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Power List Critieria: In selecting entries for our inaugural NYC Power List, THR’s editors considered the following factors: earnings and market value of companies overseen, influence on the culture, longevity of stature in and out of New York City, quality and critical value of content created and overall reputation as leaders within the greater media landscape. Only those who reside primarily in the NYC area were considered.
1. Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and CEO of News Corp.
Wanna talk New York moguls? Murdoch is king: The market value of his News Corp., which had 2010 revenue of $33.1 billion, recently hit $45 billion. For the fiscal year that ended in mid-2010, his compensation as chief of one of the world’s largest media empires rose by $500,000 to $22.7 million. After his latest promotion, Murdoch’s London-based son James is relocating to the Avenue of the Americas office, adding executive power to his father’s empire.
2. Jeff Bewkes
Chairman and CEO of Time Warner
From the Time Warner Center in Midtown Manhattan, Bewkes oversees Hollywood’s most profitable studio, Warner Bros., which has scored with the Harry Potter juggernaut; cable networks including HBO, CNN, TNT and TBS; and increasingly digital magazines including Time, People and Sports Illustrated. Bewkes led Time Warner to $5.4 billion in operating profit last year, exceeded only by West Coast-based Disney.
3. Philippe Dauman
President and CEO of Viacom
Dauman has focused the company on film franchises (like Transformers) and invested in new shows and research to refocus select networks. As a result, Paramount Pictures and MTV have seen a creative resurgence, and ratings and advertising revenue at the networks unit, which contributes most of the firm’s financials, have been on the up. And Viacom shares have been one of the best performers among entertainment biggies.
4. Steve Burke
President and CEO of NBCUniversal
Even before he formally took over NBCUniversal this year and started working out of 30 Rockefeller Center, his 2010 compensation package worth $34.7 million was a reflection of his growing responsibilities. Burke’s new post lands him in the most important media sea change in recent memory: He’s tasked with reviving the ailing NBC network during the coming years, looking to put more panache behind Telemundo and thinking about ways to leverage majority owner Comcast’s cable operations — which he used to run.
5. Jon Stewart
Host, writer and executive producer of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
New York’s most outspoken activist for 9/11 responders, Stewart also hosts the most-watched late-night show on cable, with 2 million viewers an episode. He topped a 2009 Time magazine poll as “America’s most trusted newscaster” (ahead of NBC’s Brian Williams), but he’s likely more proud of being “America’s funniest voice of reason.”
6. Bonnie Hammer & Lauren Zalaznick
Chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios;
Chairman of NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media
NBCUniversal’s two cable powerhouses saw their plates get that much more full in the wake of the $30 billion Comcast merger. The value of Hammer’s flagship, USA, has been estimated at nearly $12 billion thanks to breakout hits like Burn Notice and White Collar. Meanwhile, Zalaznick’s mothership, Bravo, is coming off its best quarter to date, with viewership up 35 percent in the coveted 18-to-49 demo, thanks to such pop-culture heavyweights as The Millionaire Matchmaker and the Real Housewives franchise.
7. Judy McGrath
Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks
The 30-year MTV vet oversees more than 145 channels and 300 sites, helping the music net reclaim its post at the forefront of popular culture with cable’s top-rated series, Jersey Shore. Elsewhere, hits such as Tosh.0, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have made MTV Networks’ Comedy Central the No. 1 net among the advertiser-beloved males 18-to-34 demo.
8. George Bodenheimer
Co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, president of ESPN and ABC Sports
Bodenheimer presides over the most potent sports brand at a time when live action has become a rare reliable DVR-buster. ESPN and ESPN HD contributed nearly $1.74 billion to Disney’s bottom line in 2010, according to analyst SNL Kagan. In early 2011, ESPN’s revenue jumped 34 percent with ratings up nearly 20 percent, marking its highest-rated quarter to date.
9. Bob & Harvey Weinstein
Co-chairmen of the Weinstein Co.
Just when people thought the brothers from Queens were out, they bounce back with The King’s Speech, a $393 million worldwide box-office hit that won the best picture Oscar and proved yet again that they know how to manage a campaign better than anyone else. Refinanced — and remarried — they’ve quashed doubts that the Weinstein Co. was perilously close to going under.
10. Bill Nelson, Eric Kessler & Richard Plepler
Chairman and CEO of HBO;
Co-presidents of HBO
The trio has positioned HBO to top $1 billion in international revenue this year, up 50 percent from three years ago, with newcomer Game of Thrones proving the best-selling series abroad with a price tag of $2.5 million-plus per episode.
11. Scott Rudin
Film and Broadway producer
Rudin has had the best-reviewed movie of the year (The Social Network) and the biggest phenomenon to hit Broadway since Mel Brooks’ The Producers (Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s The Book of Mormon). Factor in his other 2010 success, True Grit, and he also has restored the box-office luster that eluded him for a while.
12. Randy Falco & Cesar Conde
Executive vp and COO of Univision Communications; president of Univision Networks
Former AOL chairman and CEO and NBC top executive Falco is one of the key players at Univision’s corporate headquarters, helping it super-serve its Spanish-language audience across TV, online and mobile platforms as executive vp and COO. Conde supervises all TV networks and is in charge of Univision Studios.
