A career in front of the camera is a dream job for many. The best in the business spent hours practicing their cadence and delivery before being hired for small-time gigs. Those especially lucky, like Judge Judy or Erin Burnett, found their way into the national spotlight, becoming millionaires in the process. Judge Judy is worth $420 million! Can you guess how many millions of dollars other famous TV personalities are worth? The answers are just ahead!
Judge Judy – $420 Million
Judy Sheindlin has been the face and namesake of Judge Judy for more than a quarter of a century. Airing its first episode in 1996, the courtroom show has brought the real-life judge millions of fans over the years.
For her role, Sheindlin has won three Emmy Awards. The media exposure has also allowed her two write several bestselling books. Once all of her accomplishments are added up, America’s favorite judge is worth an estimated $420 million.
Dr. Phil – $440 Million
Dr. Phil, born Phillip Calvin McGraw, got his big break on television thanks to Oprah. He was featured on her show throughout the ’90s and became so popular that in 2002 he became the host of his own daytime talk show.
Despite his massive popularity, Dr. Phil came under fire in 2006 when he decided to stop renewing his license. The issue didn’t hurt Phil, who in 2008 had the second highest-rated program behind on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Today, Phil McGraw is worth an estimated $440 million.
Ellen DeGeneres – $490 Million
Ellen DeGeneres got her start as a stand-up comedian in the ’80s and has seen her career evolve exponentially since then. In the ’90s, she headlined her own sitcom, and at the turn of the century, she started her own daytime talk show.
DeGeneres isn’t just a one-trick pony. She continues to act, voicing Dory in the Finding Nemo franchise, and has authored several best selling books. In 2015, Ellen added another venture to her resume, launching a lifestyle brand.
Anderson Cooper – $200 Million
Before entering the world of journalism, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper had zero previous experience. In his early days, he studied political science while interning at the CIA. After his internship ended, he accepted a job with ABC News as a co-anchor on World News Now.
In 2003, Cooper began hosting his own show on CNN, Anderson Cooper 360. The show has been a staple on the network, helping Cooper earn a massive reported net worth of $200 million.
Steve Harvey – $180 Million
Steve Harvey has a similar story of success to Ellen DeGeneres except for one major difference. While he was fighting to get stand up gigs in the ’80s to advance his career, he was homeless and sleeping in his car.
Once he gained notoriety, everything changed. He was the host of Showtime at the Apollo before headlining his own sitcom and eventually being named the host of Family Feud when it was revived in 2010.
Katie Couric – $75 Million
Katie Couric is one of the most recognizable television personalities in the world. She has spent time in her career working for the “Big Three” television networks in the United States and has won numerous accolades along the way.
In 2004, Couric was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. She was the co-anchor of 60 Minutes for 15 years and published The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives in 2011.
Al Roker – $60 Million
Al Roker has been a regular co-anchor on The Today Show since 1996. Starting as a weather anchor, he quickly became one of the most popular hosts on the show and had his duties expanded.
In 2014, Roker attempted to break the Guinness world record for the longest uninterrupted live weather report. He needed to broadcast for more than 33 hours to beat Norwegian Eli Kari Gjengedal. After 34 hours, he was certified as the new world record holder.
Stephen Colbert – $60 Million
When Stephen Colbert decided to chase a career in the entertainment industry, he originally wanted to be a dramatic actor. Fate had other plans for him, however, as he joined an improv group and went onto develop Strangers with Candy on Comedy Central.
Colbert then became a breakout star on The Daily Show, leading to him getting his own show; The Colbert Report. In 2014, Colbert took over as the host of The Late Show, replacing David Letterman on the iconic program.
Jimmy Fallon – $60 Million
Jimmy Fallon had a fast rise to fame, first signing on to Saturday Night Live in 1998. He was 23-years-old and became an instant success. In 2004, Fallon made his jump to the big screen, starring in Taxi with Queen Latifah.
In 2005, Fallon starred alongside Drew Barrymore in Fever Pitch. In 2013, he moved into late night, taking over as the host of The Tonight Show from Jay Leno. Thanks to all his success, Fallon is worth an estimated $60 million.
Meredith Vieira – $40 Million
Meredith Vieira rose to national prominence in 1997 as one of the hosts on The View on ABC. Just five years later she became the host of the syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, replacing Regis Philbin as the show left the primetime market.
