Broadcasting the news has taken a hit in the information age, as more and more media consumers get their news from digital platforms rather than turning on Fox, CNN or some of the other "alphabet" TV news networks.
Even so, being a news anchor is still a lucrative career in 2019, especially if you're in television representing one of the big media broadcasters.
If you host a nightly news show on Fox (FOXA) or MSNBC or anchor the news for a major network like CBS (CBS - Get Report) or ABC, chances are you're going to pull in millions of dollars annually, even though the average U.S. news anchor salary stands at $58,964, according to Payscale.comThe highest-paid news anchors are doing better than that - way better. And these marquee news anchors are raking in the most money on an annual basis, with some familiar names at the top of the list.
The Highest-Paid News Anchors in 2019
1. Sean HannitySalary - $40 million.
Sean Hannity, a stalwart at Fox News as host of "The Sean Hannity Show" earns $40 million at the broadcast network, and has an estimated net worth of $250 million.
A New York City native, Hannity's broadcast career dates back to the early 1980s in Alabama and Georgia, and as a talk show host at the University of California, where he attended college. Hannity was hired by Fox News in 1996 for the news and political talk show "Hannity and Colmes," which lasted to 2009.
A resident of Long Island, N.Y., Hannity continues to host both a weekday radio shows and his FOX television broadcast, making him one of the hardest working and wealthiest news personalities in the U.S.
2. Diane SawyerSalary - $22 million
Diane Sawyer made history in 1984 as the first-ever woman correspondent for CBS' "60 Minutes" and as a news anchor for CBS News (for "CBS Morning News,") then ABC News where she continues a high-profile broadcasting career with regular interviews for "ABC World News," where she served as news anchor from 2009 to 2014.
Sawyer, who has an estimated net worth of $85 million, was married to Hollywood producer and director Mike Nichols, who died in 2014.
3. Robin Roberts
Salary - $18 million
Co-host of ABC's "Good Morning America," Roberts took an alternative route to news broadcasting, working for ESPN before leaving for ABC in 2005.
Roberts earns an annual salary of $18 million at ABC. A cancer survivor, Roberts is a frequent speaker on the subject of illness and recovery, and has earned four Emmy awards for her work at ABC.
4. George Stephanopoulos
Salary - $15 million.
A former aide to President Clinton, Stephanopoulos earns $15 million annually as the co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" and as a regular anchor at the network's "ABC World News Tonight." He has an estimated net worth of $40 million, most of it earned from his time at ABC.
Born in Fall River, Mass., Stephanopoulos is a Rhodes Scholar, and launched his political career working on the presidential campaign with Michael Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts and the Democratic party's presidential nominee in 1988, who lost to George H.W. Bush.
After working in the Clinton administration until 1996, Stephanopoulos wrote a best-selling book on his role as a senior adviser for President Clinton and has served as a news correspondent and anchor since 2002.
5. Anderson Cooper Salary - $12 million
Anderson Cooper is the long-time host of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" and is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, who recently died from cancer at age 95.
As a result of his inheritance from his mother's estate valued at $1.5 billion (his father died in 1978), Cooper's net worth is in question. Prior to his inheritance, Cooper's net worth was estimated at around $100 million.
Given that he was the primary recipient of his mother's estate, that net worth figure is expected to rise dramatically to well over $1 billion once Cooper's inheritance is paid out.
6. Shepard Smith
Salary - $10 million
Shepard Smith is the host of Fox News' "Shepard Smith Reporting" while also serving as managing news editor for the network.
He earns a salary of $10 million annually and has an estimated net worth of $25 million. A native of Holly Springs, Miss., Smith began his broadcasting career in Florida and California, before moving on to Fox in 1996.
7. Maria Bartiromo
Salary - $10 million
Maria Bartiromo has carved a formidable reputation as a tough, no-nonsense business and finance reporter at CNBC and now at Fox Business Network, where she holds the title of chief global business editor.
With her husband, Wall Street financier Jonathan Steinberg, Bartiromo has a net worth of $50 million and earns an annual salary of $10 million from Fox News. At Fox, Bartiromo hosts "Morning with Maria" and "Maria Bartiromo's Wall Street" for the network.
