The Salaries Of TV’s Top Reporters Are Astonishingly High

We see reporters’ faces every day. From home TVs to screens in airports and waiting rooms, TV anchors tell us what’s happening around the world. It’s a hard job to land, for sure. But most of us don’t think about how an anchor got their position or how much they make.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average news reporter makes around $65,000. Popular anchors, though, make much more–up to $25 million a year. You might feel flabberghasted knowing how much your everyday reporters are making. Here are the highest-paid reporters from Fox, CBS, NBC, and more.

Fox And NBC Legal Reporter Megyn Kelly

Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York.
Getty Images
Getty Images

In 1995, Megyn Kelly kickstarted her career as a defense attorney. She wouldn’t begin reporting until 2003 when ABC’s affiliate WJLA-TV assigned her to recount court cases. In 2004, she began working for Fox; in 2016, she moved to NBC. She earns around $15 million annually.

During her employment with Fox, Kelly directed her own legal segment, Kelly’s Court, during Weekend Live. She later hosted for America Live with Megyn Kelly. She later switched to NBC for a “triple role”: daytime as Megyn Kelly Today, weekly with Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, and nightly on The Kelly File.

Comedy Anchor Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart reporting on The Daily Show on Comedy Central
Twitter/@KyleClark
Twitter/@KyleClark

In the beginning of his career, Jon Stewart worked as a stand-up comedian in New York. However, his career never really took off until he joined the Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. Although Stewart was a finalist to take over Letterman’s position, it was instead given to Conan O’Brien. However, this change motivated Stewart to fabricate his own show–one that would give him $25 million a year.

After years of hosting talk shows on MTV, Stewart moved to ComedyCentral and launched The Daily Show in 1999, which made him a household name. He won a total of twenty Primetime Emmy Awards for this show. After leaving The Daily Show in 2015, Stewart has maintained a low profile.

CNN News Anchor Anderson Cooper

Debate moderator Anderson Cooper during the CNN Democratic Presidential Primary Debate in 2016
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

As the primary anchor of CNN, Anderson Cooper headlines Anderson Cooper 360° and is a correspondent on 60 Minutes. He used to entertain his own daytime talk show, Anderson Live, where he gained most of his fame. Cooper makes around $11 million every year and has a net worth of about $110 million.

Cooper worked for a small news agency, Channel One, as a fact-checker before anchoring on ABC and CNN. Unlike other TV hosts, Cooper landed a career in news without a journalism education. In the late 1980s, he majored in political science at Yale University.

Shepard Smith, One Of Fox’s First Reporters

Shepard Smith reporting on Fox News
Twitter/@MSN
Twitter/@MSN

Shepard Smith has had quite a long reporting career. He first joined television when he broadcasted for local Florida stations in 1986. In 1996, when Fox News first began, Smith became one of their first reporters. His presence at many major events, such as Princess Diana’s funeral and the aftermath of Katrina, landed him as a significant anchor who earns $10 million annually.

Smith started out hosting The Fox Report with Shepard Smith and Studio B, both of which were replaced by Shepard Smith Reporting in 2013. He is currently Fox News’ chief anchor and managing editor. In 2003, he was voted the most trustworthy news anchor of both cable and network.

Brian Williams: The Anchor With Over A Decade Of Experience

Emmy Award-winning anchor & managing editor of NBC Nightly News Brian Williams speaks at the 57th Annual New York Emmy awards
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Brian Williams has spent fifteen years anchoring for both NBC and MSNBC. In that time, he became most famous for his reporting on NBC Nightly News. Soon after joining, Williams won the Peabody Award, DuPont-Columbia University Award, and George Polk Award for his coverage on Hurricane Katrina. He now makes around $10 million every year.

In 2015, NBC demoted Williams from a Nightly News host after he supposedly misrepresented events of the Iraq War. He then moved over to MSNBC, where he hosts The 11th Hour with Brian Williams every night. He has won four Doctor of Human Letters, along with one Doctor of Journalism and Doctor of Laws.

Martha MacCallum Climbed Up NBC To Fox News

: Martha MacCallum seen during a taping of
Jason Mendez/Getty Images
Jason Mendez/Getty Images

Since the early 1990s, Martha MacCallum has climbed the reporting ladder up to an $8 million salary. She first reported for Wall Street Journal Television as a business news correspondent. Later, she joined NBC/CNBC, where she contributed to Today, The News with Brian Williams, and Morning Call. MacCallum also created CNBC’s series “Inside the Business” for Business Center.

In 2004, MacCallum started working for Fox News. There, she covered the 2004 election, and later in 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential elections. As of 2017, she has been hosting The Story with Martha MacCallum, likely conducive to her multi-million dollar pay.

