Meet US Most Wealthy TV Personalities of the Latest Decades
American Entertainment is home to countless talk shows and daily news programs. Their hosts have become major celebrities and even household names. They inform the world about major events, issues and intriguing topics. Many of them have amassed great wealth because of their talent, prowess and influence. You'd be surprised to find out how much they are all really worth!
31. JUDY WOODRUFF
Woodruff has amassed a net worth of approximately $3 million. You might recognize her from many television stations like PBS, CNN, and NBC News. When she joined the team at NBC News, Judy got to report on important political events in the country, and she was right in Washington for NBC’s ‘The Today Show’.
In 1983, Woodruff changed to PBS, where she landed the gig of Washington correspondent for the ‘MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour’. She reported for the show for ten years. She was also the host of ‘Frontline with Judy Woodruff’ from 1984 to 1990. In 1993, Judy moved to CNN as the host of ‘Inside Politics’, where she was for 12 years.
30. MARIA MENOUNOS
She has an estimated net worth of $9 million and is best known for reporting for ‘Access Hollywood’, ‘Extra’, and ‘Today’. Her career began in 2002 with ‘Entertainment Weekly’, but she left for ‘Access Hollywood’ in 2006. From 2011 to 2014, she hosted ‘Extra’ along with Mario Lopez and won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment News Program.
However, she also entered the world of acting, unlike many hosts that remain in their part of the entertainment industry. Maria has been in popular shows like ‘Without A Trace’, ‘One Tree Hill’, ‘Scrubs’, and ‘The Real World’. Her net worth is just shy of ten million dollars, but her success has been impressive.
29. ANN CURRY
Her estimated net worth is $10 million. Curry worked her way up in the world just like everyone else after starting as an intern for an NBC affiliate. She has stayed with the station for over 20 years. Curry has been part of NBC News for a long time and has reported on human suffering as well as natural disasters.
Thanks to her job, the journalist has traveled to Syria, Darfur, Congo, the Central African Republic, Kosovo, Lebanon, Israel, Afghanistan, and even Iraq to report in times of war. In 2015, she announced her retirement from NBC after 25 years and started her own media platform. She still appears on television constantly and even interviewed prominent politicians throughout her career.
28. GIULIANA RANCIC
Rancic has amassed a net worth of $13 million. She's one of the most famous correspondents for E! She's always been an anchor for ‘E! News’ with several co-hosts like Ryan Seacrest, Terrence J, and Jason Kennedy. She's also on ‘E! Fashion Police’ and can be seen on the red carpet interviewing all the stars during award shows and alike.
Giuliana had a TV show with her husband Bill Rancic called ‘Giuliana and Bill’, which lasted for six seasons. In 2013, she released a clothing line, G by Giuliana, on HSN, as well as a wine line called Xo, G. Meanwhile, after suffering from breast cancer, the correspondent founded Fab-U-Wish, an organization that grants wishes to women with the illness..
27. ERIN BURNETT
Her net worth is approximately $13 million. Burnett is most famous for her show on CNN, ‘Erin Burnett OutFront’, but you'd be surprised to learn she was a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs. Later on, she got a job on CNN to write and keep the books of the show called ‘Moneyline’ with Stuart Verney, Willow Bay, and Lou Dobbs.
Due to her impressive career, Burnett earned the nickname “The International Superstar” for her reports from Libya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and India. She has been on the primetime slot of CNN since 2011 and there are no signs of stopping her.
26. NATALIE MORALES
Her net worth is around $16 million, and she another anchor that went through a huge career change. She worked for Chase Bank for a while before starting her path to journalism. At first, she handled ‘News 12 The Bronx’ as an anchor, camerawoman, editor, and even a producer for the entire network.
Morales handled many breaking-news stories during her time at WVIT TV in Connecticut. Later on, she got a gig for MSNBC, where she reported on the Summer Olympics of that year, and other major world events. In 2006, Morales landed a hosting job on ‘The Today Show’, but in 2011, she replaced Ann Curry on ‘Today’.
25. STEVE KROFT
He has an estimated net worth of $17 million and is most famous for investigative journalism, especially on ’60 Minutes’. In 1980, he got a job on ‘CBS News’. In 1986, Kroft landed the gig on ’60 Minutes’ alongside Meredith Vieira. In 1990, he was the first American allowed to report from Ukraine after Chernobyl.
He earned an Emmy for that work. Additionally, Kroft earned a Peabody Award for work on world events. In 2003, he was given a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for his contributions to the field. In May 2019, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Kroft would retire from ’60 Minutes’, where he worked for 30 seasons.
