Errol Barnett has been the face of African-American journalists throughout his career. The British-born American anchor is one of the most dynamic and versatile guys in the business. From hosting award-winning shows to delivering the daily news, Barnett has done it all. His achievements are only topped by his hard work and dedication to the job. From a turbulent childhood to being one of the most successful journalists, Barnett’s story is one of change and success.
Errol Barnett was born on the 3rd of April 1983 in Milton Keynes, England to a multicultural family. Growing up, Barnett had a troubling childhood. His father, Michael Christie, was a Jamaican immigrant, while his mother, Pamela, was an English woman from Liverpool. The Barnett family came to England as a part of the Windrush generation. As Barnett’s grandfather had served in the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in World War II, the family relocated to England. He is the youngest of the family preceded by his older brother, Danny, and a sister, Natalie.
Barnett’s early life was marked by challenges and changes. When he was 10 years old, he moved with his mother, older sister Natalie, and American stepfather Gary Barnett, a US Air Force sergeant, to Phoenix, Arizona. However, tragedy struck when Natalie passed away and his stepfather left the family. Errol had to cope with grief, depression, and cultural adjustment while growing up as a foreigner in the US.
Despite these difficulties, Barnett found solace and purpose in journalism. While still pursuing his formal education, Barret started working as a reporter for Channel One News at the age of 18, covering major events such as Barack Obama’s breakout speech at the DNC, Colin Powell’s presentation of flawed WMD intelligence at the UN, and the passage of the Homeland Security Act. He also earned a scholarship to UCLA.
Setting out on his own
After working with Channel One News, Barnett enrolled at the University of California and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. He was also named in the list of Teen People magazine as one of the 20 teens who will have changed the world in a few years.
After graduating from college, Barnett joined CNN and started working as a reporter. In the years that followed, he presented a rousing talk on the influence of social media in journalism. During CNN’s reporting of Barack Obama’s inauguration, he became a part of the most-viewed stream in history. In 2010, Barnett was sent to Dubai to report on the Arab Spring movement. From 2011 to 2014, he hosted the CNN documentary series, Inside Africa. In the midst of hosting Inside Africa, he was handed the position of CNN’s official correspondent in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Switching to CBS
In 2016, Barnett left CNN and joined the CBS network. This was right before the 2016 presidential election and he started putting in his shift right after his inauguration. Since, Barnett has been associated with the CBS network and is currently an anchor and national correspondent based in New York City, covering a wide range of topics from politics to transportation to culture. He has anchored and reported for the network’s 24-hour streaming service, CBSN, and contributed to various CBS News programs such as the “CBS Evening News,” “CBS This Morning,” “Face the Nation,” and “CBSN Originals.”
Errol Barnett has reported from various parts of the world for CBS News and CNN. He has covered major events such as the Arab Spring, the Ferguson protests, the 2020 presidential election, and Hurricane Dorian. He has also interviewed prominent figures such as Presidents Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Barack Obama, as well as Secretary Pete Buttigieg. However, his illustrious career has not been without controversies.
One of the most notable controversies that Barnett faced was in August 2014, when he was co-anchoring CNN’s coverage of the Ferguson protests. His co-anchor, Rosemary Church, suggested that police use water cannons on the demonstrators, which sparked outrage among viewers and online commentators. Barnett’s reaction to Church’s remark was captured in a viral meme that showed him giving a side-eye expression of disbelief and dismay. Buzzfeed described his expression as “did that just happen” and “is this real life?”. Barnett later said that he was “shocked” by Church’s suggestion and that he tried to “remain professional” on air.
Another controversy that Barnett encountered was in October 2018 when trying to question Jared Kushner, the former White House adviser and son-in-law of Donald Trump, about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. However, a Secret Service agent blocked Barnett from approaching Kushner and told him “I don’t give a damn who you are, there’s a time and a place.” Barnett posted a video of the incident on Twitter, which went viral and sparked criticism of Kushner’s silence on the matter.
Despite these controversies and challenges, Barnett has maintained his passion for journalism and his commitment to informing the public. He has won several awards for his work, including an Emmy for his contribution to “CBS Mornings” in 2022 and an NABJ Salute to Excellence Award for his hosting of CNN’s “Inside Africa” from 2012 to 2014.