She also appears frequently playing herself in Hollywood film roles, appearing in "Risk/Reward," "The Taking of Pelham 123," and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," among other movies.
8. Joe Scarborough
Salary - $8 million
Joe Scarborough is a former congressman from Florida who has hosted the MSNBC newscast "Morning Joe" since 2007. Scarborough first got into television news after leaving politics in 2001, starting out as the host of "Scarborough Country" for MSNBC.
Scarborough earns a salary of $8 million annually from MSNBC and has an estimated net worth of $25 million. He is married to "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski and serves as a fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics.
9. Bret Baier
Salary - $7 million
The host of Fox News "Special Report with Bret Baier", Baier is making a name for himself as one of the five top-rated news anchors in the U.S. He earns a salary of $7 million annually and his net worth stands at an estimated $16 million in 2019.
The Rumson, N.J. native served as Fox News White House correspondent before garnering his own nightly news show. He's also reported abroad from war-torn hot spots like Afghanistan and Iran over 20 times. Prior to joining Fox News in 1998, Baier worked as a news reporter in Raleigh, N.C.
10. Scott Pelley
Salary - $7 million
Pelley has been with CBS News for over three decades and he's known primarily for his anchor role at the network from 2011 to 2017, and for his longstanding correspondent's role with CBS' "60 Minutes." He previously held the White House chief correspondent position at the legendary news network.
The San Antonio native earns an annual salary of $7 million and has an estimated net worth of $17 million. His 2019 book "Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter's Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times" is a memoir of Pelley's career as a reporter and serves a valuable snapshot of a life spent covering world events like Sept. 11 and the Iraq War.
11. Rachel Maddow
Salary - $7 million
Rachel Maddow earns $7 million annually as a news anchor at MSNBC and has an estimated net worth of $20 million.
The Castro Valley, Calif., native is a news industry pioneer as the first-ever gay/lesbian host of a major network news show, a feat she achieved with the launch of "The Rachel Maddow Show" for MSNBC in 2009.
Maddow was one of the original hosts for "Air America" the politically left-leaning national radio network back in 2004 and 2005, and moved on to MSNBC in 2005 as a network contributor. She scored her own show after acting as a substitute host for various network news programs in 2008 and 2009 and has held strong in the ratings ever since.
She is also the author of the 2012 book: "Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power," which became a New York Times best-seller.
12. Tucker Carlson Salary: $6 million
The California native is one of the highest-rated television personalities in the U.S., through his Fox News show "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
Carlson began his career as a reporter for the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette before eventually mobbing onto the broadcast side of the business with CNN's "Crossfire."
His 2019 salary stands at $6 million and net worth figure stands at $20 million, augmented not only by his popular nightly news show on Fox News, but also from a $10 million publishing deal for his book "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution."
13. Lawrence O'DonnellSalary - $5 million
The native Bostonian is a fixture on MSNBC as host of "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell." He earns $5 million annually and has an estimated net worth of $16 million.
O'Donnell comes from a political background working as an aide to then New York Sen. Patrick Moynihan, and dabbled in Hollywood as a writer for the television show "The West Wing." He is also a strong contributor to charitable causes - O'Donnell's own "Kids in Need of Desks" initiative for Africa school children has generated $6.5 million in donations.
14. Lester HoltSalary: $4 million
The long-time NBC news broadcaster holds down two jobs at the network - the host of "Weekday Nightly News" and "Dateline NBC".
The 60-year-old Holt got his NBC anchor job after long-time host Brian Williams was suspended from his anchor duties in 2015. Holt, a California native who attended the University of California, earns $4 million a year and has an estimated net worth of $12 million.
15. Erin BurnettSalary: $3 million
Born in 1976 in Mardela Springs, Md., Erin Burnett is the host of "Erin Burnett Outfront" on CNN. Prior to that gig, Burnett co-hosted CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" from 2005 to 2011.
Burnett started her professional career as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) , working in the financial giant's investment banking department, giving her a special insight to the financial industry and Wall Street.
Burnett earns an estimated $3 million a year from her on-air work and has a net worth of $13 million.
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