DAILY DIRT: Lester’s not hurting for cash, but he’s not (yet) in Hannity’s neighborhood

NBC NEWS - ANCHORS-CORRESPONDENTS -- Pictured: Lester Holt, Anchor “Dateline NBC,” Anchor “NBC Nightly News, Weekend Edition,” Co-Host “Today, Weekend Edition” -- (Photo by: Heidi Gutman/NBC)

Lester Holt (NBC)

Daily Dirt for Friday, Oct. 14, 2022

I wonder what Walter Cronkite would have made in today’s market? … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 423 of The Daily Dirt.

1. As I have mentioned before, my wife, Kathy, and I like to watch the evening news together.

Normally, we both enjoy NBC’s Lester Holt delivering the stories to us.

What surprised me during a little investigative work into the highest-paid network newsmen/newswomen was who was at the top of such lists. 

The most up to-date information I found was provided by 49ultra.com, Forbes, caknowledge.com and other websites. Here’s what I found for the annual salaries of active news anchors:

Highest-paid men

1. Sean Hannity, Fox: He is pocketing $42.9 million a year and has a net worth of about $250 million. I figured Hannity was No. 1, but never at this kind of salary.

2. Anderson Cooper, CNN: There’s quite a drop-off to No. 2, where Cooper’s reported salary is $15 million, with a bank account of $205 million. Cooper has continued a relatively quiet ascension up the ranks over the past decade.

3-tie. George Stephanopoulos, ABC: This was a surprise, at least to me. Stephanopoulos makes $15 million, with $49 million in the bank for a rainy day.

3-tie. Lester Holt, NBC: In recent years, my man Lester has seen his salary climb, along with his popularity. Holt is said to make $15 million annually (up from $9 million about five years ago) and his worth is now about $75 million. I think Lester will eventually work his way to No. 1, or at least a solid No. 2 since he has repeatedly been voted the most-trusted U.S. newsman.

Highest-paid women

1. Diane Sawyer, ABC: The veteran anchor now earns $22 million annually and has a net worth of $89 million.

2. Robin Roberts, ABC: The former ESPN anchor earns a $19 million salary and has $50 mullion available when she uses her debit card at Walmart.

3. Megyn Kelley, Fox: Personally, I think she qualifies more as a “personality” than full-fledged newswoman. But she still pockets $18 million annually and has $45 million in her checkbook.

2. Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Guardians is not only one of the premier MLB players, he’s also known as one of the funniest.

After one of his teammates launched a recent postseason home run, Ramirez looked him straight in the face and said, “You’re one of the best hitters … after me.”

3. This week’s NFL rankings, complements of son Geoff, who refers to himself as “the most underrated Eighinger.” 

“Last week I called the Cowboys and Giants pretenders,” Geoff said. “They both responded with victories. The jury is still out on whether they can contend for a playoff spot, but will either of them crack my top five? Let’s see …”

Honorable mention: New York Giants (4-1). Hey, a come-from-behind win against Aaron Rodgers in London? Aight.

5. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1): They squeaked out a victory on Monday night against division rival Raiders. Biggest comeback win in the career of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and a Monday Night Football record four TD receptions for tight end Travis Kelce.

4. Minnesota Vikings (4-1): Dalvin Cook finally brought it on Sunday and kept the Vikes atop the NFC North. They face a confusing Miami Dolphins team this week.

3. Dallas Cowboys (4-1): I’m not afraid to admit being wrong. How ’bout them Cowboys, Matthew Stafford? The NFC East is now the NFC Beast. Except, of course, for Washington.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (5-0): A missed field goal by Arizona kept the Philly undefeated season alive. Big conference matchup against the Cowboys this week. 

1. Buffalo Bills (4-1): A complete massacre of the Pittsburgh Steelers cemented the top spot. It’s going to be a long autumn for the Bills’ opponents. Huge game against Kansas City on Sunday.

Steve Thought O’ The Day

Following Lester Holt, my favorite newsperson is probably Diane Sawyer. She reminds me of actress Angie Dickinson.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. What? No Matt Lauer?

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