13. Abbe Raven & Nancy Dubuc
CEO of A&E Television Networks;
President and GM of Lifetime & History
Raven oversees more than 1,000 employees and 10 cable networks, including History, A&E and Lifetime, that annually pull in about $3 billion in revenue. Among her mentees is Dubuc, who has led History to record ratings. The net is now a top-five cable network, with average viewership approaching 2 million.
14. Matthew Blank
Chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks
The Queens native joined Showtime in 1988 and was elevated to chairman and CEO in 1995. Once lost in HBO’s shadow, Blank’s pay-cable net rounded out 2010 with 19.5 million subscribers, up 10 percent from a year earlier, thanks to such popular series as Weeds, Dexter and newer entry Shameless.
15. Lorne Michaels
Creator and executive producer of Saturday Night Live; executive producer of 30 Rock and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Michaels has spent 36 years as NBC’s resident talent tastemaker, helping spawn dozens of lucrative film and TV careers worth billions. But he’s also kept Saturday nights at 11:30 a sacred time slot for the more than 7 million viewers who still tune in to hear, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”
16. Dick Ebersol
Chairman of NBC Sports Group
In 2005, Ebersol lured the NFL back to NBC with an innovative six-year deal that entailed moving the network broadcast from Monday to Sunday night, flexible scheduling and two Super Bowls. Ebersol also recently added Golf Channel, Versus and 11 Comcast regional channels to a behemoth empire that includes decades of the Olympics. And on April 19, he finalized a $2 billion deal to keep the NHL on NBC and Versus for at least 10 more years.
17. Joshua Sapan & Charlie Collier
President and CEO of Rainbow Media Holdings; president and GM of AMC
Last winter, Cablevision’s board approved the spinoff of Sapan’s Rainbow Media, which counts critically acclaimed AMC, IFC and WE among its cable channels. Under the longtime company leader is Collier, who has turned the moribund movie channel into a bastion of cachet with the Emmy-laden Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Newer entry The Walking Dead, which AMC produces and distributes, quickly became the most-watched drama in basic cable history, and critically acclaimed drama The Killing is off to a buzzworthy start.
18. Howard Stern
Host on SiriusXM Radio
The brash satcaster ended 2010 with a record 20.2 million subscribers, edging Netflix as the second-largest media-subscription business (behind only cable giant Comcast). When Stern announced in 2004 that he would join what was then Sirius Satellite Radio, the company projected its subscribers would grow from 700,000 to 3.7 million by 2006. Thanks largely to Stern, it nearly doubled that estimate; Sirius closed 2006 with more than 6 million subscribers.
Founder and CEO of Roc Nation
New York’s self-described “New Sinatra” is not only the best-selling rapper of all time, he is a powerful music executive and mogul. The Brooklyn native sold his Rocawear clothing line for $204 million in 2007, only to close a 10-year, $150 million deal with Live Nation a year later. Also contributing to his $450 million empire: a stake in the New Jersey Nets and the fledgling German online label Block Starz Music.
20. Barry Diller
Chairman of IAC
The former studio mogul has moved into content 2.0-style via CollegeHumor.com and Ben Silverman’s multimedia studio Electus. The College Humor Show made it to MTV a couple of years ago, and Electus recently sold, among other things, Fashion Star to NBC. Diller also got fellow mogul John Malone to exchange his stake in IAC for two online businesses and cash and named former Match.com boss Greg Blatt CEO of IAC.
21. Jim Bell
Executive producer of Today
As the EP of Today — all 23-hours-a-week of it — Bell puts on more news programming than anyone else in town. The show remains NBC News’ cash cow, having brought in a half-billion dollars in ad revenue last year, but it’s also the most important destination on telelvision for authors, Hollywood celebrities and other boldface names who depend on it to sell their wares.
22. Stephen Hill
President of music programming and specials at BET
The brains behind BET’s specials — including the networks’s annual awards, which drew an impressive 7.4 million viewers in June — Hill is also a driving force behind the daily pop-culture show 106 & Park, which has long been a ratings driver for BET, cable’s most influential network for black programming.
23. James Schamus
CEO of Focus Features
Fresh off an Oscar nom for Focus’ The Kids Are All Right, Schamus has long waved the intelligent-indie-film flag in New York via writing, producing, film acquisitions and many collaborations with Ang Lee. He also teaches future cinema iconoclasts at Columbia University School of the Arts.
24. Tom Bernard & Michael Barker
Co-presidents and co-founders of Sony Pictures Classics
With seven Oscar nominations this past awards season and wins for documentary feature and foreign-language film, Bernard and Barker have turned SPC into an indestructible institution of the indie and global film worlds.
25. Donald Trump
Chairman and president of the Trump Organization
Trump is huge — just ask him. He has emerged as an A-list reality TV star and producer (a remarkable 11 cycles of The Apprentice have aired on NBC), and he’s a pal to top showbiz players (he’s said to chat often with agent Ari Emanuel). With his faux presidential run, Trump is taking media-savvy self-promotion to a new level. And what is more Hollywood than that?
— Matthew Belloni, Stephen Galloway, Marisa Guthrie, Lindsay Powers, Lacey Rose, Georg Szalai and Stacey Wilson
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