Vieira left The View in 2006, succeeding Katie Couric as the co-host of Today. She continued to host Millionaire until 2013 when she launched her own daytime show, The Meredith Vieira Show. Today, she hosts 25 Words or Less, a daytime game show based on the board game of the same name.
Carson Daly – $40 Million
The original host of Total Request Live, Carson Daly has come a long way since his surprising rise to superstardom. He stuck with TRL from 1998 until 2003, while also starting his own show, Last Call with Carson Daly, in 2002.
Daly continued to take on bigger and bigger jobs, even being named the host of NBC’s New Year’s Even coverage. He began hosting The Voice in 2011 and today serves as a co-anchor on Today.
Robin Roberts – $35 Million
Starting her career as a sports reporter in Mississippi in 1983, Robin Roberts was given her big break by ESPN in 1990. She stayed with the worldwide leader in sports for 15 years while also co-anchoring Good Morning America.
During her years on Good Morning America, Roberts gained acclaim for her interviews with sports stars. For her contributions in broadcasting, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.
Megyn Kelly – $30 Million
Love her or hate her, it’s hard to argue with how successful Megyn Kelly has been throughout her career. She broke out with Fox News in 2004, hosting a segment called Kelly’s Court, which quickly led to bigger things.
Kelly left Fox News in 2017 to join the team at NBC, where she was given her own daytime talk show, Megyn Kelly Today. The show was pulled off the air in 2018 when Kelly’s contract was terminated. The next year she announced the formation of her own media company, Devil May Care Media.
Hoda Kotb – $30 Million
A local news reporter for nearly a decade, Hoda Kotb was given her first national gig in 1998, joining NBC News as a correspondent on Dateline. She also joined Today as the first host of the program’s fourth hour.
In 2018, Kotb was named the official co-anchor of Today alongside Savannah Guthrie after Matt Lauer was dismissed. Kotb released a best-selling book about her life and struggles with cancer in 2010.
Maria Bartiromo – $22 Million
Maria Bartiromo was studying economics and journalism when she got an internship with CNN. After the internship, she was brought on full time as a producer and assignment editor on the program Business News.
In 1993, Bartiromo became the first reporter to ever report live from the New York Stock Exchange. When she left CNN, she signed on with CNBC before joining Fox News in 2013 where she hosts Saturday Morning Futures.
Rachel Maddow – $20 Million
Rachel Maddow has worked for MSNBC since 2005 when she was brought in as a regular panelist on Tucker. Three years later she became one of the network’s top political analysts and the host of her own show The Rachel Maddow Show.
Praised for her straight forward approach to her analysis, and in 2010 was given an honorary Doctorate of Law (LL.D) by Smith College in Massachusetts. She currently splits her time living between Massachusetts and New York.
Gayle King – $20 Million
Gayle King hasn’t always been attached at the hip to the career of Oprah Winfrey. She started out as a production assistant at WJZ-TV before moving to Kansas City where she was a weekend anchor and reporter at WDAF-TV.
After working at regional stations, King finally started working for Oprah as a special correspondent. In 1997, she was so popular she was given her own show. In 2011, she moved to Oprah’s OWN Network to host The Gayle King Show. That show ended when she signed a contract with CBS This Morning.
Kelly Ripa – $120 Million
From 1990 until 2002, Kelly Ripa played Hayley Vaughan on the ABC daytime soap opera All My Children. Too charismatic for soap operas, Ripa was cast in the primetime sitcom Hope and Faith co-starring Faith Ford.
In 2001, Ripa replaced Kathy Lee Gifford on LIVE with Regis and Kathy. After Regis left, Ryan Seacrest was brought on and the show was renamed LIVE with Kelly and Ryan. Ripa’s long and steady career has netted her an estimated net worth of $120 million.
Savannah Guthrie – $20 Million
While working as a broadcast journalist, Savannah Guthrie also happened to receive her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. It wasn’t just an honorary degree, either. Guthrie became a member of the State Bar of Arizona and achieved the highest score on the bar exam.
Guthrie took a job offer to work for NBC in 2007. Four years into her tenure with NBC she was named a co-anchor for the 9 a.m. hour of Today, joining Al Roker and Natalie Morales.
Natalie Morales – $16 Million
Natalie Morales was working at Chase Bank when she decided to switch career paths entirely and pursue journalism. Her first job was with News 12 The Bronx where she did a little bit of everything.
