Wednesday, April 11, 2012

THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media

This story appears in the April 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
If you’re a ruthless tyrant, an American hero or a star with a story to tell, the must-stops for getting your message out are right here. Despite the near infinite amount of outlets and platforms, the fastest and smartest players — whether in broadcast or cable, morning or late-night, politics or even comedy — still drive the national conversation.

The death on April 7 of Mike Wallace — who for nearly four decades was 60 Minutes’ resident pit bull — is a timely reminder, if we needed one, of the power of rigorous journalism to turn newsmen and women into newsmakers. 

In addition to its primary function of keeping viewers informed, entertained and moved to action, TV news continues to mint superstars: Matt Lauer (THR's cover subject, who just signed a new Today deal that will make him the highest-paid anchor in history),  

Diane Sawyer (her news bona fides are so well-established, it’s hard to imagine she was ever viewed as a beauty-queen lightweight by Wallace, no less),  

Anderson Cooper (his globe-trotting humanism and unflagging energy have led to not one but three jobs) and Bill O’Reilly (his independent streak has kept him atop the cable-news ratings for 125 consecutive months).

And, of course, in this era of political skullduggery and death-match campaigning, the satire of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert has earned them both unparalleled influence (215,000 people attended their 2010 rally in Washington) and status as the incredulous and absurdist voices of a new generation. Meanwhile,  

David Letterman continues to conduct among the most incisive interviews of every political season, asking questions his peers in TV news dare not (“It seems like everyone’s gone wacky in the Republican Party,” he said to John McCain during a January Late Show appearance. “Is it the influence of the Tea Party, or am I over-examining this?”)

It might be 3,000 miles from Hollywood, but New York still is the media capital of America, where a steady stream of actors, musicians and authors clamor for a slot on Lorne Michaels’ newsmaking Saturday Night Live, the broadcast morning shows, Kelly Ripa's revolving co-host chair and, yes, Wendy Williams’ bawdy daytime chat show.

The Hollywood Reporter's second annual Power List honors the anchors, executives, late-night impresarios and media moguls who drive the news cycle, influence the entertainment industry, take us into the lives of the famous (and infamous) and keep us connected to our world.
Click below for THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media list.

  1.   Roger Ailes Chairman and CEO, Fox News read more
  2. Jim Bell Executive Producer, NBC’s "Today" and 2012 London Olympics read more
  3. Mika Brzezinski & Joe Scarborough Co-hosts, MSNBC "Morning Joe" read more
  4.   Steve Capus President, NBC News read more
  5. Stephen Colbert Host, executive producer, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" read more
  6. Anderson Cooper Host, CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" read more
  7. Bob Costas Commentator, NBC Sports & Olympics read more 
  8. Katie Couric Host, executive producer, "Katie" read more 
  9. Ann Curry Co-host, NBC's "Today" read more
  10. Jeff Fager Chairman, CBS News; Executive producer, "60 Minutes" read more
  11. Jimmy Fallon  Host, "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" read more
  12. James Goldston Senior VP content and development, ABC News read more
  13. Phil Griffin President, MSNBC read more  
  14. Sean Hannity Host, Fox News' "Hannity" read more
  15. Arianna Huffington Founder, The Huffington Post read more
  16. Steve Kroft Correspondent, CBS' "60 Minutes"read more
  17. Matt Lauer Anchor, NBC's "Today" read more
  18. David Letterman Host, CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" read more 
  19. Rachel Maddow Host, MSNBC "The Rachel Maddow Show" read more
  20. Lorne Michaels Creator/executive producer, "Saturday Night Live" .read more
  21. Piers Morgan Host, CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" read more
  22. Bill O'Reilly Host, Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" read more
  23. Scott Pelley Anchor/managing editor, "CBS Evening News" .read more
  24. David Rhodes President, CBS News read more
  25. Kelly Ripa Host, "Live! With Kelly" read more
  26. Robin Roberts Anchor, ABC’s "Good Morning America" read more
  27. Charlie Rose Host, Executive Producer, "Charlie Rose;" Co-host, "CBS this Morning; more 
  28. Diane Sawyer Anchor, ABC's "World News" read more 
  29. Ben Sherwood President, ABC News read more
  30. George Stephanopoulos Anchor, ABC’s "Good Morning America"; Host, "This Week" read more 
  31. Howard Stern Host, SiriusXM Radio; Judge, "America’s Got Talent" read more
  32. Jon Stewart Host, Executive Producer, "The Daily Show" read more 
  33. Barbara Walters Contributor, "ABC News;" Co-Host/ Executive Producer, "The View" read more 
  34. Brian Williams Anchor, Managing editor, "NBC Nightly News" read more 
  35. Wendy Williams Host, "The Wendy Williams Show" read more

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