Barnett has amassed a considerable fortune from his successful career as a journalist. He has an estimated net worth of $3 million. He earns an average annual salary of over $100,000, being one of the top journalists for CBS. Barnett enjoys a lavish lifestyle with his wealth. He owns several properties in different locations and a collection of cars. He often travels around the world for his work and leisure, visiting exotic places and staying in luxurious hotels.
Sexuality-Gay?: Eroll Barnett is known for his professionalism, charisma, and versatility in covering various topics ranging from politics to entertainment. However, his personal life has also been a subject of curiosity and speculation among his fans and critics. In particular, some rumors have circulated about his sexual orientation and marital status.
The gay rumors started when Errol Barnett tweeted his support for Pope Francis’ statement that gay people should not be judged or marginalized by the Catholic Church in 2013. He wrote “Wow.” as a comment on the Pope’s tweet, which some of his followers interpreted as a sign of him being gay himself. In 2019, Errol Barnett married his longtime girlfriend Ariana Tolbert which put an end to the gay rumors that had plagued him for years. However, Errol Barnett has always been an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and has shown respect and compassion for people of different sexual orientations and gender identities. He has also interviewed prominent LGBTQ+ figures such as Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, and Frank Ocean.
Love & Engagement: Errol Barnett and Ariana Tolbert met in an unlikely way: through Instagram. Their love story began in 2015 when Barnett liked one of Tolbert’s photos on the social media platform. Tolbert, who had followed Barnett’s career for years, was intrigued by his gesture and decided to send him a direct message. The two exchanged messages for a few weeks, before deciding to meet in person. The relationship escalated quickly and by the third week, Barnett had met her mother too.
The couple dated for four years, during which they traveled to different places. They also met each other’s families and friends, who welcomed them with open arms. They faced some challenges along the way, such as balancing their busy careers and coping with the death of Barnett’s father, but they supported each other through thick and thin.
In December 2017, Barnett proposed to Tolbert in the Bahamas and took the engagement photos above Great Falls Park on the Potomac River outside Washington. He had planned the surprise proposal for months and presented her with a custom-made diamond ring. Tolbert said yes without hesitation, and the couple celebrated the occasion.
Wedding& Children: On May 18, 2019, Errol Barnett and his girlfriend Ariana Tolbert tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at the Round Hill Resort in Montego Bay in Jamaica. They chose Jamaica as their wedding destination because Errol’s grandparents on his father’s side were from there, and they wanted to honor their heritage and legacy. They also had a memorial table for their late grandparents and Ariana’s grandfather Otis from Arkansas. The wedding was attended by guests, including family members from Jamaica, England. Errol and Ariana exchanged handwritten vows that reflected their deep commitment and respect for each other. The bride wore a stunning lace gown while the groom donned a blue suit with paisley lining. The wedding was officiated by Tolbert’s sister Sabrina, who served as her maid-of-honor. Since then, the couple have been enjoying their married life, balancing their busy careers with quality time together. They reside in Washington D.C. with their Shih-Poo puppy Rémy. They are yet to give birth to their first child.
Errol Barnett is a man of striking appearance and diverse heritage. His dark skin, curly hair, and hazel green eyes reflect his Jamaican, English, and German ancestry. He has a confident smile and a distinctive feature that he has embraced since childhood. His stature is about 5 feet 9 inches (1.74 meters) and has a fit physique that he maintains through regular exercise. He dresses in a professional and stylish manner, often wearing suits and ties for his work as a journalist and anchor.
Errol Barnett is a multinational, millennial, and optimistic journalist who has overcome many personal and professional challenges to become a successful anchor and correspondent for CBS News. He has a passion for storytelling and a curiosity for the world that has taken him to four continents and more than twenty countries. He is also a first-generation college graduate who earned a degree in political science from UCLA. Errol Barnett is not only a skilled reporter, but also a cultural ambassador who celebrates his diverse heritage and promotes understanding among different people.
Date of birth
3 April 1983
Place of birth
Milton Keynes, England
English, German and Jamaican
B.A. in political science from UCLA
Anchor and correspondent for CBS News
CNN Newsroom, Inside Africa, Channel One News
$3 Million (estimated)
Ariana Tolbert (married 2019 – present)
5 feet 9 inches (approx.)
Teen People magazine’s “20 Teens Who Will Change The World”
Michael Christie (father) and Pamela (mother)
Danny Christie (brother) and Natalie (sister, deceased)