The List

The $15 million-a-year face

Throughout the life of The Earnalist, we shall keep a running list of reported salaries of members in the media. We will link to our source material every time. If you find a discrepancy, please feel free to note it in the comments section, or contact us at

Here is the running list of media salaries:

From the Forbes Celebrity 100 (2006)
Katie Couric- $15 million – Anchor/Managing Editor of CBS Evening News
Diane Sawyer- $12 million – Co-Anchor of Good Morning America
Bill O’Reilly- $9 million – Host of The O’Reilly Factor

From the Forbes Celebrity 100 (2007)
Rush Limbaugh- $33 million – Host of The Rush Limbaugh Show
Mitch Albom- $6 million (with book deals) – Author/Columnist for The Detroit Free Press

From New York Magazine’s “Who Makes How Much” 2005 Salary Guide
Malcolm Gladwell- $1.5 million – Author (advance, plus $250,000 New Yorker salary, speaking engagements.
Sonny Mehta- $750,000 – Chairman/EIC Alfred A. Knopf Publishing Group
Sam Tanenhaus- $180,000 – Editor of The New York Times Book Review
Arthur Sulzberger Jr. – $1.92 million-
Chairman and publisher, the New York Times Co.
Karen Elliott House – $877,000 – Publisher, the Wall Street Journal
Bill Keller – $650,000 – Executive editor, the New York Times
Col Allan – $600,000 – Editor, New York Post
Richard Johnson – $300,000 – “Page Six” gossip columnist
Thomas Friedman – $300,000 – Columnist, the New York Times (plus $40,000 per speaking engagement)
Will Shortz – $90,000 – Crossword editor, the New York Times
Maria Schneider – $17,500 – Associate Editor, The Onion
Jim Romenesko – $169,187 – Blogger, the Poynter Institute
Jessica Coen – $30,000 – Blogger, (disputed)
Hugh Hefner – $983,000 – Founder and editor-in-chief, Playboy Enterprises
Norm Pearlstine – $2 million – Editor-in-chief, Time Inc.
Anna Wintour – $2 million – Editor, Vogue
Sylvana Soto-Ward – $40,000Assistant to Anna Wintour
Bonnie Fuller – $1,574,851 – Editorial director, American Media
Janice Min – $1.2 million – Editor, Us Weekly
James Kelly – $1.1 million – Managing editor, Time
Tom Wallace – $1 million – Editorial director, Condé Nast
David Remnick – $1 millionEditor, The New Yorker
Charlie Gibson – $7 million – Co-anchor, Good Morning America
Brian Williams – $4 million – Anchor, NBC Nightly News
Anderson Cooper – $2 million – Host, Anderson Cooper 360 (since signed new contract worth $50 million over 5 years with CNN)
Chuck Scarborough – $3 million – Anchor, WNBC news
Sue Simmons – $2.5 million – Anchor, WNBC news
Sam Champion – $1.5 million – Weatherman, WABC
Pat Kiernan – $200,000 – Anchor, NY1
Roger Ailes – $7.1 million – Chairman, Fox News Channel
Andrew Heyward – $1.5 million – President, CBS News
Jon Stewart – $1.5 million (contract ends in 2008) – Host, The Daily Show
Flower – $150,000 ($275 per one-eight ounce – Cocaine dealer, Lower East Side (For deadline purposes)

Other Notables:
Anderson Cooper – $10 million a year for 5 years – As mentioned above
Keith Olbermann – reportedly demanded salary increase to over $4 million from $1 million in December 2006 – Host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

Just as a disclaimer for anyone reading the list, as you probably already know, some of these numbers aren’t completely accurate. In fact, some may not even still apply , i.e. Jessica Coen of Gawker who, along with Gawker Media, denied the reported salary. In addition, and probably more importantly, Coen is no longer with Gawker, leaving in September 2006 to join Vanity Fair.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some reports are for total earnings for the corresponding year. One example is Mitch Albom, whose book deal with Starbucks generated a good portion of the $9 million he made that year.

Also, The List is compiled of available information found through extended research (hint: Google) and any past reports. Updates will be made as new information is uncovered, but past salaries included in the list will always be stated as such. This was the first, and hopefully not the last (well at least WE hope) version of The List.

We promise to work on organizing future lists to be more…reader-friendly. As always, please feel free to send us any information you have on salaries of anyone in the media, be it a major publication or a backwater newspaper, any contribution is greatly appreciated.

With that said, and in the spirit of this post, we shall leave you with this…


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