NBC’s Lester Holt’s Net Worth and The ‘Scariest’ Interview the Anchor Has Had To Do

Lester Holt has been a broadcaster with NBC News since 2003, appearing on the network’s various news programs including Dateline, Today, Weekend Today, and others. He currently anchors the NBC Nightly News as the program’s permanent anchor.

Lester Holt
Lester Holt | Heidi Gutman/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Holt has come a long way in his career. Find out more about his journey to anchoring the Nightly News, plus what his current net worth is.

Holt’s career and ‘calming influence’ during a chaotic time

Holt spent 19 years at CBS in various news roles, before joining MSNBC in 2000, when he became a full-time co-anchor of Weekend Today.

In 2015, the NBC Nightly News anchor at the time, Brian Williams, was suspended for reportedly embellishing his role in a story about the Iraq War, and Holt permanently replaced him as NBC Nightly News anchor.

The period following Williams’ departure was a chaotic one and Holt brought his steady presence to it. “During a period of time that was uneasy, he was a calming influence,” former Nightly News executive producer Sam Singal told The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “It made for the easiest possible transition given the circumstances.”

Holt also spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, saying “one of the things I made clear–[he and Brian Williams] made clear to each other–this wasn’t about us. It was the situation. I have tremendous respect for Brian.”

The ‘scariest, most challenging’ assignment Holt has had in his job

Holt moderated one of the 2016 presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and then-candidate Donald Trump. He was criticized afterward for focusing on Clinton’s email scandal, but not covering Trump’s own controversial issues enough.

Holt, who has covered wars and mass shootings, surprisingly considered the debate one of the most jarring assignments he’s had.

NBC ‘Nightly News’ anchor Lester Holt moderating the first of four 2016 presidential debates | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“It was a big undertaking. It was the scariest, most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he told The Poynter Institute during a 2018 event honoring the journalist with the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

The Dateline host described the Clinton and Trump camps as “playing him” in the weeks before the debate. While he tried not to let the anticipation of the debate and the debate itself affect him, “It gets to you. You’re a human being.”

“At the start I tried to give them a little space and it kind of got out of hand,” he said. “So now I’m trying to bring them back and still follow this format, and at one point there was a magical moment where inside I just said, ‘You know what? The hell with it.’”

Holt’s net worth

Lester Holt’s net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth, is $12 million.

As a journalist, NBC was given a salary of $4 million per year, but since his promotion in 2015, his salary was raised to $4.5 million.

Holt knows how far he has come and isn’t taking anything for granted. His hard work and dedication are what have enabled him to reach his net worth.