Anchoring broadcast news isn’t exactly an old profession. The term “news anchor” has only been in use since 1952. It was coined by CBS News producer Don Hewitt to describe Walter Cronkite’s role in the National Conventions. Traditionally, unlike other news presenters, anchors are television personalities capable of improvising live commentary for breaking news events although the term has more recently been expanded to include all broadcast news presenters. Like any celebrities, anchormen and anchorwomen can rake in vast sums of cash. Currently, the highest paid news anchor is CBS News’ Katie Couric.
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A University of Virginia graduate with a degree in American Studies, Couric got her start as a desk assistant at ABC News. Her career received a major boost when she joined Today in 1990 as national correspondent, becoming substitute, and eventually permanent, co-anchor over the next two years. Her Confronting Colon Cancer series won her a Peabody Award, just one of many awards she’s won throughout the course of her broadcast career.
In 2006, 15 years to the day since she became permanent co-anchor on Today, she announced her move from NBC to CBS News. This move, along with strife between the WGA and CBS, has led to the likelihood of Couric being the only major news anchor not to moderate a single debate in the 2008 election cycle due to the Democratic National Committee’s cancellation of the scheduled Dec 10th debate.
The highest paid anchorwoman makes approximately $15 million a year. She can be seen nightly on CBS Evening News.