The art of peddling news is still very much alive and TV reporters are the cream of the crop—Always smart, always sharp, glamorous, hobnobbing with the elite, and attending all the important events. Surely it’s a dream job? But reporting is also hard work. Their hours are long and often unsociable. They do endless hours of research for every minute of a triumphant scoop. And it shows in their paychecks—Take a look!
Tomi Lahren - $500k
Tomi started out on TheBlaze as a political commentator. She had her own show, Tomi. Her views were conservative, and she would often voice harsh comments on liberal politics. We knew her for the three-minute segment at the end of the show, Final Thoughts. There, she would give a round-up of her opinions on several current matters. Many of these videos went viral on social media, and she shot to fame, earning attention from all quarters.
Her stint on TheBlaze was cut off in March 2007. They suspended her after a guest appearance on The View. Why? She aired her belief that women should have access to abortion. But it was far from the end for Tomi. She went on to work at Great American Alliance, and she made regular contributions to Fox News.
Anderson Cooper - $15m
Yes, you read that right. Anderson takes home eleven million bucks for his contributions to journalism. He is a primary anchor on CNN and one of the most eminent faces of US TV. He has had his own daytime TV talk show. Now the paycheck makes sense. When Anderson became a journalist, he had no qualifications in the field. He had studied political science at Yale and completed an internship at the CIA.
It seemed fated from a young age that he was destined for impressive things, but not in the direction first assumed. He started small, joining a modest news agency as a fact-checker. His big break didn’t come until he set off for Myanmar. There, he interviewed students fighting the Burmese government, made a segment himself from the footage, and sold it to Channel One. And the rest is history.
Katy Tur - $1m
Katy’s resume is long and distinguished. She has worked for KTLA, News 12 Brooklyn, HD News/Cablevision, Fox 5 New York, The Weather Channel, and NBC. From weather girl to multi-award-winning journalist, Katy is a force to be reckoned with, chasing storms and politicians. In 2009, she earned the AP Best Spot News Award after A crane collapsed on the Upper East Side. Katy was there to cover the story ASAP.
In 2017, she was awarded a Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. She joined NBC at their New York local station, but it wasn’t long before her talents came to the attention of the right people. She worked in the national headquarters of the network, reporting for various MBC News platforms. Today, Early Today, Meet The Press, and NBC Nightly News have all benefitted from her expertise.
Giada De Laurentiis - Minimum $3m
Giada wanted to be a pastry chef and she studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She worked as a chef in various restaurants and then as a food styler in places such as Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. She was working for Food & Wine magazine when her big break came. In 2002, the Food Network approached her with an idea for a show.
Today, Giada is an empress of food. She has been inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. She’s won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle Host, among other awards. She appears as a guest host on Today for NBC. But the Food Network is her home, having multiple shows— Everyday Italian, Giada On The Beach, Giada’s Weekend Getaways, Giada In Paradise, Giada In Italy, Giada Entertains, and Winner Cake All. Recently, Giada kicked back with Giada At Home. And so she should. With an empire that includes several cookbooks and even restaurants to run, Giada has quite enough on her plate!
Ainsley Earhardt - $2m
It started at a young age for Ainsley. She was still working towards her degree at USC when she landed her first job in journalism. The local CBS station in Columbia, South Carolina, hired her to work as a reporter. She was at that station, WLTX-News 19, from 2000 to 2004, anchoring the morning and noon news reports.
It wasn’t until 2007 that she made the move that would garner her national exposure. Taking herself up to New York, she joined Fox News Channel. There, she has co-hosted programs including America’s News Headquarters, Fox and Friends Weekend, and Fox’s All-American New Year’s Eve. Ainsley is a multi-talented storyteller. She has been a panelist on The Live Desk, presents her own segment, Ainsley Across America, on Hannity, and she even writes books!
Erin Andrews - $2m
Erin is a fascinating mix of tomboy and girl power. Her father was a reporter for WFLA-TV, and winner of six Emmys. They would watch the game together, and she would spend her breaks at school talking sports with the boys. It’s no wonder that she grew up to be a sports presenter. On the flip side of the coin, Erin has danced for much of her childhood. She was on the Florida Gators Dazzlers dance team at college. After finishing third one year in Dancing With the Stars, she now hosts the show.
