The Top British Broadcasters Make a Fraction of American TV Newsers

By A.J. Katz 

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The BBC’s top-earning news anchor, Huw Edwards, makes £550,000 per year (nearly $717,000 U.S. dollars). Edwards anchors the BBC News at Ten, the network’s flagship news broadcast.

We know this because The Guardian published a list of the BBC’s top salaries. Beyond the numbers, a gender pay gap was exposed and is rather significant.

The top earner overall is BBC radio host Chris Evans who makes £2.2 million (nearly $2.9 million dollars). Football anchor Gary Lineker earned more than £1.75 million (nearly $2.3 million dollars) and late-night host Graham Norton more than £850,000 (over $1.1 million dollars). What Lineker might not know is that his colleague Clare Balding, who has covered six Olympic Games, horse-racing, Wimbledon and was BBC Sports Personality of the Year, makes around £199,999 per year (roughly $261,000 U.S. dollars), 89 percent less than her male colleague.

“By 2020 we will have equality between men and women on air, and we will also have the pay gap sorted by then too,” said BBC chief Tony Hall after the findings were made public. As Britain’s public broadcaster, the BBC is funded by the British people. All households pay an annual fee. As part of its new 11-year Royal charter, the government forced the release of the host salaries:

  • 1. Radio host Chris Evans £2.2m – £2.25m
  • 2. Match of the Day anchor Gary Lineker £1.75m – £1.8m
  • 3. Late night talk show host Graham Norton £850,0000 – £899,999
  • 4. Radio host Jeremy Vine £700,000 – £749,999
  • 5. Today host John Humphrys £600,000 – £649,999
  • 6. News anchor Huw Edwards £550,000 – £599,999
  • 7. Radio 2 host Steve Wright £500,000 – £549,999
  • 8. Radio 2 and Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman £450,000 – £499,999
  • 9.  One Show host Matt Baker £450,000 – £499,999
  • 10. 5 Live breakfast show host Nicky Campbell £400,000 – £449,999
  • 11. Current affairs anchor Andrew Marr £400,000 – £449,999
  • 12. Radio Five Live host Stephen Nolan £400,000 – £449,999
  • 13. Match of the Day analyst Alan Shearer £400,000 – £449,999
  • 14. One Show host Alex Jones £400,000 – £449,000
  • 15. News & Antiques Roadshow host Fiona Bruce £350,000 – £399,999

British PM Theresa May criticized the company’s high earners, saying “as we see today there are some people in public sector who are being very well paid.” May earns £150,402 per year.

But salaries collected by the BBC’s top earners are seemingly minuscule to top U.S. TV news talent. NBC News’s Matt Lauer earns more than $22 million per year, while Megyn Kelly is also in that neighborhood. Before he departed Fox News, and Bill O’Reilly hauled in around $20 million (not including books). Sean Hannity reportedly earns around $29 million per year, from his radio and TV gigs. ABC’s Robin Roberts earns north of $10 million as do Anderson Cooper and Shepard Smith.