Influential

The Most Influential News Anchors of All Time

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, 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
    1
    Dec. at 92 (1916-2009)
    • Birthplace: USA, Saint Joseph, Missouri
  • Edward R. Murrow
    2
    Dec. at 57 (1908-1965)
    • Birthplace: North Carolina, USA
  • David Brinkley
    3
    Dec. at 82 (1920-2003)
    • Birthplace: Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
  • Peter Jennings
    4
    Dec. at 67 (1938-2005)
    • Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Harry Reasoner
    5
    Dec. at 68 (1923-1991)
    • Birthplace: Dakota City, Iowa, USA
  • Tom Brokaw
    6
    Age: 82
    • Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota, USA
  • John Chancellor
    7
    Dec. at 68 (1927-1996)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Hugh Downs
    8
    Age: 101
    • Birthplace: Akron, Ohio, United States of America
  • Ted Koppel
    9
    Age: 82
    • Birthplace: Lancashire, England, UK
  • Tim Russert
    10

    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.

  • Chet Huntley
    11
    Dec. at 62 (1911-1974)
    • Birthplace: Cardwell, Montana, United States of America
  • Eric Sevareid
    12
    Dec. at 79 (1912-1992)
    • Birthplace: Velva, North Dakota, USA
  • Dan Rather
    13
    Age: 90
    • Birthplace: Wharton, Texas, USA
  • Roger Mudd
    14
    Dec. at 93 (1928-2021)
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., USA
  • Howard K. Smith
    15

    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.

  • Diane Sawyer
    16
    • Birthplace: Glasgow, Kentucky, United States of America
  • Jim Lehrer
    17
    Age: 88
    • Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, USA
  • Sam Donaldson
    18
    • Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, USA
  • Frank Reynolds
    19
    Dec. at 59 (1923-1983)
    • Birthplace: East Chicago, Indiana, United States of America
  • Barbara Walters
    20
    • Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Brit Hume
    21
    Age: 79
    • Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States of America
  • Jessica Savitch
    22
    Dec. at 36 (1947-1983)
    • Birthplace: Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States of America
  • Cokie Roberts
    23
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
  • Douglas Edwards
    24
    Dec. at 73 (1917-1990)
    • Birthplace: Ada, Oklahoma, USA
  • Garrick Utley
    25
    Dec. at 74 (1939-2014)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA