Walters’ ambition and self-awareness of her value earned her a lot of money throughout the years, from being the first woman to break $1 million in broadcasting to become the highest-paid broadcaster of any gender at the time. Here’s how much she earned working on TODAY, ABC News, The View, and other sources till her death on December 30, 2022.
How did Barbara Walters become famous?
Barbara Walters received her first experience of show business when her father worked as a nightclub manager and Broadway producer as a child, though his job was reputedly never permanent. Sarah Lawrence College awarded her an English degree in 1951. She began her career as a publicist for the New York City NBC affiliate now WNBC, then WNBT, before moving on to work for an advertising firm.
Walters began producing Ask the Camera, a children’s television show, on WNBC in 1953, as well as programming for Igor Cassini. The next year, she moved to WPIX to create the Eloise McElhone Show, which was canceled after a year.
Undeterred, Walters moved on to become a writer for CBS’ The Morning Show by 1955, before returning to PR and becoming a writer for Redbook magazine. In 1961, she joined NBC’s TODAY as a researcher and writer, then as a “TODAY Girl” doing lighter pieces and reporting weather—but she still fought to be recognized seriously as a journalist.
Walters was a reporter by 1962, researching, reporting, and creating her own projects. She had her own local New York affiliate NBC show Not for Women Only in 1971, and by 1974, she was the first woman to co-host TODAY.
What was Barbara Walters’ salary?
Barbara Walters’ income grew consistently throughout the course of her career, making history at times. As the first woman to co-host TODAY, Walters earned $700,000 a year. With her $1 million salary as ABC Evening News co-anchor in 1976, she created history.
Walters allegedly earned $12 million for her work with ABC News and 20/20 in 2000, making her the highest-paid anchor ever at the time.