Google CEO Larry Page Tops MediaGuardian 100 U.K. Media Power List

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LONDON - Google CEO Larry Page rose to the top of the annual MediaGuardian 100 list of the most powerful players affecting the industry in the U.K., while Rupert Murdoch and son James Murdoch dropped in the ranking.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who has had to deal with the fallout from a much-maligned IPO was knocked off the top and off the list in general as the Guardian instead ranked a key European executive of the social network.

After "a year, in which the media world's biggest beast has accelerated its evolution from search portal into a content and hardware company," Page took the number one spot on the list.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, another new entrant, took the second place, followed by Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust who ranked 21st in 2011, the public broadcaster's new director general George Entwistle, who starts his new assignment this week and is up from last year's 26th spot, and new entrant Jonathan Ive, Apple's British design guru.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is another one of the high-profile new entrants in the 83rd spot, with the paper highlighting that he "is taking the battle to LoveFilm and BSkyB in the U.K. – but the service's global rollout has come at a price" in the form of losses and stock declines.

The highest-ranking woman on the list is Facebook's U.S.-British vp and managing director in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Joanna Shields, who comes in sixth.

The continued digital transformation of the industry is one factor that influenced the latest list, but "the biggest force for change in the media landscape of late" has been Justice Brian Leveson who has headed up the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and standards here on the heels of the phone hacking scandal, the Guardian said.

Leveson himself again ranks 10th on the list, a spot ahead of News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, who this year moved outside the top 10 for the first time. The Guardian highlighted that he has topped its list three times in the past and ranked sixth last year.

"The embattled 81-year-old media baron is not the force he was – certainly not in the UK, with a split of his broadcasting and publishing interests very much on the cards," the paper wrote.

Son James Murdoch's resignation as chairman of BSkyB, move to the U.S. and phone hacking challenges saw him drop to the final spot in the MediaGuardian ranking after coming in 11th last year.

Murdoch daughter Elisabeth Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp.-owned production firm Shine Group, though rose from the 23rd to the 18th spot.

The paper describes its 12th annual MediaGuardian 100 list as "a snapshot of media power today." People are judged on three criteria – cultural, economic and political influence in the U.K., even though they don't have to be based in the U.K.

Jeremy Darroch, the CEO of pay TV giant BSkyB, climbed from the 19th to the 15th spot this year, ITV CEO Adam Crozier is up from the 22th to the 17th place.

Among other key entertainment industry figures, X Factor creator Simon Cowell remained in the ninth spot on the list, Spotify founder Daniel Ek ranks 48th, down from 40th, TV host and producer Graham Norton who ranks 60th, up from 66th, and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver who fell from the 4th to the 67th spot.

News International CEO Tom Mockridge, who has looked to repair the image of the News Corp. U.K. newspaper unit, ranks 26th, up from 84th last year, and Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson rose from the 27th spot to the 74th.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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