Entertainment

The Best Retired News Anchors  

Ranker TV
May 3, 2019 454 votes 44 voters 2.5k views 47 items

List Rules Vote up the former news anchors, presenters, and commentators who were the best on-air.

For decades, people have turned on the news to receive up-to-date information about political processes and new trends. They grow accustomed to seeing the same faces night after night, and although these news anchors are no longer on the air, people still remember them fondly. You may remember sitting down with your parents at the end of the day and learning about current events with one of these familiar faces. Which of these retired news anchors hold a special place in your nostalgia?

Tom Brokaw has always been one of the most trusted faces in American news. He is the only person to have ever hosted all of NBC's evening news programs, which includes Meet the Press, NBC Nightly News, and The Today Show. He has also written several books about American history, putting his knowledge of current events on full display for everyone to see. But before Brokaw, there was Hugh Downs. He was a host for NBC News as well as several other programs over the years. 

These former news anchors may have retired long ago, but they live on within the annals of journalism. There is much that journalists of today can learn from them, so vote for the ones you wish were still on the air to provide information and insight. 

list ordered by
1
Walter Cronkite is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 93 (1916-2009)

Formerly of: CBS News

Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. (November 4, 1916 – July 17, 2009) was an American broadcast journalist who served as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–1981). During the heyday of ...more
2
Paul Harvey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 91 (1918-2009)

Formerly of: News & Comment, ABC radio

Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009), better known as Paul Harvey, was a conservative American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. He broadcast News and Comment ...more
3
David Brinkley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 83 (1920-2003)

Formerly of: The Huntley-Brinkley Report NBC

David McClure Brinkley (July 10, 1920 – June 11, 2003) was an American newscaster for NBC and ABC in a career lasting from 1943 to 1997. From 1956 through 1970, he co-anchored NBC's top-rated ...more
4
Mike Wallace is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 94 (1918-2012)

Formerly of: 60 Minutes CBS

Myron Leon "Mike" Wallace (May 9, 1918 – April 7, 2012) was an American journalist, game show host, actor, and media personality. He interviewed a wide range of prominent newsmakers ...more
5
Hugh Downs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Hugh Downs age 98

Formerly of: ABC News' 20/20, formerly at NBC News

Hugh Malcolm Downs (born February 14, 1921) is a retired American broadcaster, television host, news anchor, TV producer, author, game show host, and music composer. He is perhaps best known for ...more
6
Tom Brokaw is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
age 79

Formerly of: NBC News

Thomas John Brokaw (; born February 6, 1940) is an American television journalist and author, best known for being the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News for 22 years (1982–2004). He ...more
7
John Chancellor is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 69 (1927-1996)

Formerly of: NBC Nightly News

John William Chancellor (July 14, 1927 – July 12, 1996) was an American journalist who spent most of his career with NBC News. He served as anchor of the NBC Nightly News from 1970 to 1982 and ...more
8
Peter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 67 (1938-2005)

Formerly of: ABC News

Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings (July 29, 1938 – August 7, 2005) was a Canadian-American journalist who served as the sole anchor of ABC World News Tonight from 1983 until his death from ...more
9
Ed Bradley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 65 (1941-2006)

Formerly of: CBS News

Edward Rudolph "Ed" Bradley, Jr. (June 22, 1941 – November 9, 2006) was an American journalist, best known for 26 years of award-winning work on the CBS News television program 60 ...more
10
Edwin Newman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 91 (1919-2010)

Formerly of: NBC News

Edwin Harold Newman (January 25, 1919 – August 13, 2010) was an American newscaster, journalist, and author. After beginning his career with the wire services and serving in the U.S. Navy during ...more
11
Harry Reasoner is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 68 (1923-1991)

Formerly of: CBS News and ABC News

Harry Truman Reasoner (April 17, 1923 – August 6, 1991) was an American journalist for ABC and CBS News, known for his inventive use of language as a television commentator, and as a founder of ...more
12
Dan Rather is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
age 87

Formerly of: CBS News

Dan Irvin Rather Jr. (; born October 31, 1931) is an American journalist. Rather began his career in Texas and was on the scene of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas in 1963. His reporting ...more
13
Timothy J. Russert is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 58 (1950-2008)

Formerly of: NBC News

Timothy John Russert (May 7, 1950 – June 13, 2008) was an American television journalist and lawyer who appeared for more than 16 years as the longest-serving moderator of NBC's Meet the Press. ...more
14
Edward R. Murrow is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 57 (1908-1965)

Formerly of: CBS Reports

Edward Roscoe Murrow (born Egbert Roscoe Murrow; April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965) was an American broadcast journalist and war correspondent. He first gained prominence during World War II with ...more
15
Jane Pauley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
age 68

Formerly of: NBC News

Margaret Jane Pauley (born October 31, 1950), known as Jane Pauley, is an American television journalist and author, active in news reporting since 1972. She is the anchor of CBS Sunday Morning. ...more
16
Chet Huntley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 63 (1911-1974)

Formerly of: The Huntley-Brinkley Report

Chester Robert "Chet" Huntley (December 10, 1911 – March 20, 1974) was an American television newscaster, best known for co-anchoring NBC's evening news program, The Huntley-Brinkley ...more
17
Art Linkletter is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 98 (1912-2010)

Formerly of: KGB-AM radio, San Diego

Arthur Gordon Linkletter (born Arthur Gordon Kelly or Gordon Arthur Kelley (sources differ), July 17, 1912 – May 26, 2010) was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was ...more
18
Jessica Savitch is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 36 (1947-1983)

Formerly of: NBC News and Frontline

Jessica Beth Savitch (February 1, 1947 – October 23, 1983) was an American television news presenter and correspondent, best known for being the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and daily ...more
19
Douglas Edwards is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 73 (1917-1990)

Formerly of: CBS News

Douglas Edwards (July 14, 1917 – October 13, 1990) was an American network news television anchor. He anchored CBS's first network nightly television news broadcast from 1947–1962, which was ...more
20
Frank Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 60 (1923-1983)

Formerly of: ABC News

Frank James Reynolds (November 29, 1923 – July 20, 1983) was an American television journalist for CBS and ABC News.Reynolds was a New York-based anchor of the ABC Evening News from 1968 to 1970 ...more
21
Howard K. Smith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 88 (1914-2002)

Formerly of: ABC News, formerly at CBS News

Howard Kingsbury Smith (May 12, 1914 – February 15, 2002) was an American journalist, radio reporter, television anchorman, political commentator, and film actor. He was one of the original ...more
22
Jim Vance is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
age 77

Formerly of: WRC-TV

James Howard "Jim" Vance III (January 10, 1942 – July 22, 2017) was an American television news presenter in Washington, D.C.
23
Jim Jensen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 73 (1926-1999)

Formerly of: WCBS-TV

James or Jim Jensen may refer to: James A. Jensen (1918–1998), paleontologist, known as Dinosaur Jim James H. Jensen, Wisconsin State Assemblyman James Jensen (The Sadhu), character in The Sadhu ...more
24
John Daly is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 77 (1914-1991)

Formerly of: ABC News

John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly (February 20, 1914 – February 24, 1991), generally known as John Charles Daly or simply John Daly, was an American radio and television personality, CBS News ...more
25
Walter Winchell is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Retired News Anchors
Dec. at 75 (1897-1972)

Formerly of: The Jergens Journal, NBC radio

Walter Winchell (April 7, 1897 – February 20, 1972) was a syndicated American newspaper gossip columnist and radio news commentator. Originally a vaudeville performer, Winchell began his ...more