Eventually, she found her way to MSNBC where she covered everything from politics to the Olympics. In 2006, she made her debut on The Today Show, where she stayed for five years before replacing Ann Curry on Today.
Erin Burnett – $13 Million
Known today as the host of Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN, Eric Burnett wasn’t always planning to work in broadcast journalism. Before taking the dive, she was a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs. It was during this time, she was offered a job by CNN as a writer for the show Moneyline.
Burnett left CNN to join Citigroup as the vice president of digital media, then was hired by CNBC in 2005 to host Street Signs. Six years later she moved back to CNN to host her current show.
Giuliana Rancic – $13 Million
If you’ve ever watched red carpet coverage of any major event, you have probably seen Giuliana Rancic before. She’s the co-anchor of E! News and has shared the screen with Jason Kennedy and Ryan Seacrest.
Rancic and her husband were also featured in a reality television show, Giuliana and Bill, that ran for six seasons. In 2013, Rancic launched a clothing line, helping boost her net worth to an estimated $13 million.
Ann Curry – $10 Million
Ann Curry started her career from the very bottom rung. She interned at an NBC affiliate and slowly climbed up the ladder to where she is now. With more than two decades at NBC under her belt, it’s safe to say the journey was worth it.
Curry was named the national and international correspondent for NBC News and an anchor on The Today Show in 2012. Three years later she left NBC to venture out on her own and form her own media startup.
Maria Menounos – $9 Million
Maria Menounos has been a staple of entertainment news coverage since the turn of the century. In 2002, she made a name for herself working with Entertainment Weekly. In 2006 she moved to Access Hollywood and never looked back.
Aside from her work talking about everything happening in the world of entertainment, Menounos has also dabbled in acting herself. She has guest-starred Scrubs, Without a Trace, and One Tree Hill.
Judy Woodruff – $3 Million
Judy Woodruff has been working in broadcast journalism since 1976 when she was first hired by NBC. After six years covering the news, she moved to PBS and became an anchor for PBS NewsHour.
Woodruff spent a decade with PBS. In 1993, she took a position with CNN and stayed there for 12 years before finally returning to PBS. Today, the iconic broadcast journalist still headlines for PBS and is worth an estimated $3 million.
Oprah Winfrey – $3.5 Billion
One of the most successful people in the history of entertainment media, Oprah Winfrey is worth an astounding $3.5 billion. She used her influence as the most popular daytime talk show host in the ’90s to build a massive empire that includes her own television network!
While Oprah no longer hosts her own show, she stays plenty busy running her brand. And somehow, she still has time to take roles in movies and television shows.
Simon Cowell – $600 Million
Simon Cowell is much more than just the harsh critic of talent we were first introduced to on American Idol. He is also one of the most influential forces in the music industry, having signed bands including One Direction to major music deals.
In 2010, Cowell left American Idol to pursue other duties, including launching and judging other talent shows. Around the same time, The Daily Telegraph listed him as the sixth most powerful figure in British culture.
David Letterman – $400 Million
David Letterman was ranked by TV Guide as the 45th greatest TV star of all-time. A long time stand-up comedian and late-night talk show host, Letterman has been on our screens in one form or another since the ’90s,
Thanks to his decades of success, and his production company, Worldwide Pants, Letterman is worth an estimated $400 million. Not looking to retire anytime soon, he also hosts My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, which debuted on Netflix in 2018.
Jay Leno – $400 Million
Jay Leno took a similar, if not parallel path, to superstardom that David Letterman did. Both were rival stand up comics who ended up as rival late-night talk show hosts. From 1992 until 2009, Leno hosted The Tonight Show on NBC.
In 2014, Leno was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. That same year he started a new gig as the host of Jay Leno’s Garage, a reality program where he shows off his massive car collection.
Diane Sawyer – $80 Million
As soon as Diane Sawyer graduated from college, she took a job at a local news station as a weather forecaster. Of course, she felt that the weather was boring and would often add in quotes to make it more interesting. In 1970, she moved to Washington D.C. to become a broadcast journalist.
By 1981, Sawyer was a host on Sunday Morning on CBS. With her arrival, the program shot up the ratings board. She has continued working since, most notably as the anchor chair for ABC’s World News Tonight, a position she stepped down from in 2014.