The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
"I know what it's like to have a camera pointed at me at a time of grief," says Cooper.
Perhaps that's why CNN's biggest star, a Vanderbilt scion who lost his father to a heart attack at age 10 and his older brother to suicide a decade later, produced some of his best work covering December's shootings in Newtown, Conn., capping a watershed year.
Cooper, 45, came out as gay in July, a move that drew widespread plaudits. During the nine months since, the plug was pulled on his daytime talker, Anderson Live. "I wish we had the show the first year that we ended up with the second year," he says. Cooper, who lives in a converted firehouse in Greenwich Village with his partner, Benjamin Maisani, 40, says he's "incredibly excited" about his new boss, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker.
He similarly is energized by his contributions to 60 Minutes; a recent assignment saw him scuba diving perilously close to Nile crocodiles. With his CNN contract set to expire in the fall, Cooper finds his name on top of every network's wish list. NBC denies it's courting him to replace Today's Matt Lauer but acknowledges that "exploratory talks" took place. He even has been rumored as a successor to trivia maestro Alex Trebek, which Cooper dismisses with a laugh.
"I've won twice, and I've lost once," says the lifelong Jeopardy! addict of his appearances on the show's celebrity edition. "When I lost, I lost to Cheech Marin. That was pretty devastating."
MOST ADMIRED: "Wolf Blitzer, the hardest-working guy in the news business."