Whether you’re sipping on your morning coffee, lounging in pyjamas waiting for the weather man to tell you what you’ll be wearing for the day, or trying to kill a few minutes in traffic, newsreaders daily bring us all the latest, breaking news anywhere in the world – in that reassuringly familiar, authoritative tone. From the trivial to the tragic, news anchors offer us a chance to catch up on the latest celebrity news, stay current on the goings on around us, and provide us with some valuable water-cooler small talk for the day. Despite the fact that we can now get the latest scoop delivered straight off the wire to our smart-phone addicted fingertips, newsreaders’ positions don’t seem to be under threat in the same way that other traditional media are. There’s something valuable about the experience of having a confident and calming voice deliver even the worst news in an even tone – something that keeps us tuned even in the digital age. Maybe it’s the alluring smiles offered up by the news anchors, their bubbly personalities, or their dedication to bringing us important information with (usually) guaranteed accuracy; the often underrated and overlooked news anchors remain a corner stone of modern media.
While the general public are cosy and safe in our cars or on our sofas, intrepid reporters are out there often braving the elements ‘on site’ with a smile on their face or a sympathetic ear. All we have to do is adjust the volume and grab another coffee; they do all the hard work for us, bringing the hard facts into our homes when we need it most. With the release of the highly anticipated movie “Anchorman 2”, you may be wondering how much your favourite news anchors make. Is it really the celeb lifestyle that Ron Burgandy makes it out to be? Given that Payscale quotes the average anchor salary as between $35,000 and $136,000, we imagine not. This is in fact a career requiring long hours, endless ambition and a strong personality capable of bouncing back from rebuffs, knock-backs and even insults – with a slow progress up the ladder and an even slower rise on the pay scale.
But occasionally, after a typically long and arduous slog, some anchormen and -women become established, gaining a noteworthy profile in the industry. These hard-working and well-respected journalists become the voices and faces of their station and can begin to demand much higher salaries than the average news hound could ever imagine. Read on to find out more about five of America’s elite, richest news anchors.
5. Robin Meade: $750,000
Reports vary on Robin’s salary but it’s said to be between $400,000 and $750,000 annually, and her net worth stands at $4.5 million. Audiences all over America have fallen for this brainy beauty. Although Robin Meade originally competed in pageants, she soon found a love for journalism that led her to become a news caster. She got her start in the field working on small reports before eventually landing her own show. Having worked with NBC, Meade is now, she is the lead anchor person for HNL’s morning show “Morning Express with Robin Meade”. She’s also a host on ‘Ask Oprah’s All-Stars’, on the Oprah Winfrey network. A common criticism against the journalism industry is that women are objectified, there’s less focus on their work and more on their looks, and so they’re generally taken less seriously than men. While we’d like to maintain that a successful woman like Robin Meade is an example of gender equality in the industry, there’s in fact an inordinate focus on Meade’s appearance in the media. Common Google searches for Meade’s name include the phrase ‘no undershirt’ and ‘no makeup’ – and Playboy voted her the Sexiest News Caster in 2004… She did win an Emmy for her reporting back in the 90s, though!
4. Maria Bartiromo: $4 million
This cohost of CNBC’s “Closing Bell” show makes $4 million a year and has a net worth of $22 million. In addition to her roles as a news anchor, she’s also been a host on “The Wall Street Journal Report” and has appeared on several other television shows. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Colbert Report, and several others. Maria’s one of the leading names in televised news reporting today – although in 2013, after a full twenty years with CNBC, Maria Bartiromo announced that she was leaving CNBC for the Fox network. Maria has won several awards during the course of her career and she was named as one of the Financial Times’ people who shaped the decade in 2009.
3. Megyn Kelly: $6 million
This news anchor is the host of America Live on the Fox network. She makes around $6 million a year and has a net worth of $15 million which puts her sitting pretty at one of the top three highest earning famous news anchors in the U.S. Before she got her start in the news casting business, Megyn Kelly was an associate with the Bickel and Brewer LLP law firm. After she decided that she had enough of the law business, she became a general assignment reporter for Fox news and later contributed pieces for “Special Report with Brit Blume”. Kelly made news this month, December 2013, when she made the controversial statement on air that ‘Santa is white’, and later added that Jesus is white too.
2. Anderson Cooper: $10 million / year
A Yale graduate, Anderson Cooper has become a household name over the years and is probably best known for his appearances on CNN which net him $10 million a year. Cooper is not only a journalist but a talk-show host and author and has a net worth of $100 million, which is no surprise when you take into account his popularity. In July 2012, he shocked the world when he announced that he was gay. Anderson Cooper told sources that he had always been gay, and wanted to openly embrace his sexuality and make it public knowledge. He was met with an overwhelming amount of support from his peers and although women around the world wept, his audience and peers remained by his side. Anderson started off independently filming field reports in Vietnam and in Burma and went on to report from war sites the world over. Before CNN, he was a correspondent with ABC.
1. Brian Williams: $13 million / year
This news anchor has a net worth of $40 million and makes an estimated $13 million a year. His reputation as a journalist is exemplary, with a career marked by praise and awards. Brian Williams hosts NBC’s Nightly News and it was this show that really established his popularity – and huge salary. In addition to hosting NBC’s Nightly News, he also makes frequent appearances on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and has even starred on the comedy hit “30 Rock” as himself. His daughter, Alison Williams, is keeping the family name in media with a lead role in cult TV hit ‘Girls’.
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