In the last 50 years, the male-centered news reporting paradigm has shifted greatly, allowing for many women to create a name for themselves in the industry. Although the glass ceiling hasn’t quite been broken – for example, there has yet to be a female late night host – many female news anchors have enjoyed long and illustrious careers.
In the early days of modern reporting, women were completely absent. Eventually, women began to take on small reporting projects, and proved that they could present as well as and better than many men. This led to bigger, tougher field reports by female news anchors on prominent news programs. In the U.S., Katie Couric became the first ever female news anchor to front her own show. Nowadays, there seems to be almost as many female news anchors as there are male ones. According to Electronic News, in 1987, 73% of stories were reported by men. That number had equalised by 2007, when men reported just 48% of stories and either women or unisex teams reported the rest.
In just fifty short years, women have earned their rightful place as the authorities delivering us our daily news. The following are among the most successful of those women, the twenty richest female news anchors in the world today.
20. Amy Robach, Good Morning America – $1.5 million
41-year-old Amy Robach is currently the News Anchor for ABC News’ Good Morning America. Before moving into correspondence, Robach was the 4th runner up in the Miss Georgia pageant in 1994. She worked at WTTG in Washington, D.C., and then went to NBC News in 2003 where she worked for four years.
While at NBC she anchored for two hours in the morning, and was then named co-anchor of Weekend Today in 2007. She also rotated with 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas if Robin Roberts was away.
19. Savannah Guthrie, Today – $2 million
Savannah Guthrie has had an eclectic career in news. The Australian-born journalist and attorney joined NBC News in 2007 as a legal analyst and correspondent, usually reporting on high-profile trials throughout the country. She was a White House correspondent between 2008 and 2011, and then the co-anchor of MCNBC’s The Daily Rundown in 2010 and 2011.
Guthrie became the co-host of The Today Show’s third hour alongside Natalie Morales and Al Roker, and appeared as the Chief Legal Analyst across all NBC platforms. On July 9, 2012, Guthrie debuted as co-anchor of Today, alongside Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker.
18. Tamron Hall, NewsNation with Tamron Hall – $2 million
Tamron Hall is a national correspondent for NBC News, and the day-side anchor and host for the MCNBC program NewsNation with Tamron Hall. She also co-anchors Today’s Take, which is the third hour of Today.
She also frequently substitutes as an anchor for the Orange Room. Besides her correspondence work, Hall hosts the program “Deadline: Crime” on the Investigation Discovery channel. She first achieved prominence with MSNBC after substitute-anchoring for Keith Olbermann on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
17. Elizabeth Vargas, 20/20 – $3 million
Elizabeth Vargas is the anchor of ABC’s TV newsmagazine 20/20, and some of ABC News’ specials. Before that, Vargas was an anchor on World News Tonight. She got her start working with WBBM-TV, an affiliate of CBS in Chicago.
While there, Phyllis McGrady, a senior vice president of ABC, said Vargas was “one of the most flexible talents I’ve ever worked with… She is versatile.”
16. Bianna Golodryga, Yahoo – $3 million
Bianna Golodryga is a Moldova-born news and finance anchor at Yahoo. From 2010 to August 4, 2014, Golodryga was a weekend co-anchor of Good Morning America. She began her career in TV as a producer at CNBC, and then as an on-air correspondent.
Prior to that, she worked in the financial services industry, which helps give her the clout as Yahoo’s finance anchor. In 2004, she was named one of the top journalists under the age of 30, and has been featured on many “sexiest” lists.
15. Robin Meade, Morning Express with Robin Meade – $4.5 million
Before Robin Meade became the lead news anchor for her morning show on HLN, she was a Miss Ohio pageant winner, which helped kick-start her broadcasting career with local stations.
She joined HLN in 2001, and has won a regional Emmy Award for her work. Never to be held down as a one- or even two-trick-pony, Meade released a country album in 2011, and a follow-up album in 2013. In 2004, Meade was voted “Sexiest Newscaster” by a Playboy.com poll, racking up 40% of the vote.
14. Andrea Mitchell, Andrea Mitchell Reports – $5 million
Andrea Mitchell has been in the business for almost 50 years – from 1967 to the present. She’s been a journalist, an anchor, a reporter, and commentator for NBC News. Mitchell is currently the Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC, as well as the host of her own show, Andrea Mitchell Reports, which airs weekdays on MSNBC.
