Barbara Walters’ Net Worth Skyrocketed After She Sold ‘The View’ Stakes—Here’s What She Made Per Year

Barbara Walters
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Broadcasting legend. Barbara Walter’s net worth is a cumulative work of all her iconic broadcast journalism appearances. As a co-creator of The View, and her runs on 20/20, The Today Show and ABC Evening News, it’s no wonder she cemented herself as one of the most notable news anchors ever.

Walters died on December 20, 2022. A statement from her representative Cindi Berger confirmed her death, “Barbara Walters passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with no regrets. She was a trailblazer not only for female journalists but for all women.”

Growing up with a tumultuous childhood, Walters joined Today as a writer and grew her portfolio with each TV show to interview many celebrities, political figures and sports stars. With a notorious reputation to bring her guests to tears, Walters earned many accolades like a Primetime Emmy Award, three Daytime Emmy Awards (as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000), seven News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a GLAAD Media Awards and a Television Critics Association Award. So, what was Barbara Walters’ net worth?

What is Barbara Walters’ net worth?

Barbara Walters

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What is Barbara Walters’ net worth? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Barbara Walters’ net worth is around $170 million. From her groundbreaking stories and interviews to her TV show legacy, she broke barriers with her contracts and appearances.

Walters was born in Boston on September 29, 1929. Her father Lou Walters was a Broadway producer and a nightclub manager and she spent her childhood in New York and Miami. She graduated from Sarah Lawerence College in 1951 and started off her long career in publicity and had a writing job on CBS The Morning Show. It wasn’t until the subsequent on-screen appearances that she earned more than most anchors on air at the time.

What did Barbara Walters earn from Today?

Barbara Walters

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What did Barbara Walters earn from Today? After her stint at CBS The Morning Show, she would later be hired at Today as a writer, researcher and occasional correspondent as a “Today girl.” In 1962, she produced an NBC New York Affiliate show called Not For Women Only which was previously called For Women Only. In 1964, she became the co-host of Today. For her role, she received a salary of $700,000 per year (that’s more than $6.7 million by today’s standards, accounting for inflation). “People may have loved her or hated her, but they sure as hell watched her,” Stuart Schulberg, a Today producer, told The New York Times in 1977.

What did Barbara Walters earn from ABC Evening News?

Barbara Walters Evening News

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What did Barbara Walters earn from ABC Evening News? ABC Evening News pulled Barbara from her home base at Today, and offered her a base contract of $1 million a year—which was more than any anchor on air at the time (by today’s standards, that’s $5.23 million). On and off the air, her co-host Harry Reasoner was cold toward her. In an interview with Vogue, she recalled her time on the show. “He didn’t want a partner, and if he had to have a partner, he was insulted that it was a woman, and that it was a woman who’d been educated in television,” she said. “He was really awful to me on and off the air. After the first night, I felt a terrible failure. Harry didn’t talk to me in the studio; the stagehands didn’t talk to me. They were all Harry’s people.”

What did Barbara Walters earn from 20/20?

Barbara Walters

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What did Barbara Walters earn from 20/20? Walters transitioned into another primetime magazine within the ABC network 20/20. By the time of her retirement, Walters reportedly earned around $12 million a year from her appearances on Evening News and 20/20.

During her run at ABC, she interviewed Russian President Boris Yeltsin, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Libya’s Moammar Qadaffi and Iraq’s Sadaam Hussein. She was also the first person who interviewed George W. Bush after the September 11 Attacks and Monica Lewinsky after her scandal with former President Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsky interview garnered over 50 million viewers but later brought criticism for how the interview wrapped. Toward the end, Walters asked Lewinsky, “What will you tell your children when you have them?” Lewinsky replied, “Mommy made a big mistake” to which Walters quipped, “And that is the understatement of the year.”

After 25 years as co-host and chief correspondent of 20/20, Walters left the show in 2004. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey Walters discussed her wishes to see the world as she wanted to leave 20/20 to see more of the world. “I’ve worked all my life, and I’ve never had time to go to a city or country where I haven’t been in the studio,” she said. “I watched [a primetime special about Oprah’s work in South Africa] not just with tears but with yearning. I’ve been to China four times—but I’ve never really seen China.”

What did Barbara Walters earn from The View?

Barbara Walters

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What did Barbara Walters earn from The View? As one of the creators of the longtime daytime talk show The View, Walters maintained a 50 percent stake in the program. Her last episode as a co-host aired on May 15, 2014, with many of her colleagues like Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer and Katie Couric in attendance to surprise her. “Many of the incredible women that have been influenced by you, and we all have been influenced by you, are here for you today,” Winfrey said as she revealed the surprise. “And we all proudly stand on your shoulders, Barbara Walters, as we honor you.”

As she was leaving the show in 2014, she reportedly sold her stakes for tens of millions which helped pull her net worth from $140 million to $170 million. After the sale, she didn’t have a say in the run of the program. She would eventually guest appear on the show until 2015.  In her interview with Vogue she expressed how much she enjoyed speaking her mind. “You do not know my political opinions,” she told the outlet. “On The View, I can be very opinionated on all sorts of issues, but you do not know what party I might vote for, or what candidate I like, whether I am pro-life or pro-choice, because essentially I work for the news department.”

Upon her retirement, she donated $15 million to her alma mater Sarah Lawerence College. The donation was the largest the school received from a single donor and The Barbara Walters Campus Center in the New York City Campus was named after her.

Audition by Barbara Walters

Audition Barbara Walters

Courtesy of Knopf

For more about Barbara Walters, read her 2008 book, Audition: A Memoir. The New York Times bestseller takes readers through Walter’s life and groundbreaking career, from when she made history as the first female anchor on the TODAY show to how she made a name for herself in the male-dominated broadcast industry as the host of shows like ABC Nightly News, 20/20 and The View, which she also created. The autobiography—which also follows Walter’s 50-plus-years of interviewing heads of state, world leaders, movie stars, criminals, murderers, inspirational figures and celebrities like Princess Diana, Katharine Hepburn and the Dalai Lama—is  a “heartbreaking and honest, surprising and fun” story about the woman who interviewed some of the most interesting people in the world—and how she became one of them. 

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