After Erin graduated, she joined Fox Sports Florida as a freelance reporter. She moved on to the Sunshine Network, and then to Turner South, where she added hosting to her resume. ESPN was her next stop, where she reported on a variety of sports. In 2012, Erin went to Fox Sports, where she is a field reporter for most of the big events. She uses her fame to the best effect by choosing endorsements and charity events to encourage women sports fans.
Wendy Williams - $10m
Wendy Williams may be worth a fortune, but she has worked hard for it. Not content with mere journalism, she is a fierce businesswoman. Fashion and jewelry are her things, with lines in both, including wigs. And just to back that up, she’s written seven books.
It’s her fiery personality that gives her the edge, in business, in readability, and on the air. Wendy started out in radio, where she was inducted into The National Radio Hall of Fame in 2009. It was her outspoken clashes with celebrities that first drew our attention. It garnered her a TV reality show, The Wendy Williams Experience. From there it was inevitable that she would get her own talk show, The Wendy Williams Show.
Rachel Maddow - $20m
Rachel is a trailblazer in Primetime news, as the first openly lesbian anchor in the US. And now we’ve got that (frankly irrelevant to her ability to report the news) fact out of the way, let’s look at why she’s earned every penny of her seven million. First, she trained for it. Rachel has not one, but two university degrees, one from Stanford and the other from Oxford.
It has been a hard fight for Rachel to get to where she is now; one of the most trusted faces on TV news. Radio was her first gig, as a host for WRNX. Her views are liberal, and so are her appearances as a panelist on TV. After being a political commentator on MSNBC’s Tucker and political analyst on Race For The Whitehouse, she landed her first hosting role, as a substitute on Countdown With Keith Olbermann. This led to her own show, The Rachel Maddow Show. Not only that, but she is also co-anchor for the network’s special events. Not bad!
Brian Williams -$6m
Look up ‘anchor’ in the dictionary and you’ll find Brian’s name. In his distinguished career, he has been the face of many a news program. And he doesn't just report the news. He has been the managing editor, no less, as well as the anchor of his own show. Not even accusations of misrepresentation of events (for coverage of the Iraq War) can keep Brian from our TV screens.
Williams has been in broadcasting since 1981. His journey has gone from Kansas, through Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and on to New York City. He joined NBC at the national Weekend Nightly News as the chief White House correspondent. Then came The News With Brian Williams, then The Nightly News. Whilst he was there, the program won a Peabody Award, the George Polk Award, and the DuPont-Columbia University Award. Now, he’s with NSNBC on The 11th Hour With Brian Williams.
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Robin Meade - Was $3m
Robin has moderated on Ask Oprah’s All-Stars. She has won a regional Emmy Award. At the moment, she is the lead anchor for Morning Express With Robin Meade. And she hasn’t stopped at journalism. She is a country music artist with two albums under her belt. Want a bit of whatever powers Robin’s remarkable success? She’s sharing! Buy her book, Morning Sunshine!: How To Radiate Confidence And Feel It Too.
Jimmy Fallon - Minimum $5m
Everyone knows Jimmy! He’s been gracing our screens, both small and big, for years. Although he started college studying computer science, it had been his dream since childhood to star on Saturday Night Live. He switched majors to communications, but his ambition pushed him on before he graduated and he left early to become a comedian.
Jimmy had a successful comedy career, including film appearances, but he never lost sight of that dream. After two auditions, he finally landed the part. The 24th season of Saturday Night Live saw Jimmy doing impressions and singing for the nation. He has written books and released albums, not to mention his movie career, but we love Jimmy best on TV. Since 2014, after a stint on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, he is now sitting behind the famous desk on The Tonight Show. Long may he stay there!
Kate Bolduan - $45-110k
If you’ve got what it takes, it’s a simple path to the top, and Kate has walked it with ease. First, a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from George Washington University. Then, general assignment reporter for WTVD-TV in North Carolina. Follow that up with production assistant for NBC News and MSNBC. Throw in roles at Dateline NBC, NBC Nightly News, and House & Garden Magazine.
The next step took Kate to CNN, where she became a national correspondent for CNN Newsource in 2007. If it’s hard-hitting and historical, Kate’s covered it. The 2008 presidential election, OJ’s armed robbery case, NASA’s space shuttles’ retirement, to name a few. She’s gone on to work at The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and New Day. Right now, she’s anchoring At This Hour with Kate Bolduan before she anchored State Of America with Kate Bolduan.
