The Richest Today Show Stars Might Surprise You

NBC's "The Today Show," which first aired in 1952, is a titan of American pop culture. In the show's inaugural episode, original host Dave Garroway smiled into the camera and said, "Well here we are. And good morning to you. The very first good morning of what I hope and suspect will be a great many good mornings between you and I." This greeting marked the beginning of a new era in communication, and a complete transformation of the way Americans consume news. It was the birth of the morning TV format.

Since those early days, "The Today Show" has seen tremendous change. In 2007, the news and entertainment juggernaut added an extra hour of programming, extending the show's broadcast to a total of four hours. Countless celebrities and distinguished guests have passed through "The Today Show's" doors, and the show's news correspondents have delivered real-time coverage of every major news story that has shaped the modern world.

After so many years in existence, "The Today Show" has managed to remain timeless. "Today" owes a massive part of its success to the program's beloved news anchors — and their earnings are as huge as their personalities.

Dylan Dreyer

Dylan Dreyer is a staple of weekdays on "The Today Show." Since joining the program in 2012, the bubbly meteorologist has racked up some impressive credentials. According to her "Today" biography, Dreyer's claim to fame is her live coverage of infamous storms, like Hurricane Harvey and the 2014 polar vortex. But the news anchor has even more to offer, and she's great at showcasing her other skills on air.

When she isn't dishing out weather forecasts, Dreyer earns her keep as a co-host on "Today's" third hour, host of "Earth Odyssey with Dylan Dreyer," and contributor to the weekly radio show "Off The Rails." Dreyer has also made her mark as a children's book author.

Dylan Dreyer's net worth is estimated to be around $4 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. Despite her extravagant earnings, the newswoman is often hailed for her relatable and down-to-earth persona. On Instagram, the mom of three shares snippets of her home life, complete with sweet family moments, cute kiddos, and the endless quest to keep her house organized. Fans have been known to gush over the star's honest portrayal of life in her modest New York City home (via Hello! Magazine).

Jenna Bush Hager

In the "Today Show" universe, Jenna Bush Hager is best known for co-hosting "Today With Hoda and Jenna." But the daughter of former U.S. president George Bush has spent a lifetime navigating the limelight. Given her elite upbringing, Hager was already primed for a life of opportunity and success. However, the news anchor definitely experienced a few bumps on her career path until settling in at "The Today Show."

Before joining "Today," Hager found work as an English teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Gripped by burn-out and unease about the future, the star recalls how she rejected "The Today Show's" first attempt at recruiting her. Hager's uncertainty prompted her to seek advice from George H.W. Bush, whom she affectionately called "Gampy." In an excerpt from her book, "Everything Beautiful in Its Time: Seasons of Love and Loss," Hager recounts how her grandfather responded with gentle persuasion, asking her: "Do you ever watch the 'Today' show? Why don't we turn it on?" (via Glamour). 

Jenna Bush Hager goes on to credit George H.W. Bush for encouraging her to accept the job. Gampy definitely helped steer Jenna Bush Hager in the right direction, as the television star has amassed a net worth of around $14 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. In addition to co-hosting "Today," Hager maintains her cash flow as an author and as editor-at-large for Southern Living Magazine, according to her Twitter bio.

Natalie Morales

During her 22-year run on NBC, Natalie Morales showcased a medley of talents and skills. The former co-host landed on "Today" in 2006 and became an instant star of the news franchise. According to her "Today Show" bio, the anchorwoman is best known for her buzz-worthy interviews with the world's biggest celebrities. In 2021, Morales jumped ship from "Today" in order to join CBS's "The Talk." The newswoman spoke to People about her new role, stating, "I had been on this show as a guest before, and every time I came, I just really loved the experience of being here. I loved the audience interaction and how involved they are with the hosts. It's funny because from the minute I walked out here, it was like I felt like I'm at home." Today, Morales continues to expand her resume — and her pockets — as a co-host and moderator on the daytime talk show.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Natalie Morales is worth an estimated $18 million dollars in total. In 2016, the entertainer purchased a lavish $6.8 million home in LA's upscale Brentwood community (via Daily Mail). Morales also owns a cozy little ski retreat in Vail, Colorado. According to Bravo, the rustic condo cost her $3.5 million.

While the television star is extremely fortunate, she also seems to have a generous heart. In 2014, Morales raised over $70,000 to help victims of the tragic Boston Marathon Bombing, per her CBS bio.

Ann Curry

Ann Curry has been shattering barriers since the start of her career when she was the first woman hired at a small newsroom in Medford, Oregon. From that moment, the tenacious newswoman continued to climb the ladder of success. Viewers will recognize Curry from her history-making coverage of humanitarian crises in Darfur, Iraq, Haiti, and beyond. The Emmy-winner has also zeroed in on environmental issues, documenting the effects of climate change from such locations as the Antarctic and Mount Kilimanjaro, per Washington State University.

