Influential The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time  

Ranker News
5.6k votes 510 voters 7.5k 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
286 58
Jane Pauley is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 67 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

2
267 52
Lesley Stahl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 76 Lesley Rene Stahl is an American television journalist. Since 1991, she has reported for CBS on 60 Minutes.

3
259 52
Andrea Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 71 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

4
144 22
Walter Cronkite is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
156 28
Tom Brokaw is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 78 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
127 25
Diane Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 72 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

7
120 23
Ted Koppel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 78 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

8
124 29
Barbara Walters is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 88 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

9
125 30
Dan Rather is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 86 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

10
132 38
Katie Couric is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 61 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

11
122 33
Ann Curry is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 61 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

12
137 42
Anderson Cooper is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 50 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

13
85 16
Harry Reasoner is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
129 42
Brian Williams is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 58 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

15
114 35
Stone Phillips is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 63 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

16
102 29
Sam Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
62 10
Edward R. Murrow is listed (or ranked) 17 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 World War II, which were followed by millions of listeners in ...more

18
67 13
David Brinkley is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
71 16
Peter Jennings is listed (or ranked) 19 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 his death in 2005 of ...more

20
97 36
Wolf Blitzer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 70 Wolf Isaac Blitzer is a journalist and television news anchor, who has been a CNN reporter since 1990. He is the host of The Situation Room and the daytime show Wolf. Blitzer also serves as the ...more

21
60 14
Tim Russert is listed (or ranked) 21 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.

22
70 21
Cokie Roberts is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 74 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

23
50 9
John Chancellor is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
54 13
Hugh Downs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 97 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

25
49 11
Roger Mudd is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 90 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

26
63 22
Elizabeth Vargas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 55 Elizabeth Anne Vargas is an American television journalist who is anchor of ABC's television newsmagazine 20/20 and ABC News specials. She was previously an anchor of World News Tonight.

27
83 39
Rachel Maddow is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 45 Rachel Anne Maddow is an American television host, political commentator, and author. She hosts a nightly television show, The Rachel Maddow Show, on MSNBC. Her syndicated talk radio program of ...more

28
44 11
Jim Lehrer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 83 James Charles "Jim" Lehrer is an American journalist and novelist, and is the executive editor and a former news anchor for the PBS NewsHour on PBS. He is also known for his role as a ...more

29
41 9
Chet Huntley is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
37 9
Eric Sevareid is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 80 (1912-1992) Arnold Eric Sevareid was a CBS news journalist from 1939 to 1977. He was one of a group of elite war correspondents hired by pioneering CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow, and thus dubbed ...more

31
38 10
Howard K. Smith is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Howard K. Smith

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 members of the team of war correspondents known as the Murrow Boys.

32
48 18
Christiane Amanpour is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 57 Christiane Amanpour is CNNs chief international correspondent based in New York. Amanpour has reported on most crises from the worlds many news hotspots, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, ...more

33
43 15
Robin Roberts is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 61 Robin René Roberts is an American television broadcaster. Roberts is the anchor of ABC's morning show Good Morning America. After growing up in Mississippi and attending Southeastern ...more

34
44 18
Connie Chung is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 71 Constance Yu-Hwa Chung Povich better known as Connie Chung, is an American journalist. She has been an anchor and reporter for the U.S. television news networks NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC. ...more

35
31 9
Frank Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 60 (1923-1983) Frank James Reynolds was an American television journalist for ABC and CBS News. He was a New York-based anchor of the ABC Evening News from 1968 to 1970 and later was the Washington D.C.-based ...more

36
38 16
Brit Hume is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 74 Alexander Britton "Brit" Hume is a political commentator and television journalist. Hume had a 23-year career with ABC News, where he contributed to World News Tonight with Peter ...more

37
29 9
Douglas Edwards is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 73 (1917-1990) Douglas Edwards was America's first network news television anchor, anchoring CBS's first nightly news broadcast from 1948–1962, which was later to be titled CBS Evening News.

38
29 10
Garrick Utley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 75 (1939-2014) Clifton Garrick Utley was an American television journalist. He established his career reporting about the Vietnam War and has the distinction of being the first full-time television ...more

39
29 10
Frank McGee is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 53 (1921-1974) Frank McGee was an American television journalist who is perhaps best known for his work with NBC.

40
29 12
Jessica Savitch is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 36 (1947-1983) Jessica Beth Savitch was an American television broadcaster and news reporter, host of PBS's Frontline and New York weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News during the short-lived Roger Mudd/Tom

41
24 10
Marlene Sanders is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Marlene Sanders age 87 Marlene Sanders is an American female pioneer in broadcasting.

42
27 13
Max Robinson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 49 (1939-1988) Max Robinson was an American broadcast journalist, and ABC News World News Tonight co-anchor. He was the first African-American broadcast network news anchor in the United States and one of the ...more

43
25 12
Carole Simpson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 76 Carole Simpson is an American broadcast journalist, news anchor, and author.

44
27 14
Linda Ellerbee is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 73 Linda Ellerbee is an American journalist who is most known for several jobs at NBC News, including Washington, D.C. correspondent, and also as host of the Nickelodeon network's Nick News with ...more

45
37 24
Don Lemon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 52 Don Lemon is an American journalist and television news anchor. He is based in New York and currently hosts CNN Tonight.

46
32 20
Greta Van Susteren is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 63 Greta Van Susteren is an American commentator and television presenter on the Fox News Channel, where she hosts On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren. A former criminal defense and civil trial ...more

47
23 12
Charles Collingwood is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
Dec. at 68 (1917-1985) Charles Collingwood was an American journalist and war correspondent. He was an early member of Edward R. Murrow's group of reporters known as the Murrow Boys. He was also among the ranks of ...more

48
30 19
María Elena Salinas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
María Elena Salinas age 63 María Elena Salinas is the co-anchor of Noticiero Univision with Jorge Ramos, the most watched newscast by American Hispanics. She is considered one of the most recognized and influential ...more

49
18 236
Chris Wallace is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 70 Christopher "Chris" Wallace is a television anchor who is the host of the Fox Broadcasting Company/Fox News Channel program Fox News Sunday. Wallace has won three Emmy Awards and the ...more

50
15 237
Shepard Smith is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time
age 54 David Shepard Smith, Jr., known better as Shepard Smith or Shep Smith, is an American television news anchor. He is the former host of Fox Report with Shepard Smith and Studio B weekdays on Fox ...more