Lindsay Czarniak - $1.5m
Lindsay is a sporting specialist. Her first sporting job was as co-host of the George Michael Sports Machine with WRC-TV. But, that wasn’t her first reporting experience. She interned with WUSA in Washington, DC before becoming a production assistant for CNN. From behind the scenes to on-screen, her first reporting gig was with WAWS in Florida.
It soon got sporty for Lindsay. In 2006, she got the biggest sporting break there is as NBC Sports hired her to cover the Winter Olympics. After that, she was a natural choice to co-anchor NBC4’s sports segment. In 2011, Lindsay made the move to ESPN covering pre-season football. It wasn’t long before she was the 6 pm co-host of SportsCenter.
Then came the cars. Our Lindsay was the first woman to host ESPN’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500. Now, she’s a studio host for Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage. Who said heels and wheels don’t mix?
Andrea Mitchell - $1m
Andrea has been in the business for over 40 years, which is impressive. Add to that the fact that she has been with the same network, NBC, for most of those years. That’s some staying power. Andrea started as she meant to go on. She became the news director of WXPN, the student radio station at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied. Transitioning into the working world with ease, she joined KYW radio after graduation. She soon became their City Hall correspondent.
In 1976, Andrea worked for WTOP (now WUSA), but it wasn’t long before she made her fateful move to NBC in 1978. After general correspondent, she moved on to energy correspondent, and then on to Chief Congressional correspondent, all for NBC News. She now hosts her own show, Andrea Mitchell Reports, on top of her regular guest appearances on Hardball with Chris Matthews and The Rachel Maddow Show.
Molly Qerim - $500k
If you want a girl to watch the game with, you can’t do better than Molly Qerim. Nowadays she is the face of First Take, ESPN’s sports talk show. She took over as permanent host after proving her aptitude for acting as interim host in July 2015. Molly has been with ESPN since 2008 and has won an Emmy for her contributions to the network.
Football was her first love and her first job. She covered college football for CBS Sports Network, fitting that in round events such as National Signing Day, the NCAA Tournament, and the US Open. To top it off, Molly was also anchoring no less than five shows. She’s no stranger to the red carpet after reporting on various events including the Super Bowl. And... She’s equally at home on your mobile screens, conducting all sorts of celebrity interviews for ESPN.com and ESPN mobile.
Chris Cuomo - $1m
Chris knows his stuff. All his life he’s been around politics, with a father and brother as governors of New York. Yale-educated, he gained a Juris Doctor from Fordham and, to this day, remains a licensed attorney. As an investigative journalist, Chris has uncovered many a problem lurking under the surface of America’s society. His work has led to product recall and even policy change resulting in an industry cleanup. He’s appeared on all the big networks. CNBC. MSNBC. CNN. Fox News. ABC.
He’s been a correspondent on Fox Files, a political policy analyst on Fox News, a co-anchor of 20/20. In 2006, Chris joined Good Morning America, where he was the anchor and primary reporter on breaking news stories. After co-anchoring CNN’s New Day, Chris moved to the Primetime slot with his own show, Cuomo Primetime. He’s hosted spiritual shows, documentary series, and a radio show. Want to talk to the man himself? He takes questions on his website, Cuomo on the Case.
Don Lemon – $4 Million
CNN's renowned journalist Don Lemon is one journalist that is not afraid of touching delicate subjects and issues. Many say that he deserves every penny he gets.
Don is an amazing example of people, not only journalists, that stick to their values and ethics all the way, no matter the consequences. Since 2002, he was awarded a lot of awards for his work. He was also dubbed one of the Advocat's 50 Most Influential LGBTQ People.
Shepard Smith - $10m
He’s been in the business for over 30 years, starting out in TV reporting in Florida. He moved to Los Angeles as a correspondent for A Current Affair, but then he started his own affair with Fox. This was to last 23 years, during which he covered some of the most prestigious stories of the world. He announced his retirement in October 2019.
During his time at Fox, Shepard has hosted Fox News’ The Fox Report with Shepard Smith, Studio B, and Shepard Smith Reporting. He has worked hard through the years to bring us, in his own words, “truth to power without fear or favor, in context and with perspective.” It’s this attitude that has led him to tie second in the 2003 TV Guide poll as the most trusted news anchor on both cable news and network. His colleagues are keeping their fingers crossed that Shepard will resurface in news reporting sometime soon.
