Nancy O’Dell started as a reporter and anchor at WPDE-TV in her hometown in South Carolina and later became a morning news anchor and crime reporter at WCBD-TV. One of her reports was on the leniency of the police on DUI cases, which led to an investigation and resulted in authorities implementing a strict directive on such cases. O’Dell was honored with the Best Report of the Year Award by the Associated Press.
She worked her way up the ranks and became an entertainment reporter for A Current Affair until it ended. In 1996, she joined Access Hollywood, and by 2011, she was a co-anchor of Entertainment Tonight.
Barbara Walters – $12m
One of the most celebrated broadcast journalists of her time, Barbara Walters paved the way for women to have more power and a bigger voice in broadcasting. She hosted several TV shows, including The View, Today, ABC Evening News, and 20/20. Walters started as a writer and segment producer of interest stories involving women on the NBC News morning program The Today Show with Hugh Downs and later with Frank McGee. When McGee passed away, Walters became the co-host of the program—a first for a woman on an American news program.
She was also the first woman to co-anchor on the evening news when she worked with Harry Reasoner on ABC Evening News. Walters also created and was a co-host of The View, from which she eventually retired but remained as its executive producer. Walters has been named by TV Guide as one of the “50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.” In late 2022 she sadly passed away.
Chris Matthews – $5m
Chris Matthews started with print journalism and worked in the industry for 15 years. He was the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for the San Francisco Examiner and was a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He then became known for his hour-long talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, on MSNBC. Matthews also hosted The Chris Matthews Show for some time. He has written eight best-selling books including Elusive Hero and Hardball: How Politics is Played, Told by One Who Knows the Game.
Throughout his career, Matthews has been bestowed awards including The Pennsylvania Society’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement in 2005, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, and the 2016 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award. He also holds 34 honorary degrees from different universities and colleges.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck – $1m
Elisabeth Hasselbeck was a Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate and worked for Puma as part of the design team. She was thrust into television and rose to prominence when she joined Survivor: The Australian Outback in 2001 where she placed fourth. She then got herself in another reality show— Style Network’s The Look for Less from 2002 to 2003—but this time, she hosted it. In the same year she left Style Network, she was hired as the fourth co-host on The View.
Together with her co-hosts, she was awarded the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. After ten years, Hasselbeck left and became a co-host of Fox & Friends. She retired in December 2015 to spend more time with her family.
Mika Brzezinski – $2m
Mika Brzezinski’s first job in the field of journalism was at ABC’s World News This Morning as an assistant. She then went to a Fox-affiliate station and worked as a general assignments reporter. She moved to CBS-affiliate WFSB-TV/WFSB-DT in 1992 and climbed her way to become its weekday morning anchor. She found her big break when she joined CBS and landed a role as a correspondent and anchor for the Up to the Minute news program. Brzezinski took a short break from CBS News and worked for MSNBC. She co-anchored HomePage with Ashleigh Banfield and Gina Gaston and was dubbed as the “Powerpuff Girls of Journalism.”
Brzezinski went back to CBS in September 2001 and became their principal “Ground Zero” reporter for the September 11 attacks, in which she gained national fame. She also contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes. Currently, she co-hosts Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough, whom she married in 2018.