Influential The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time  

Ranker News
7.1k votes 657 voters 11.9k views 51 items

List 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!

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! 

list ordered by

1
204 26
Walter Cronkite is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 93 (1916-2009) Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years. During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was ...more

2
314 86
Jane Pauley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 68 Margaret Jane Pauley, better known as Jane Pauley, is an American television anchor and journalist, and has been involved in news reporting since 1975. She is best known for her 13-year tenure ...more

3
298 80
Lesley Stahl is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 77 Lesley Rene Stahl is an American television journalist. Since 1991, she has reported for CBS on 60 Minutes.

4
288 85
Andrea Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 72 Andrea Mitchell is an American television journalist, anchor, reporter and commentator for NBC News, based in Washington, D.C. She is the NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, and ...more

5
187 44
Tom Brokaw is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 79 Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw is an American television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He is the author of The ...more

6
96 13
Edward R. Murrow is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 57 (1908-1965) Edward R. Murrow KBE was an American broadcast journalist. He first came to prominence with a series of radio news broadcasts during WWII, which were followed by millions of listeners in the ...more

7
102 15
David Brinkley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 83 (1920-2003) David McClure Brinkley 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 news program, The ...more

8
151 36
Ted Koppel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 79 Edward James Martin "Ted" Koppel is a British American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline from the program's inception in 1980 until his retirement in late ...more

9
155 43
Barbara Walters is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 89 Barbara Walters is an American broadcast journalist, author and television personality. She has hosted morning television shows Today and The View, the television news magazine 20/20, ...more

10
115 22
Harry Reasoner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 68 (1923-1991) Harry Truman Reasoner 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 60 Minutes program. Over the ...more

11
151 41
Diane Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 73 Lila Diane Sawyer is an American television journalist. Previously, Sawyer had been the former anchor of ABC News's nightly flagship program ABC World News, a co-anchor of ABC News's morning ...more

12
114 23
Peter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 67 (1938-2005) Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings, CM was a Canadian-American journalist and news anchor. He was the sole anchor of ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 until 2005. A high-school dropout, he ...more

13
154 52
Dan Rather is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 87 Daniel Irvin "Dan" Rather, Jr. is an American journalist and the former news anchor for the CBS Evening News. He is now managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine Dan ...more

14
124 38
Sam Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 84 Samuel Andrew "Sam" Donaldson, Jr. is an American reporter and news anchor, serving with ABC News from 1967 to the present. He is best known as the network's White House Correspondent ...more

15
148 56
Katie Couric is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 62 Katie Couric became a household name when she co hosted the number one morning show in the US, The Today show (NBC), from 1991 to 2006. She made a highly publicized move from from NBC to CBS on ...more

16
164 66
Anderson Cooper is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 51 Anderson Hays Cooper is an American journalist, author, and television personality. He is the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°. The program is normally broadcast live ...more

17
149 58
Brian Williams is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 59 Brian Douglas Williams is an American journalist best known for his ten years as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network. Nine ...more

18
86 20
Tim Russert is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Tim Russert

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. He was a senior vice president at NBC News, Washington bureau chief and also hosted an eponymous CNBC/MSNBC weekend interview program.

19
75 14
Roger Mudd is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 91 Roger Mudd is an American broadcast journalist, most recently working as the primary anchor for The History Channel. Previously, Mudd was weekend and weekday substitute anchor for the CBS ...more

20
74 14
John Chancellor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 69 (1927-1996) John William Chancellor was a well-known 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 continued to do ...more

21
128 49
Ann Curry is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 62 Ann Curry is an American television personality, news journalist and photojournalist. In June 2012, she became the National and International Correspondent/Anchor for NBC News and the Anchor at ...more

22
123 47
Stone Phillips is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 64 Stone Stockton Phillips is an American television reporter and correspondent. He is best known as the former co-anchor of Dateline NBC, a newsmagazine TV show. He also has worked as a substitute ...more

23
63 11
Chet Huntley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 63 (1911-1974) Chester Robert "Chet" Huntley was an American television newscaster, best known for co-anchoring NBC's evening news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report, for 14 years beginning in

24
87 26
Cokie Roberts is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 75 Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts, best known as Cokie Roberts, is an American journalist and author. She is a contributing senior news analyst for National Public Radio as well as ...more

25
73 20
Hugh Downs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 98 Hugh Malcolm Downs is a long-time American broadcaster, television host, news anchor, TV producer, author, game show host, and music composer. He is perhaps best known for his roles as co-host ...more