Hoda Kotb - $5m
Hoda grew up in Virginia, where she attended university to earn her degree in Broadcast Journalism. But it was back to her Egyptian roots that she went for her first paying job. In 1986, she was a news assistant in Cairo, Egypt, of CBS News. Since then, she has authored four books, judged on a reality show, survived cancer, and won a Daytime Emmy Award.
Once she had some anchoring experience under her belt, gained at WQAD-TV and ABC Moline, Hoda was an easy choice for NBC News. She started there as the national correspondent, also holding down roles as a contributing anchor and correspondent for Dateline NBC. She’s now one-half of the first all-female duo to co-host a segment of the Today Show.
Nancy Grace - $8m
Nancy intended to be an English professor when she left school but changed direction with the murder of her fiancé. She moved into prosecution, working for close to a decade in Atlanta, Georgia. She has always been controversial and has faced reprimands for prosecutorial misconduct. It’s this fire that first attracted the TV execs to her. Court TV approached her with an offer she couldn’t refuse.
Her career in broadcasting started with a legal commentary show alongside Johnnie Cochran. From there, Grace went on to host Trial Heat and then Closing Arguments. In 2005 she got her own show, Nancy Grace, on HLN, whilst at the same time hosting a courtroom reality show, Swift Justice With Nancy Grace. Nowadays she’s gone back to her roots of campaigning against injustice with a true-crime series on Oxygen TV, Injustice with Nancy Grace.
Billy Bush - $3m
It could be said that Billy Bush had a bit of a head start in the race for stardom. The nephew of one US President and the first cousin of another, he has been raised in the spotlight. However, he earned the roles he landed on TV. Upon naming him one of their 10 Men in 2005, Esquire described him as “a furious, inventive interviewer, unafraid of playing the fool in exchange for a true reaction.”
After the obligatory start in radio, Billy transitioned to TV, joining the team at Access Hollywood as East Coast correspondent. It wasn’t long before they promoted him to co-anchor. He has also been a co-host on NBC’s Today. He has dabbled in film, returned to radio, and hosted the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. After the lewd chat from years before was aired, NBC pulled Billy from Today, but he is back on our screens this year anchoring Extra’s weekday broadcasts.
Savannah Guthrie - $8m
We know Savannah for her well-regarded interviews with high-profile figures. She’s been on TV since graduating for the first time in 1993 with a degree in journalism. Local TV in Arizona gave way to the national news when she joined WRC-TV, covering major stories such as the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Then, not content with one degree, Savannah went back to school.
She’s now got a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the DC and Arizona bars, scoring first place on the Arizona Bar Exam. Her legal work soon brought her back to TV as a national trial correspondent for Court TV. In 2007, she started corresponding for NBC News. She has since anchored the show, along with NBC Nightly News. Savannah is also Hoda Kotb’s co-host on the 9am hour of Today in their first all-female pairing.
Martha MacCallum - $700k
Award-winning journalist Martha studied political science at St. Lawrence University. But, before she started down that career path she took time out to study at the Circle In The Square Theater School. She founded the Miranda Theater Company in New York, then moved on to work as an associate in corporate relations. It wasn’t until 1991 that she found journalism.
She started as a business correspondent and anchor for the Wall Street Journal Report, World Market Outlook, and Business USA. Then she took the same role for WPXN-TV. Next up was NBC/CNBC as a contributor to some of their biggest news shows before landing a co-anchor role at Morning Call with Martha MacCallum and Ted David. In 2004, Martha joined Fox on its news channel, covering four presidential elections. She has hosted The Live Desk and America’s Newsroom. She now hosts The Story with Martha MacCallum.
Jon Stewart - $24m
Where’s the money made? In comedy, that’s where. Jon is our highest earner so far. There’s no way we can get much more than a movie trailer’s worth of information on Jon’s impressive career into this list. Here are some highlights. After graduating with a psychology major, Jon did some job-hopping. He tried out everything from puppeteer to contingency planner. He suffered from stage fright, so it took him quite a while to make the first step of his career: Joining the comedy club circuit.