Erin Burnett, One Of CNN’s Highest-Paid Anchors

CNN anchor Erin Burnett attends the launch party for CNN's
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Erin Burnett is the current news anchor of CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront and the previous host of Squawk on the Street and Street Signs. While her career began as a financial analyst for CNN, Burnett now runs her own shows and documentaries. Every year, she makes about $3 million.

Her fellow reporter, Joe Scarborough, called Burnett “The International Superstar” for reporting live overseas. She has filmed reports and documentaries from Libya, Nigeria, Jordan, India, Russia, China, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Tunisia.

One Of The “Big Three,” Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News
Twitter/@CNN
Twitter/@CNN

From the 1980s through the early 2000s, Tom Brokaw was one of the “Big Three” news anchors throughout the U.S. The other two, ABC reporter Peter Jennings and CBS host Dan Rather, broadcasted the nightly news for 20 years. Tom Brokaw reported for even longer, remaining NBC’s anchor and managing editor from 1982 until 2004. Near the end of his career, he earned around $8 a year.

Brokaw is also the only newscasters to have been on all three of NBC’s major programs: NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, and The Today Show. Nowadays, he works as one of NBC’s Special Correspondents. Along with his career in television, Brokaw has written nine books about American history in the twentieth century.

TV, Radio, And Podcast Host Rachel Maddow

Television host Rachel Maddow arrives for a lunch hosted in honor of Prime Minister David Cameron at the State Department
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Along with being the first openly lesbian news anchor in the U.S., Rachel Maddow hosts and commentates on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC and radio. She carries degrees from Stanford and Oxford University and focuses her conversations on liberal politics. Maddow rakes $7 million a year.

Maddow began her reporting career in radio through WRNX in 1999. She later became a panelist on the MSNBC show Tucker, and then a liberal commentator. From there, Maddow launched her show, radio program, and podcast. Since 2009, she has won 22 awards.

Lester Holt, The First Solo African-American Anchor

Newscaster Lester Holt attends NBCUniversal's Summer Press Day
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Lester Holt has spent 19 years with CBS as an anchor, reporter, and international correspondent. Since 2003, he has anchored for Today, Weekend Today, and NBS Nightly News. After Brian Williams got demoted in 2015, Holt became the solo anchor of NBC Nightly News, making him the first African-American to do so. He receives a $4.5 million annual salary.

Holt has reported from several troubled international locations, including Somalia, Iraq, and Haiti. In September of 2016, he moderated the first presidential debate, where he was praised for credibility in fact-checking both opponents. President Donald Trump called his mediation “very fair.”

Weather Anchor Sam Champion

Sam Champion, weather reporter on ABC and the Weather Channel
Twitter/@SamChampion
Twitter/@SamChampion

Sam Champion’s 25-year-old career with ABC station WABC-TV has raked in a $2 million annually. Champion worked for local news stations until 2004, when he received a contract for Good Morning America at a $1.5 million salary. In 2013, Champion left ABC to become managing editor of The Weather Channel.

Champion hosted a show on The Weather Channel, America’s Morning Headquarters, until 2016. Then, he returned to ABC to report on their WABC-TV morning and noon broadcasts. Americans know Champion by his catchphrases such as, “Let’s get to the boards” and “That’s the weather around the nation.”

Sports Anchor Lindsay Czarniak

Sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak mESPN's Lindsay Czarniak during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500akes a $1 million salary
Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images
Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

Lindsay Czarniak began interning as a broadcaster before she graduated college. After a brief career with CNN, Czarniak received a call from George Michael to work as a sports anchor. In 2006, she officially co-hosted of The George Michael Sports Machine, launching a career that would earn her $1 million every year.

In 2007, Michael stepped down, so Czarniak and her coworker Dan Hellie became the new sports anchors. Czarniak worked for NBC until 2011, when she migrated to ESPN. She became the new host of SportsCenter and the only female to cover ABC’s Indianapolis 500. As of 2019, Czarniak switched over to Fox Sports, so her pay may rise even more.

The Today Show Host Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb visits Build to discuss her new book
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Since 2008, Hoda Kotb has co-hosted The Today Show on NBC. Today, she runs the entertainment-focused fourth hour, a role that won her a Daytime Emmy Award in 2010. In 2018, she began co-hosting with Savannah Guthrie, creating the first female duo in the show’s history. She earns around $2 million a year.

Kotb also receives quite a lot of money for her books. Her fourth book, I’ve Loved You Since Forever, was even adapted into a song by Kelly Clarkson. Kotb even allowed Today Show to document her struggle through breast cancer in 2007, raising awareness for the disease.

