Two generations ago, there were three evening news shows. Before the dawn of cable TV programming, Americans got their news from ABC, NBC and CBS. Many people think the greatest news anchors of all time worked in this period. Walter Cronkite held the CBS anchor chair from 1962 until 1981. Known as “the most trusted man in America,” he covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the first moon landing and the entire Vietnam War. When he turned against the war on-air on February 27, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson reportedly said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” Today’s anchors have often been called lightweights compared to Cronkite.
More recently, cable channels such as CNN, Fox and MSNBC broadcast news 24/7, so we see the hosts and reporters daily. Over time, they become almost like friends or family. More than their ability to explain complex topics and hard news in a clear, concise manner, they also manage to engage us with a calming personality, wit and the ability to make us like as well as trust them.
To determine the most popular TV newscaster (they are no longer called anchors for the most part) in America, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on two equally weighted measures of popularity: the average number of daily Wikipedia pageviews between March 11, 2019, and March 10, 2022, and the percentage of respondents who reported having a positive opinion of the broadcaster in a survey by market research firm YouGov.
The most popular newscaster is Anderson Cooper. Here are the details:
- Daily average Wikipedia pageviews: 7,851
- Respondents with positive opinion of broadcaster: 44%
- Years active: 1990 to present
- Primary network: CNN
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