From there, there was no stopping him. He got into writing for TV in 1989, followed by hosting. He got his own show on MTV before signing with Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants. Then came The Daily Show and 20 Primetime Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and two Peabody Awards. He’s a movie star, writer, producer, Academy Awards host, and now movie director. There is actually no end to his talents!
Sage Steele - $400k
If you can score points playing it, Sage knows all about it. Today she’s the co-host of ESPN’s SportsCenter. She travels across the nation, covering major sporting events for SportsCenter On The Road. Football, golf, baseball, Sage has them all covered. And it’s hardly a surprise when we look at to whom she’s related.
Gary Steele was the first African-American to play varsity football at West Point. Sage is his daughter. Her brother Chad is vice president of media relations for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. It was inevitable that Sage would tread in the family's footsteps. After graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Communication, she went straight into TV sports reporting. Several local gigs later, Sage joined ESPN in 2007.
David Muir - $5m
Simply put, America loves David. He’s been one of the most visible journalists in the country. World News Tonight with David Muir has become the most-watched newscast in the country. TV Week has called him one of the 12 to watch TV news. And let’s not forget that People Magazine has named him one of the Sexiest Men Alive. Throw in a few Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow award or two, and what’s not to like?
As being sexy and professional, rumors started to swirl around about his private life. He was linked to Gio Benitez. They were seen several times on private events, but they both rejected the rumors. In 2016, Gio started a relationship with Tommy DiDario so the rumors about Muir died. So for all of you out there - Muir is still a happy single man.
Sam Champion - $1.5m
We don’t care if the weather is bad, as long as Sam is the one telling us about it. He has a BA in broadcast news from Eastern Kentucky University, and he’s put the skills he learned to good use. Apart from his TV career, Sam has spent years bringing charitable causes to our attention. He has been Grand Marshall, Chairman, and Master of Ceremonies for various money-raising events. He even shared his battle with cancer with us to raise awareness.
Sam started out in broadcasting as a meteorologist at WPDS-TV in Kentucky, then WJKS in Florida. In 1988, he started a 25-year stint at ABC. He started out on Eyewitness News, then joined Good Morning America in 2004. He has been prominent in covering environmental issues, including climate change and global warming. In 2013, he had a change of scenery, joining The Weather Channel as host and managing director. That affair is now over, and Sam is back where he belongs, anchoring with ABC once more.
Ginger Zee - $500k
What drove Ginger to meteorology? “I saw a waterspout on Lake Michigan when I was eight... I was mesmerized. I really thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.” Well, we are inclined to agree that waterspouts are pretty amazing. We don’t blame Ginger for studying meteorology with the single-minded aim of being on The Today Show before she hit 30. With a vocation burning in her since age eight, we’re not even surprised that she did just that. It can’t have been easy, especially as she has been diagnosed with narcolepsy since age 21!
Ginger was asked to guest on The Today Show in 2010, just squeezing it in before her 30th birthday. From there, her career at ABC blossomed, with Good Morning America Weekend, ABC World News Tonight, and Nightline. On Sam Champion’s departure, Ginger stepped in to fill his shoes and became ABC News’ Chief Meteorologist and weather editor. And the cherry on the top? She came third in Dancing With The Stars in 2016!
Cari Champion - $1m
Cari has two passions in life: Tennis and fighting for the underdog. The first drew her to journalism. “I wanted to give people a voice that didn’t have a voice... That’s why I love journalism.” After graduating from UCLA in 1998, Cari’s broadcasting career started out small. It took ten years of station-hopping for her to find her second passion and her new home.
Cari was covering tennis at the height of the Williams sisters’ fame. She had always loved the game, and the inspirational performances of Venus and Serena “...opened the door to tennis for so many different people.” Cari was quick to audition for the Tennis Channel’s news department, and in 2009 became a courtside reporter and anchor for the network.
Cari’s name soon became synonymous with sports reporting, and ESPN hired her in 2012. She hosted, moderated, wrote, and interviewed her way to the top, becoming a SportsCenter anchor in 2015.
Charissa Thompson - $700k
Armed with a BA in Law and Society, Charissa set out to work in broadcasting straight from school. It was all that she had ever wanted to do. And it didn’t take her long to land a national gig covering Major League Baseball. She joined Fox, reporting from the sidelines at the NFL. She’s covered college football and basketball and hosted various sports shows.
