The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time

Over 3.7K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Voting Rules
Only news anchors popular on American television.

TV news anchors have a long history of being trusted sources for world news and events. The best news anchors don't just report the news. They dissect current events and put them into perspective, often having a profound effect on politics and public opinion. Who are the most influential news anchors of all time? This list helps decide as it covers legends of American news broadcasting, including both active and retired news anchors!

In the olden days, names like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite carried much weight. In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, there are even more newscasters and TV personalities out there talking politics. Fox News brings us stars like Shepard Smith and Bill Hemmer while CNN has the likes of Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer. While women historically didn't have access to anchorwomen opportunities, a number of prominent female journalists have since risen through the ranks. In 1976, Barbara Walters was tapped as the first woman to co-anchor a nightly news program. Since then, many famous female reporters have followed in her footsteps such as Diane Sawyer and Connie Chung. 

Who are the most trusted news anchors of all time? Help decide below by voting the most influential names in journalism to the top of the list! 

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Ranked by
  • Walter Cronkite
    Dec. at 92 (1916-2009)
    1,358 votes
    • Birthplace: St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
    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 CBS ...more
  • Edward R. Murrow
    Dec. at 57 (1908-1965)
    697 votes
    • Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
    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 a ...more
  • David Brinkley
    Dec. at 82 (1920-2003)
    755 votes
    • Birthplace: Wilmington, North Carolina, United States of America
    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 nightly ...more
  • Peter Jennings
    Dec. at 67 (1938-2005)
    838 votes
    • Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
    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 lung ...more
  • Tom Brokaw
    Age: 83
    896 votes
    • Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota, USA
    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 is ...more
  • Harry Reasoner
    Dec. at 68 (1923-1991)
    606 votes
    • Birthplace: Dakota City, Iowa, United States of America
    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 the ...more