24. SAVANNAH GUTHRIE
She has an estimated net worth of $20 million, and her career began on the ABC affiliate KMIZ in Missouri. In 2001, Guthrie landed a gig at WRC-TV in Washington, D.C., where she got to report on several breaking-news stories. Later on, the reporter decided to study at Georgetown University Law Center and got a J.D.
She also became part of the State Bar of Arizona, receiving the best score on the test. She also excelled the bar in the District of Columbia. For some time, Savannah was a litigation associate but returned to journalism for NBC News in September 2007. In 2011, she started hosting a morning show with Natalie Morales and Al Roker.
23. GAYLE KING
King's net worth is approximately $20 million. Most people know her as Oprah’s best friend, but she wasn’t always near the mogul. King worked as a production assistant for WJZ-TV, where Oprah was an anchor. She later moved to Missouri to become an anchor and reporter for WDAF-TV. Shortly after, she became a special correspondent for ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’.
In 1997, King got the chance to host her talk show, ‘The Gayle King Show’, but it was sadly canceled after one season. Luckily, 2011, she got another chance at the ‘The Gayle King Show’ on the OWN (Oprah’s network), but it ended when King left for ‘CBS This Morning’. Being Oprah’s best friend was just a huge advantage.
22. RACHEL MADDOW
Maddow has a net worth of approximately $20 million. She started her career on the MSNBC show ‘Tucker’, by 2008, she was a political analyst and panelist on ‘Race for the White House’. That same year, Maddow got her own show called ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’, which made her the first openly gay host of a prime-time network news show.
In 2017, more people started turning to MSNBC instead of CNN and Fox News. Rachel Maddow was known as “America’s wonkiest anchor” and described as someone “cut through the chaos of the latest administration and became the most trusted name in news”. Her mission is to “increase the amount of useful information in the world”.
21. MARIA BARTIROMO
She has a net worth of around $22 million. As NYU student, Bartiromo got her first internship at CNN. She was later hired as an executive producer and assignment editor for ‘Business News’ on the same network. In 1993, Martiromo got a chance to report from The New York Stock Exchange as the first journalist to ever do it.
The reporter is also an author with books such as ‘Use the News: How to Separate the Noise from the Investment Nuggets and Make Money in Any Economy’, ‘The 10 Laws of Enduring Success’, and ‘The Weekend That Changed Wall Street: And How the Fallout Is Still Impacting Our World’. In 2013, she left CNBC for Fox Business Network.
20. HODA KOTB
Kotb has a net worth of approximately $30 million. Her first gig was at WWL-TV in New Orleans. She worked there between 1992 and 1998. In 2008, she started hosting ‘Today’ alongside Kathie Lee Gifford but also subbed in for Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer. In 2017, she was named an official host of the show after Lauer was fired.
Along with Guthrie, the pair became the first female co-anchors on the show. Meanwhile, Hoda has been a vocal advocate for breast cancer awareness. She was diagnosed with the disease in 2007 and let ‘The Today Show’ follow her through the whole process. Fortunately, the host is now living without cancer, but anyone can still see the footage online.
19. MEGYN KELLY
Kelly's net worth is $30 million approximately. In 2003, she decided to move to Washington D.C. to work for the ABC affiliate WJLA-TV. She was a general assignment reporter and often did locals events. In 2004, Kelly landed a gig at Fox News hosting ‘Kelly’s Court’. In 2017, The New York Times reported her leaving Fox News for NBC News.
It was also stated that she would have a daytime show as well as a Sunday evening news program. Her daytime show, ‘Megyn Kelly Today’, aired for the first time in September 2017. Unfortunately, the contract with the network was canceled on January 11, 2019, but it seems that Kelly will be back on television soon enough.
18. ROBIN ROBERTS
She has a net worth of $35 million approximately. Roberts started her career back in 1983 as a sports anchor for WDAM-TV in Mississippi and managed to land a gig at ESPN in February 1990. She was with them until 2005 but during her time in ‘SportsCenter’, Roberts became known for the phrase, “Go on with your bad self!”
She also had another job since 1995 as an anchor of ‘Good Morning America’, and her biggest interviews were with Chris Brown and Nate Parker in 2005. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame along with the 2012 class for her efforts in broadcasting. In 2018, she reported on the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
17. CARSON DALY
Daly has an estimated net worth of $40 million, and he became a huge star thanks to MTV’s ‘Total Request Live’, which ran from 1998 to 2003. In 2002, the host launched ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’, which was shot on the same set as ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 2005. Daly also hosted NBC’s ‘New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly’.
In 2011, he also became the host, as well as executive producer, of ‘The Voice’ on NBC. In 2013, Daly started as the social media reporter on ‘The Today Show’ and would sub for Willie Geist occasionally. Ha dated Tara Reid for a while, they even lived in New York City and got engaged, they broke things off in 2001.