She reported on the 2008 Race for the White House, and is often a guest on Hardball with Chris Matthews as well as The Rachel Maddow Show. Mitchell’s annual salary is $750,000.
13. Natalie Morales, Today Show – $8.5 million
Natalie Morales is the news anchor and Third Hour co-anchor on NBC News’ Today Show. She also appears on other programs, such as Dateline NBC and NBC Nightly News. As a weekend anchor and reporter at WVIT-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, Morales reported on the Columbine shootings, Hurricane Floyd, the 2000 Presidential election, and the 9/11 attacks.
After swiftly moving up the ranks, she became an anchor and correspondent for MSNBC, from 2002 to 2006. In 2007 she received the “Groundbreaking Latina in Media” award from Catalina magazine, and People en Español named her #1 in its “Fifty Most Beautiful People” for 2007.
12. Ann Curry, Today – $10 million
The popular personality and anchor Ann Curry became the Anchor-at-Large for the Today show in 2012. She was a co-anchor of the show for a year prior to her promotion, and was the program’s news anchor since 1997. She was also the anchor of Dateline NBC from 2005 to 2011. The Guam-born anchor has has been in the business since 1978, starting as an intern at KTVL in Medford, Oregon. While at KTVL she rose to become the station’s first female news reporter.
11. Mika Brzezinski, Morning Joe – $12 million
Mika Brzezinski is currently the co-host of MSNBC’s weekday broadcast, Morning Joe, alongside former Republican representative Joe Scarborough. She is also the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was the National Security Director under President Jimmy Carter. She is a two-time author: her first book was titled All Things at Once, and her most recent was Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth. Both books are inspirational books geared towards women of all ages, and she has long been an outspoken advocate of wage equality and women’s rights in the workplace.
10. Christiane Amanpour, Amanpour – $12.5 million
Christiane Amanpour is a world-renown British-Iranian journalist and TV host. She is the Chief International Correspondent for CNN and the host of CNN International’s nightly interview show, Amanpour. She is also a Global Affairs Anchor of ABC News. She has received over 30 prestigious awards for her reporting, including nine Emmy news/documentary awards, and being named as one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes magazine. As a special contributor for 60 Minutes from 1998 to 2005, she received a Peabody Award in 1998 for her reporting. One of her many memorable TV moments came when she had a live telephone interview with Yasser Arafat during a siege on his compound in 2002.
9. Megyn Kelly, The Kelly File – $15 million
In 2014, Megyn Kelly became the TV host and anchor for her own weekday political program, The Kelly File, on the Fox News Channel. Prior to that, she co-hosted America’s Newsroom alongside Bill Hemmer, and was also host to Fox’s New Year’s Eve specials from 2007 to 2012. Time magazine included her in their 2014 list of 100 most influential people in the world. She is also a lawyer, and served as an attorney for the credit bureau Experian for nine years, before becoming an assignment reporter.
8. Mélissa Theuriau, Zone Interdite – $18 million
Mélissa Theuriau is a French journalist and anchor for M6. The 36-year-old had somewhat of a quirky start, as she became an Internet phenomenon in 2006 after a compilation of her reading news clips was uploaded and newspapers around the world voted her as the world’s sexiest and most beautiful news reporter. She has claimed to be surprised, and has stated, “I am absolutely not seeking this publicity.” Still, you know what they say about “any publicity.” Since September 2006 she has been the co-editor in chief and anchor of the influential TV magazine Zone Interdite (“forbidden Zone”) on M6.
7. Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show – $20 million
Rachel Maddow has enjoyed continued success as a political commentator and news anchor. Maddow is the first openly gay anchor to host a major prime-time news show, and her nightly TV program, The Rachel Maddow Show, has helped her garner quite a following. Following a career in radio, Maddow moved to TV in 2005 when she became a regular panelist on the MSNBC show Tucker. She was a frequent contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and Olbermann helped her get her own show in August 2008, replacing Verdict with Dan Abrams on the network’s 9 pm slot. Maddow’s show doubled the audience within a month for that hour.
