to Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo since 1999 (Credit: Mark Reinstein / Shutterstock)

A longtime Fox collaborator, Bartiromo has appeared on Closing Bell and On the Money with Maria Bartiromo before settling in on her current programs, Mornings with Maria and Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street.

She currently earns roughly $10 million dollars per year and has a very comfortable $50 million net worth.

5. Matt Lauer — Net Worth: $80 million

From silly morning segments to intense nightly news reports, 64-year-old Matt Lauer has just about done it all… even things he shouldn’t have.

Lauer worked as a news anchor and reporter starting in 1979 but got his big break in 1994 on The Today Show, also known simply as Today.

Matt Lauer served as the co-host of NBC's Today show from 1997 and was terminated by NBC in November 2017Matt Lauer served as the co-host of NBC’s Today show from 1997 and was terminated by NBC in November 2017 (Credit: NBC)

He worked as an anchor on the show for nearly 30 years until he was fired by the network in 2017 following a detailed report that Lauer had continually sexually harassed a female colleague beginning in 2014, and more reports of similar and escalated behavior began to surface.

In light of his disgraceful termination, Lauer released an apology statement and admission of guilt, saying, “Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”

Obviously, Matt Lauer is now a former news anchor. His net worth remains at an estimated $80 million, but his current salary — or if he even has a job at all — is unknown.

4. Diane Sawyer — Net Worth: $80 Million

Ms. Diane Sawyer is a certified broadcast legend. Spanning almost six decades, 76-year-old Diane Sawyer’s career has been one of the most successful of all time.

Like some of the other news anchors on this list, Sawyer worked in politics before transitioning into journalism, serving as a member of President Richard Nixon’s White House staff — she even lent her journalism skills to the former President, helping Nixon write memoirs after his time in office.

American television broadcast journalist Diane Sawyer is one of the most respected journalists in the worldAmerican television broadcast journalist Diane Sawyer is one of the most respected journalists in the world (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

Diane Sawyer is best known for her primetime work on both ABC and CBS, in programs such as 20/20, ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and her groundbreaking work as the first female correspondent and host on the legendary news broadcast, 60 Minutes.

Diane Sawyer’s hard work over the last sixty years has earned her a whopping $80 million estimated net worth and a $22 million yearly salary.

3. Bill O’Reilly — Net Worth: $85 million

72-year-old Bill O’Reilly’s career as a news anchor began in the mid-70s, and since then it has twisted, turned, and meandered into nearly every corner of journalism.

After working for local television stations, O’Reilly anchored daytime celebrity gossip show Inside Edition for six years before joining the Fox network in 1996, where he hosted his namesake program, The O’Reilly Factor, from 1996 until 2017.

Bill O’Reilly joined the Fox News Channel in 1996 and left in 2017 after a sexual harassment investigationBill O’Reilly joined the Fox News Channel in 1996 and left in 2017 after a sexual harassment investigation (Credit: Fox Sports)

Unfortunately, it was not all sunshine and roses, and like another anchor who will not be named again, Bill O’Reilly has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by multiple women.

In 2017, The New York Times released an incendiary report about how Fox News had assisted O’Reilly to settle out five different lawsuits, with each plaintiff accusing the anchor of sexual misconduct, including horrific reports of unwelcome advances made by O’Reilly, who allegedly demanded sexual favors from the women.

The O’Reilly Factor lost more than half of its advertisers following the allegations, and Bill O’Reilly subsequently left the show and the Fox network.

Now, Bill O’Reilly has pivoted yet again, this time as a political commentator, expressing his conservative views and support of former U.S. President Donald Trump on his podcast No Spin News and in appearances of shows like the Glenn Beck Radio Program.

Despite his unpleasant accusations, Bill O’Reilly still manages to earn an estimated yearly salary of $25 million, resulting in a net worth of roughly $85 million in 2022.

2. Anderson Cooper — Net worth: $200 Million

One of the most recognizable news anchors in recent broadcast history, the perpetually silver-haired Anderson Cooper was coincidentally also born with a silver spoon in his mouth, as his mother is none other than Gloria Vanderbilt of the prominent Vanderbilt family, one of the richest families in the history of the United States.

Anderson Cooper makes a salary of $12 million a year from CNN and has an estimated net worth of $200 millionAnderson Cooper makes a salary of $12 million a year from CNN and has an estimated net worth of $200 million (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)

Thankfully, 54-year-old Anderson Cooper doesn’t let his famous family do all the leg work for him. After graduating from Yale in 1989, Cooper traveled the world as a journalist, documenting heart-wrenching footage in parts of the world that had been decimated by war.

Since then, Anderson has anchored or co-anchored programs across multiple networks, including Anderson Cooper 360°, Anderson Live, and 60 Minutes.

In 2012, Cooper made history by revealing to the nation that he was gay. While his declaration of truth was controversial at the time (due solely to intolerant homophobes) it inspired progressive conversations about the LGBT+ community, and he also became the first openly gay person to moderate a presidential debate in 2016.

Anderson Cooper joined CNN in 2001 and was given his own show, Anderson Cooper 360°, in 2003 Anderson Cooper joined CNN in 2001 and was given his own show, Anderson Cooper 360°, in 2003 (Credit: CNN)

During his career, Anderson Cooper has won an astounding number of accolades. In addition to a number of GLAAD Media Awards — which are awarded for “outstanding representations of the LGBT community in media” — he has also received 18 Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards.

Currently, Anderson Cooper earns an estimated salary of $12 million with a $200 million net worth.

1. Sean Hannity — Net worth: $300 million

Paving the way for people like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity is the blueprint for anchors who express conservative opinions and sometimes downright zany claims.

The 60-year-old commentator hosted his first talk show radio in 1989 at a college station, but it was canceled after two years due to controversy after discussion surrounding LGBT rights.

American talk show host and conservative political commentator Sean Patrick Hannity earns $40 million per year and is the world's richest news anchorAmerican talk show host and conservative political commentator Sean Patrick Hannity earns $40 million per year and is the world’s richest news anchor (Credit: Fox News)

This was just the first controversy to arise during Sean Hannity’s illustrious career. The anchor has also come under fire for supporting (or creating) a number of conspiracy theories, including: questioning President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to prove that he was, indeed, born in the United States; comparing President Donald Trump to the biblical King David of Israel — the David who slayed Goliath — after the notorious “grab ‘em by the p*ssy” was released; and, of course, for being accused of sexually harassing multiple women.

Sean Hannity has dared Hillary Clinton to sue Fox News and is known for promoting conspiracy theoriesSean Hannity has dared Hillary Clinton to sue Fox News and is known for promoting conspiracy theories (Credit: Fox News)

Despite his many controversies and scandals, Bill O’Reilly still manages to earn almost $45 million a year with an estimated $250 million net worth for his work on Fox network’s Hannity, his podcast The Sean Hannity Show, and multiple New York Times bestselling novels.

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