16. MEREDITH VIEIRA
She has an estimated net worth of $40 million and started gaining recognition as a CBS reporter in Chicago. She later became the co-host of ‘The View’ on ABC between 1997 and 2006. In 2002, she was the first host of the US version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’.
However, she was offered a job replacing Katie Couric on ‘Today’. She worked there until 2011. Meanwhile, she also anchored NBC’s reports on the 2012 London Summer Olympics. In 2014, she became the first solo female to report on the Olympics in prime-time NBC. That year, she hosted ‘The Meredith Vieira Show’, but was canceled after two seasons.
15. JIMMY FALLON
He has an estimated net worth of $60 million. Fallon started his career on the show ‘Spin City’ in 1998 during his early 20s, but at 23, he moved to ‘Saturday Night Live’, and the world fell in love. In 2004, he started acting as the main role in ‘Taxi’ and has done many movies since then.
He was the host of ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’ which launched in 2009. In 2013, he took over Jay Leno as the host of ‘The Tonight Show’, which is still one of the best late-night talk shows in the United States. His other movies include ‘Almost Famous’, ‘Get Hard’, ‘Fever Pitch’, ‘The Year Of Getting to Know Us’.
14. AL ROKER
Roker has a net worth of $60 million approximately and an amazing career. He currently hosts the ‘3rd Hour Today’ and NBC’s ‘Today’. In 2014, the journalist tried to beat a world record for the longest weather report, which lasted 33 hours. The feat was accomplished before by Norwegian broadcaster Eli Kari Gjengedal, but it wasn’t official.
However, on November 14, 2014, Roker managed to beat the record and landed on the Guinness World Records for 34 hours of uninterrupted broadcasting. He has been working on ‘The Today Show’ since 1996, and people love the segment where he interviews people outside their studio. He is one of the most famous hosts in the country.
13. STEPHEN COLBERT
Colbert has an estimated net worth of $60 million, and he also started his career in the acting industry. At first, he had no interest in comedy. However, he ended up in a comedy team in his improvisation lessons. Colbert went on to make a comedy series for Comedy Central known as ‘Strangers with Candy’, a satire of after-school specials.
In 1997, worked on ‘The Daily Show’ while it was in its second season. On the show he subbed for Jon Stewart occasionally. In 2005, Stephen got his own show called ‘The Colbert Report’, a parody of other news programs. In 2014, he started his time on ‘The Late Show’, taking over for David Letterman.
12. KATIE COURIC
She has an estimated net worth of $75 million. Couric might one of the most popular anchors on this list, especially because she has worked for the “Big Three” TV network in America throughout her career. The correspondent had her own show called ‘Katie’, and she also worked for ‘60 Minutes’.
In 2011, she released a New York Times best-selling book called ‘The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives’. In 2004 she was inducted into the Television Hall of Fames. Largely considered one of the most important people in the world of journalism, she is also called “America’s Sweetheart’, due to her 15-year tenure on ‘The Today Show’.
11. DIANE SAWYER
She has an estimated net worth of $80 million. Her career dates back to the 70s when she started working as a broadcast journalist in Washington, D.C. Sawyer was later hired as an assistant for important politicians in the United States. She even worked in the White House at one point.
She was there for major political scandals during her career and wrote a book about a famous one. In 1981, she became the co-anchor of ‘Sunday Morning’ on CBS, and their ratings went up thanks to her. The journalist was also the first female correspondent on ’60 Minutes’, which has always been one of the most-watched in the United States.
10. KELLY RIPA
Ripa has an estimated net worth of $120 million. Most people know that she started her career in the entertainment industry with acting. From 1990 to 2002, she played the role of Hayley Vaughan on ABC’s ‘All My Children’. In 2001, she started hosting ‘LIVE with Kelly and Ryan’, while playing the part of Faith Fairfield on ‘Hope & Faith’.
In 2007, she created a production company along with her husband, Mark Consuelos, called Milojo, which is famous for the documentary ‘The Streak’. The film was nominated for an Emmy and shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. In 2014, Ripa was named one of the Most Powerful People in Media by the Hollywood Reporter.
9. STEVE HARVEY
His net worth is approximately $180 million. His life could be turned into a movie, as he was homeless for many years while trying to make it. In the 80s, he even had to sleep in his car. Luckily, Harvey made it far on the annual Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search and became the host of ‘Showtime at the Apollo’.
Years later, he finally got his own show on the WB called ‘The Steve Harvey Show’. In 2010, the comedian landed the job of hosting ‘Family Feud’, and he also handles ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ on ABC. He's also been the host of the Miss Universe Pageant since 2015. He is also one of the most recognized people in America.