6. Robin Roberts, Good Morning America – $25 million
Robin Roberts is the anchor of ABC’s morning program, Good Morning America, a position she’s held since becoming a co-anchor on the show in 2005. Prior to that, she was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years, from 1990 to 2005. In 2012 she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame for her contributions and impact on women’s basketball through her broadcasting work.
Robin was the first reporter to interview President Barack Obama after his election in 2008. There is no doubting Roberts’ perseverance as she underwent eight chemotherapy treatments and six and a half weeks of radiation treatment for breast cancer in 2008, as well as building a campaign around her myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) that she was diagnosed with in 2012. She received a 2012 Peabody Award for the program. Two days before the 2014 New Year, Roberts posted a Facebook caption thanking God and her doctors for her restored health, as well as her longtime girlfriend, Amber, who she has been together with since 2005.
5. Greta Van Susteren, On the Record w/Greta Van Susteren – $35 million
Greta Van Susteren hosts her own current affairs show, On the Record w/Greta Van Susteren, on the Fox News Channel. She is a former criminal defense and civil trial lawyer, and appeared as a legal analyst on CNN from 1994 to 2002, when she co-hosted the Burden of Proof program with Roger Cossack. She gained the co-host stint after her coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial, where she appeared as a legal analyst on CNN. She was listed as the 100th most powerful woman in the world, by Forbes, in 2014. She switched to the Fox News Channel in 2002 after a highly publicized contract bidding war.
4. Meredith Vieira, The Meredith Vieira Show – $40 million
Meredith Vieira is well known for replacing the original host of the U.S. version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but prior to that she was the original moderator of the ABC talk show The View, from 1997 to 2006. She co-hosted the NBC News morning news program, Today, from 2006 to 2011, and in September 2014 she debuted her new program, The Meredith Vieira Show. She has been active in television since 1975, beginning her broadcasting career as a news announcer for WORC radio in Worcester, Massachusetts.
3. Katie Couric, Yahoo Global News Anchor – $55 million
One of the most well-known women in news, Katie Couric is currently Yahoo’s Global News Anchor. She has been a host on all Big Three TV networks in the US, working for NBC News from 1989 to 2006, CBS News from 2006 to 2011, and ABC News from 2011 to 2014. She was the co-host of Today, anchor of the CBS Evening News, and a correspondent for 60 Minutes.
Couric’s first book, The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons From Extraordinary Lives, was a New York Times best-seller. In 2004, Couric was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. In 2011 she signed a record $40-million contract with ABC to host a daytime talk show called Katie, though the show was announced to be canceled on December 19, 2013. Her annual salary is $6 million with Yahoo! News.
2. Diane Sawyer, ABC World News – $80 million
Diane Sawyer is known throughout the world as one of the most successful news anchors of all time. She has been active for an astounding 52 years (1962-present), and is best known as the former anchor of ABC News’ nightly flagship program, ABC World News. She was also the co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, and Primetime. Prior to all of her success in news, Sawyer was a member of former President Richard Nixon’s White House staff. Originally a drafter of Nixon’s public statements, she helped the troubled president write his memoirs, which were published in 1978.
In 1984, Sawyer became the first female correspondent on 60 Minutes. She co-anchored ABC’s 20/20 from 1998 to 2000, Good Morning America from 1999 to 2009, and was the anchor of ABC World News from 2009 to 2014. She has won two Emmy Awards, a Peabody, and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1997. Forbes magazine reported that, between June 2005 and June 2008, she made approximately $12 million, solely from entertainment income alone.
1. Barbara Walters, ABC News – $150 million
Barbara Walters was the first female “co-host” on any network news program, acquired in 1974, and two years later became the first female co-anchor of any network evening news program. She was the co-host for ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20 from 1979 to 2004, and was a co-anchor and contributor to ABC News for a whopping 34 years, from 1976 to 2010. She was a pioneer for women, and is quite probably the most successful female news anchor of all time.
Walters created and co-hosted The View in 1997, and finally retired from the program on May 16, 2014. Her 1999 famous interview of Monica Lewinsky was seen by 74 million viewers, the highest rating ever for a news program. And when she asked Lewinsky “What will you tell your children when you have them?” and Lewinsky replied, “Mommy made a big mistake,” Walters famously turned to the viewers and concluded the interview with, “And that is the understatement of the year.”
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