Aside from Fox, Charissa has done a lot of work for Yahoo! Sports. There, she’s covered everything from the Winter Olympics to the FIFA World Cup. At one point an ice-level reporter at the NHL, a reality sports TV host, and a co-host on Extra, Charissa has seen it all. She enjoyed a few years' hiatus from Fox to work with ESPN, where she hosted SportsNation and ESPN First Take. But it wasn’t long before she was back in Fox’s den, where she now reports for Fox Sports.
Tom Brokaw - $10m
Tom Brokaw - a legend in his own lifetime. He’s best known for his remarkable achievement of anchoring and editing NBC Nightly News for 22 years. He’s the only person to have hosted all three major NBC News programs. He was one of the ‘Big Three’ news anchors in the US for three decades. Nowadays, at nearly 80 years old, he is a special correspondent for the network.
And that’s just what made him famous. Off-screen, Tom is as awesome as he is in the studio. He has fought and beaten cancer. He’s published ten books. He has over 30 awards, including Peabody Awards, Emmys, and lifetime achievement awards. He’s been recognized for contributions to freedom of speech, overcoming adversity, and advancing the understanding of religion, race, and ethnicity. He has a French Legion of Honor for his support of WWII veterans. He has, and I kid you not, 30 honorary degrees. In his youth, he climbed mountains. When faced with allegations of sexual misconduct, no less than 68 colleagues signed a letter characterizing Tom as “a man of tremendous decency and integrity”.
Lesley Stahl - $8m
Lesley is remarkable in this list for how many jobs she hasn’t had. Unlike most of our intrepid reporters, Lesley found a home near the beginning of her career, and she lives there still. In 1972, she was one of the first women reporters hired by CBS. It may have been the burgeoning field of political correctness that bought her that job, but CBS has never regretted its decision. She immediately went to cover Watergate, giving the network the scoop on the story.
Since then, Lesley has gone on to become the CBS White House correspondent. She hosted Face The Nation for 8 years and 48 Hours Investigates for 2 years. She’s now a correspondent for 60 Minutes, and she’s published two books. It’s all a far cry from her first gig on Boston’s Channel 5!
Brooke Baldwin - $4m
Brooke hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Her journey to national fame has included college in North Carolina, undergraduate study in Mexico City, reporting and anchoring in Virginia, and reporting in Washington, DC. Since joining CNN in 2008, Brooke has been nominated for an Emmy and a Peabody Award. Her documentary To Catch A Serial Killer won a Silver World Medal.
Brooke joined The Rick List in 2008, taking Rick’s place when the network dropped him. She has covered two Presidential inaugurations, a space shuttle launch, the Eric Garner death protests, the 2015 Baltimore protests, and the Orlando nightclub shooting. Currently, she hosts CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin.
Megyn Kelly - $23m
Legal eagle Megyn trained in law and practiced as a corporate defense attorney. It was still early in her career when her path took a slight turn and she got a job as a general assignment reporter. She conducted the live coverage of the confirmation hearing for US Supreme Court Justices. From there, Fox News gave her a segment, Kelly’s Court, during Weekend Live. She also appeared on a weekly segment on the network’s number one show, the O’Reilly Factor.
She’s been one of the 100 most influential people listed by Time, and it’s easy to see why. 2010 saw her hosting America Live. In 2013, she started a four-year stint hosting The Kelly File. This ran every night and was so popular that it occasionally overtook the O’Reilly Factor in the race for the number one spot. 2017 heralded a change of scenery for Megyn as she left Fox for NBC. From night owl to early bird, there she hosted Megyn Kelly Today, part of the Today show.
Lester Holt - $9m
Lester Holt secured his place in history when he became the first African-American solo anchor for a network nightly newscast. He achieved this when Brian Williams was demoted from the role on NBC Nightly News in 2015. Lester had already been anchoring the weekend edition of the program for eight years. He also anchors Dateline NBC.
Lester Holt secured his place in history when he became the first African-American solo anchor for a network nightly newscast. He achieved this when Brian Williams was demoted from the role on NBC Nightly News in 2015. Lester had already been anchoring the weekend edition of the program for eight years. He also anchors Dateline NBC.
Jim Rome - $15m
Jim Rome is our first radio star featured on this list. Generally, radio is where our stars have started out before transitioning into TV. But Jim is a radioman at heart. Despite various successful TV jobs, he has never abandoned his first love. Nowadays, he has been named as one of the most influential talk radio personalities by Talkers Magazine.