8. ANDERSON COOPER
Cooper has an estimated net worth of $200 million. He started his career as an intern at the CIA while studying political science. Just like other people on this list, Cooper also started on a path to journalism without studying it first. In 1995, he was hired as a correspondent for ABC News after finishing the internship at the CIA.
He also co-anchored ‘World News Now’. At CNN, he was alongside Paula Zahn on ‘American Morning’, and was soon moved to prime-time slots. He was also the host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve special at Times Square. The anchor finally landed his show ‘Anderson Cooper 360’ in 2003, and currently, he is an extremely celebrated journalist all over the world.
7. DAVID LETTERMAN
Letterman has a net worth of approximately $400 million. He is definitely one of the biggest names in the business. His career has seen him as a television host, comedian, writer, and producer. ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ on NBC is his biggest claim to fame. He became the longest-serving late-night talk show host of in the United States.
He was also named number 45 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Nowadays, he is retired from the late-night talk shows, but recently got a show on Netflix called ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman’. He owns a company, Worldwide Pants, that has done work on ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’.
6. JAY LENO
Leno has an estimated net worth of $400 million. He was originally a great stand-up comic, but later landed the gig of hosting NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’. He worked there between 1999 and 2009. After that, he went on to another talk show called ‘The Jay Leno Show’, which also airs on NBC.
Leno would also sub for Johnny Carson on ‘The Tonight Show’ back in the day, which is why he was offered the job later on. However, it led to a bit of a scandal because David Letterman was supposed to be Carson’s successor. Leno was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2014.
5. JUDGE JUDY
She has an estimated net worth of $420 million. Her reality court show is one of the most famous in the entire world and has been on air since 1996. ‘Judge Judy’ has also won 3 Emmy awards during its time on television. Judy is known for been tough as nails. Her program has picked up for a 25th season.
With the motto “Justice with an Attitude”, the reality program has given its audiences many quotable moments like, “Where did you think you were coming to today, the beach?!” There are also many memes online. Most of her phrases are referred to as “Judyisms”, and Judy has been praised for giving important lessons through the years.
4. DR. PHIL
He has an estimated net worth of $440 million. His real name is Phillip Calvin McGraw, and he has been a television staple since the 90s. He first started appearing on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, but soon landed his own talk show called ‘Dr. Phil’. It’s a program where advice is given and scandalous stories are revealed.
Additionally, it seems that McGraw himself caused some controversy because he hasn’t had a practicing license since 2006. In 2003, he launched The Dr. Phil Foundation to help fight against child obesity. He also helps other organizations with counseling and money for the affected families. CASA New Orleans and New Orleans Ballet Association have received support from the foundation.
3. ELLEN DEGENERES
DeGeneres has an estimated net worth of $490 million. She started her career in the 80s. She starred in her own sitcom called ‘Ellen’ from 1994 to 1998. In 1997. Ellen shocked the world by coming out as a lesbian on the fourth season of ‘Ellen’, and is the first person ever to "come out" on public television.
Things turned sour for some time after that. Her show was canceled due to backlash, but Ellen managed to rebuild her career, especially with ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’. She has four books, a record company, and a brand called ED Ellen DeGeneres. In 2016, she even got the Medal of Freedom.
2. SIMON COWELL
Cowell has an estimated net worth of $600 million. He is mostly recognized for being the grumpy judge on shows like ‘Pop Idol’, ‘The X Factor’, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, ‘American Idol’, and ‘America’s Got Talent’. He has the second-highest net worth on our list and the founder of Syco, a British entertainment business.
Additionally, Cowell is known for launching the careers of several boy bands including Westlife, One Direction, and CNCO. TIME ranked the producer as one of their 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2004 and in 2010. In 2010, the Daily Telegraph ranked him as number 6 on their list of 100 Most Powerful People in British culture.
1. OPRAH WINFREY
Her estimated net worth is $3.5 billion. Winfrey needs no introduction and is known as the “Queen of All Media”. She managed to break down walls and do things that no other woman had done before, especially an African-American. She was the first black multibillionaire in North America and was recognized as the greatest black philanthropist in US history.
Winfrey is also considered the most influential woman in the world with several businesses and careers in almost every aspect of entertainment. Her fame started with ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, which was the highest-rated show at the time. She has also written many books and has two magazines. In 2008, Oprah launched her network called OWN.
These people have a lot of money but that’s because they worked hard during their careers. Let us know what you think about them. If you liked this article, share it with your friends who dream of becoming a correspondent or a talk show host. See you next time!
Source: Finance 101