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Journalism Is in a Disastrous State -- But for a Handful of Millionaire Pundits, It's a Wonderful Life

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JournalismMainstream journalism is, we’re often told, in a state of severe crisis. Newsroom employment began to decline as a result of corporate takeovers in the 1990s. Then the digital revolution destroyed the advertising market, plunging the industry into serious doubt about its very business model.

But times aren’t rough all around. There are many pundits and TV anchors who are doing very well in the media world, racking up millions of dollars from their media contracts, book deals and lucrative speaking fees. Though they don’t generally approach the compensation packages awarded to network morning show hosts like Matt Lauer or evening anchors like Diane Sawyer, they’re not exactly hurting.

Of course, being the boss means the biggest payday—and media company CEOs have been posting unbelievable incomes. In 2012, CBS head Les Moonves made $62 million, Disney’s Robert Iger made $37 million and Rupert Murdoch ofFox took home a comparatively modest $22 million ( New York Times,5/5/13). Don’t feel sorry for Murdoch, though; as No. 91 on  Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $11.2 billion, he’s unlikely to go to bed hungry.


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