By the time Curry joined "Today" in 2011, she had already made a name for herself in broadcasting. It seemed as though the veteran newswoman would fit in seamlessly as a co-host on the popular show. However, Curry was let go from the position after just one year, allegedly due to a lack of chemistry with her co-host, Matt Lauer. In a 2020 interview with Elle, Ann Curry opened up about the slight, saying, "I have no regrets about how I've behaved. And I'm very proud, in spite of everything, of all the work I was able to achieve. I don't really think about it very often; I really don't. But when I do, it does hurt still, because it takes time to heal. But what I've learned is that you rise stronger."

Despite the unfortunate ending of her run as a "Today" co-host, Ann Curry remains one of the most influential journalists of our time. Over the course of her monumental career, Curry's net worth has swelled to $20 million, per Celebrity Net Worth.

Bryant Gumbel

During its decades on air, "The Today Show" has been peppered with unforgettable personalities. However, few are as memorable — or as polarizing — as former co-host Bryant Gumbel. The newscaster made his mark as the first Black co-host to appear on "The Today Show." During his 15-year tenure on the program, Gumbel took his award-winning broadcasting skills around the globe, covering monumental stories as they unfolded in Moscow, Vietnam, and South America.

Over the years, the newsman has been slammed for his contentious professional relationships, particularly with NBC colleagues Connie Chung, Jane Pauley, and Willard Scott. Though detractors have called him everything from "egocentric" to a "jerk," the broadcaster's no-nonsense persona is exactly what makes him so prolific. In a 2007 interview with Diverse Education, Gumbel said of his unconventional style: "What makes a good producer is not somebody who's concerned with following all the rules they learned in [journalism] school, and making sure that all these bases are touched, and keeping one eye on the corporate structure and where this story will take them. A good producer is somebody who shows up and says, 'Okay, how are we going to get this done?' Plain and simple."

Throughout his influential career, Gumbel has stayed true to his sportscasting roots. His acclaimed HBO series, "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel," is hailed for its outstanding coverage of social movements and major historical moments that are tied to sports. For his work, Bryant Gumbel has built a net worth of about $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Hoda Kotb

Since her intro to the NBC network in 1998, Hoda Kotb has covered some of the most important news stories of modern times. Kotb's rise to the top was well-deserved, as the anchorwoman endured numerous rejections before landing her first on-air gig, according to People. The newscaster reached her peak in 2017 when she became a main co-anchor on "Today," marking the first time in history that the show was completely headed by women (per The Washington Post).

In 2017, NBC announced that Matt Lauer was being fired from "The Today Show" over allegations of sexual misconduct. The ensuing media storm helped fuel speculation that Kotb and her colleague, Savannah Guthrie, were earning a lot less than the male former co-host. In January 2018, Kotb confirmed to People that she wasn't making the same amount of money as Lauer had, but remarked, "I know it sounds ridiculous that I'm going to say this, but I really have done jobs I liked for the job I liked because I never wanted to be happy every other Friday on pay day. Like, I didn't want that to be the happy day. I wanted to feel good throughout. So no, I'm not making Matt Lauer money. Not even close."

Despite the fact that she's not making "Matt Lauer money" (for now), Hoda Kotb is reportedly worth an impressive $30 million, per Celebrity Net Worth.

Savannah Guthrie

As far back as the show's early years, "Today's" co-hosts have graced the program with an array of different backgrounds and talents. Savannah Guthrie is no exception to this trend. With her vibrant personality and scrupulous legal expertise, it's no wonder that the journalist is a fan favorite among "Today Show" viewers.

Following her first journalism gig — which lasted just ten days — Savannah Guthrie returned to her hometown of Tucson, Arizona, where she worked at a local news station. After a few years in the business, the anchorwoman decided to explore new horizons, and in 2000, she enrolled in law school. Guthrie excelled in her short legal career, but she ultimately decided to follow her calling in journalism. Before landing on "Today," the newswoman was a legal analyst for Court TV and a White House Correspondent, according to the University of Arizona.

The pivot back to journalism definitely paid off, as Guthrie has now raked in an estimated $30 million, per Celebrity Net Worth.

Carson Daly

Carson Daly was a darling of the '90s and early aughts, earning much of his notoriety as the original host of MTV's "Total Request Live." Over the years, the broadcasting dynamo has proven his ability to dominate all forms of media. Daly's resume boasts a variety of gigs, including actor and deejay. Over the years, he has hosted "NBC's New Year's Eve," "Last Call with Carson Daly," and "The Voice," which he also produces.