Robin Meade: Reporter, Model, And Country Singer

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Robin Meade is the lead news anchor of Morning Express with Robin Meade and a moderator of the Oprah Winfrey Network. However, her career has expanded far beyond radio and TV reporting. Before radio broadcasting, Meade won Miss Ohio and a semi-finalist for Miss America. She now makes $750,000 every year.

Like other reporters, Meade has written a nonfiction book, titled Morning Sunshine!: How to Radiate Confidence and Feel it Too. Unlike other anchors, she has produced two country albums in 2011 and 2013. In 2005, Meade won an Emmy Award for covering the Fox River Grove bus-train collision.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Most Loyal Anchor

NBC's Andrea Mitchell photographed for the Washington Post Sunday Magazine
Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Unlike other reporters, Andrea Mitchell never hopped from studio to studio; she has anchored for NBC since 1978. She is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC, a position she’s held since 1994. Previously, she served as the Chief Congressional Correspondent and the Chief White House Correspondent. She makes $750,000 a year.

Mitchell currently anchors for her own show, Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC. In the past, she has reported for Today and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. Viewers often see her as a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show and Hardball with Chris Matthews.

NBC News Reporter Katy Tur

MSNBC Anchor and NBC News Correspondent Katy Tur speaks onstage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune

On NBC News, Katy Tur anchors for MSNBC Live. In the past, she has reported for Today, NBC Nightly News, Early Today, Meet the Press, WNBC-TV, Fox 5 New York and The Weather Channel. In 2009, when Tur began working for NBC, she received AP’s Best Spot News Award for covering the crane collapse in Manhattan. She earns $500,000 a year.

Tur became NBC’s leading reporter during Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign. In 2017, she married Tony Dokoupil, a fellow anchor for CBS This Morning. In the same year, she received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.

Fox News Personality Ainsley Earhardt

Fox News anchor Ainsley Earhardt interviews the former CEO of Starbucks on Fox & Friends on Fox News
Steven Ferdman/Getty Images
Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Before Ainsley Earhardt graduated from USC, she was already working as a news reporter. She began her career as a morning and noon anchor for WLTX-News 19, one of South Carolina’s local CBS stations. In 2007, she relocated to New York City to report for Fox News. This was the start of her eventual $400,000 annual salary.

Despite not knowing much about politics, Earhardt began co-hosting Fox & Friends. Later, she co-hosted on America’s News Headquarters, Fox and Friends Weekend, The Live Desk, and Fox’s All-American New Year’s Eve. Today, Earhardt runs her own segment on Hannity called Ainsley Across America.

Lawyer, Model, And News Anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle

Kimberly Guilfoyle on The Five on Fox
Youtube/Nicki Swift
Youtube/Nicki Swift

Kimberly Guilfoyle became famous for co-hosting The Five on Fox News until 2018. While working for Fox, she made an $8 million annual salary. Before that, though, Guilfoyle ran a colorful career. She worked as a San Francisco attorney and prosecutor until 2004. While in law school, Guilfoyle modeled for Victoria’s Secret and Macy’s.

When Guilfoyle joined TV, she initially worked on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° as a legal analyst. In 2011, she hosted The Five, and later Outnumbered. Guilfoyle was married to Gavin Newsom while he was the mayor of San Francisco; he is know California’s current governor.

Savannah Guthrie, Co-Anchor Of Today

Savannah Guthrie attends the 70th Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Savannah Guthrie began broadcasting for ABC’s local Missouri affiliate, KMIZ. Later, she moved to NBC’s local WRC-TV station in Washington, D.C. While she studied journalism, she reported on the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks. That was the case that launched her into a career with $1 million annual pay.

In 2007, Guthrie became a correspondent to NBC news. That same year, she was promoted to White House correspondent. In 2011, Guthrie began co-hosting The Today Show, where she still appears today. At times, she may serve as a substitute anchor for the NBC Nightly News.

Sage Steele, The News Anchor Who Was Born Into Sports

Sage Steele moderates the Women in Leadership panel at the espnW Summit
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images
Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Sage Steele was born into a sports-loving family. Her father, Gary Steele, was the first African American varsity football player at West Point. Her brother is the vice president of media relations of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. So it’s no wonder that Sage Steele co-hosted ESPN’s SportsCenter, a career that landed her $400,000 a year.

Steele previously hosted the NBA Countdown on both ESPN and ABC, where she has covered every NBA finals since 2012. She also hosted the segment SportsCenter on the Road, where she traveled to game locations and reported. In 2017 and 2018, she co-hosted Miss America on ABC.