Jim’s career was born with an internship at KTMS, Santa Barbara. It fledged with traffic-update reporting and part-time sports reporting. It took wing at XTRA Sports, who gave him his own show, the Jim Rome Show, now heard on over 200 stations across the US and Canada. On TV, Jim has hosted The FX Sports Show, Talk2 on ESPN2, and The Last Word on Fox Sports Net. On ESPN, he hosted Rome Is Burning, and on CBS, Rome.
Ann Curry - $4m
Born in Guam to an American father and a Japanese mother, Ann lived in Japan, then Oregon. She holds a bachelor of arts in journalism, and today she runs a multi-platform media start-up company. She is active in charitable works and has received three Emmys, a Gracie Award, and four Golden Mikes, among other awards. She sponsors a scholarship program at the University of Oregon, where she graduated.
Ann’s reports focused on human suffering. In this vein, she has covered wars and natural disasters across the world. She worked her way up through various stations and jobs to become a news anchor on Today in 1994. She first substituted, then anchored on the show for over ten years. During that time, Ann also anchored on Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News. Beforehand she had anchored the NBC News At Sunrise. Since leaving NBC, Ann has turned to docuseries, producing her own six-part PBS series. She currently hosts TNT/TBS’ Chasing The Cure.
Kelly Ripa - $29m
Kelly wasn’t always in journalism. In fact, she spent twelve years starring in a soap opera! She has studied ballet since age three. She plays the piano. She was a cheerleader in high school and starred in school and local theatre productions before attending college. It was her performance in The Ugly Duckling during her senior year that got her discovered. After a few local TV gigs, Kelly made it onto Dancin’ On Air.
Here, she made a start on her ultimate goal, to be a newsreader. She would regularly do the cast news reports. But acting would yet take up a few years of her career. She followed her time on All My Children with a three-year stint on Hope & Faith. She did, however, manage to squeeze in some hosting work. In 2001, she was named as Kathie Lee Gifford’s replacement on Live!, where she still hosts today.
Maria Bartiromo - Minimum $6m
Maria started how she meant to go on. She studied journalism and economics at NYU whilst working as an intern at CNN. None of this working through a collection of local stations for Maria. Upon graduating, she went straight into CNN Business News as a producer and assignment editor. But she wanted to be in front of the cameras. After five years, she made her first report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She was the first journalist to do so.
In her career, Maria has hosted Market Watch, Squawk Box, The Business of Innovation, Closing Bell, Market Wrap, and Business Center. She anchored and edited On The Money with Maria Bartiromo. She’s penned three books and writes a monthly column for USA Today. After 20 years with CNBC, Maria has now moved to Fox, where she hosts Mornings with Maria, Wall Street Week with Maria Bartiromo, and Sunday Morning Features with Maria Bartiromo.
Michael Strahan - $17m
It’s a common occurrence for retiring athletes to join their former sport’s commentary teams, but it takes talent to progress far into TV celebrity. Michael played with the New York Giants in the NFL for 15 years. In his final year before retirement, the Giants won the Super Bowl with him on the team.
His first foray into broadcasting was on the pregame show, Fox NFL Sunday, as a football analyst. He remains there still. He’s starred in various commercials, and he’s authored a motivational book. He’s tried a few different roles in journalism, including co-hosting Live! and Good Morning America. He won an Emmy at GMA and went on to co-host Strahan and Sara. Just for something different to do, Michael now hosts his favorite game show growing up, $100,000 Pyramid.
Samantha Steele Ponder - $4.9m
Samantha’s life has read like a modern-day woman’s fairy tale. She went to college in New York City, where she joined ESPN, eventually getting an internship with them. She then moved on to be a researcher assistant for the college football studio show on ABC-TV. Jobs started finding her at that point, and she transferred universities to take an opportunity offered at Liberty Flames. She was a sideline reporter for the Virginian sports television network until 2009.
Next, Samantha moved on to Fox, reporting from the sidelines for college basketball and football games. Then, in 2011, she joined ESPN on their Longhorn Network, leading to her current roles on College GameDay and ESPNU. Our reporting princess has found her NFL prince, marrying player Christian Ponder in 2012. She’s now living happily ever after hosting Sunday NFL Countdown.