Carson Daly landed on "The Today Show" in 2013. At the time, the entertainer celebrated his new career move in an interview published on "Today's" website, saying, "Everything I've done in my career up until this point has trained me for 'Today' — the interviews, the live TV, the live radio — it all gets paid off. I was playing in the minor leagues and now I've just been called up to the big leagues."

Thanks to his outstanding work, Carson Daly has created quite the life for himself. According to Yahoo, the on-air personality is worth around $40 million dollars. On his Instagram account, Daly occasionally shares snapshots of his family enjoying life in their luxurious $6.5 million home on Long Island, New York.

Al Roker

Fondly known as America's Weatherman, Al Roker has guided "Today Show" viewers' eyes toward the sky since 1996. The 14-time Emmy-winner is also known for hosting some of television's most cherished events, including the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, per his "Today" bio. Over the course of his lengthy broadcasting career, Roker has risen to legendary status, and his name has evolved into a brand of its own. That's what prompted the savvy businessman to launch his own media company, Al Roker Entertainment.

Surprisingly, there was a time when the entertainer never imagined himself in the broadcasting industry. In an interview with Inc., Roker revealed, "I had zero interest in being on TV. I'm an amateur cartoonist, and I wanted to go to New York School of Graphic Art and Design. That's where almost every golden age comic artist and cartoonist went." In the interview, Roker said that he's pleased with the way his life turned out, but admits that he occasionally wonders where he'd be today if his art school dreams had panned out.

In addition to his spot on "Today," the star has amassed a fortune as an author, television producer, and CEO. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the broadcasting big shot is worth a staggering $70 million.

Matt Lauer

Of all "Today Show" figures past and present, Matt Lauer may be the most unpopular–and for good reason. When he joined "The Today Show" in 1994, viewers were enchanted by Lauer's lively persona and megawatt smile. Fifteen years later, it all came crashing down when Lauer was axed from the show over multiple allegations of sexual harassment and predatory behavior (per Variety). In November 2017, co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb addressed the scandal during a live segment on "Today." Guthrie said, "All we can say is we are heartbroken. I'm heartbroken ... How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?" (via The Washington Post).

As the world learned of his shocking behind-the-scenes behavior, Lauer's lawyers began gearing up for a legal battle. The disgraced newsman hoped to secure a payout for the remainder of his canceled NBC contract, which would have totaled around $30 million, according to Page Six. While Lauer ultimately failed to recover the cash, the fallen star is still thought to be worth around $80 million, per Celebrity Net Worth.

Katie Couric

When Katie Couric began making regular appearances on "The Today Show" in 1991, her glittering personality and sharp, attentive reporting style made her an instant hit with fans. Ten years later, the devastating events of 9/11 would crystalize her place at the top of American newscasting. In order to chronicle the aftermath of the 2001 attacks, NBC reportedly worked out a $60 million contract with Couric, which was the largest television news deal of its time, per Celebrity Net Worth.

In 2011, Couric headed to ABC news — and to a $40 million contract with the network (per Yahoo). In addition to her exceptional broadcasting skills, Couric has earned some impressive payouts as a producer and best-selling author. More recently, the journalist has taken a dive into the world of business, launching Katie Couric Media.

Thanks to her extensive broadcasting career, numerous television credits, and her business exploits, Katie Couric's net worth has ballooned to an astonishing $110 million dollars (via Celebrity Net Worth). And with that many riches, it's no surprise that the entertainer is living large in the Hamptons. In 2011, Couric graced Cottages & Gardens with a tour of her elegant $6.3 million home, complete with sprawling gardens, a tennis court, and a sparkling swimming pool.

Barbara Walters

When it comes to women in media, the legacy of Barbara Walters is unmatched. Having spent more than a half-century in the field, the renowned journalist covered some of the most significant moments in modern history. Walters was best known for her hard-hitting interviews with public and political figures, including the likes of Muhammed Ali, Fidel Castro, Ringo Starr, Boris Yeltsin, and others.

In 1961, the trailblazing reporter received her first big break when she won a bid to travel abroad with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, per Biography. The anchor woman's place in history was cemented in 1963 when she became the first female co-host of "The Today Show" (per ABC News). With this achievement, Barbara Walters paved the way for women to make their mark in the male-dominated broadcasting industry. In 1976, Walters took a massive swing at the glass ceiling when she moved to ABC's "Evening News" — and to an unprecedented annual salary of $1 million, per The New York Times.

When Walters retired from co-hosting ABC's "The View," the icon received surprise send-offs from Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Michael Douglas. "How proud when I see all the young women who are making and reporting the news. If I did anything to help make that happen, that is my legacy," Walters said at the end of the broadcast (via CNN).

By the time of her death in late December 2022, the celebrated journalist's fortune was estimated at $170 million.