The Falling TV News Star Salary

February 08, 2024

Take-home pay for top anchors in TV news runs anywhere between a couple of million dollars a year all the way up to a reported $30 million if you’re MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Behind Maddow, Fox News’ Sean Hannity (take home pay is an estimated $25 million), and CNN’s Anderson Cooper (an estimated $20-$25 million) are almost certainly TV news’ second-place earners. And news faces unique pressures as TV audiences age along with its stars, ad revenues dwindle and younger generations put their trust in platforms like TikTok. “The trend is to get rid of people with big salaries and replace them with people they can pay considerably less,” one TV news insider familiar with salary negotiations tells me. So much of TV news now is “rip and read from the headlines,” this person adds, that paying a premium for talent doesn’t add up.