The 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media 2019

5:00 AM 4/11/2019

by Edited by Alison Brower and Marisa Guthrie

The Hollywood Reporter's ninth annual list adds dozens of new stars, reporters, editors — and even a mogul or two — who keep racking up the scoops as ratings soar and platforms boom amid the provocateur-president's continuing attacks on the press: "Sometimes when you're pro-truth, it comes off as anti-Trump."

From left: Gayle King, Sean Hannity and John Oliver
From left: Gayle King, Sean Hannity and John Oliver
Getty Images

Not since Watergate has the media been more relevant — or more reviled by the leader of the free world. And it’s all been good for business: CNN raked in $2.5 billion in revenue in 2018 (the most ever for the network) and Fox News is projected to notch $3 billion in operating revenue by 2020. Meanwhile, The New York Times added more than 265,000 digital subscriptions at the end of 2018 for a total of 3.4 million, its biggest gain since the months immediately after the 2016 election, while The Wall Street Journal’s subs are up double digits year-over-year to 1.7 million.

You’ll find those networks’ chiefs (and their biggest stars) on THR’s ninth annual roster of New York media’s top players, along with dozens of newcomers (from The Daily podcaster Michael Barbaro to his bosses’ boss, Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger) — all chosen not just for their ratings, readership and revenue, but also for their influence over the frenzied conversation that drives the news now. With the 2020 presidential race already making hourly headlines, this year’s list puts a sharpened focus on figures with political-coverage clout, from the hosts of The View — a campaign muststop — to pretty much the entire primetime lineup of cable news (though for this NYC-centered list, Fox News stars based in Washington missed the cut).

Speaking truth to power has never been more complicated, or crucial, as these voices prove.

Profiles written by Jeremy Barr, Eriq Gardner, Marisa Guthrie, Natalie Jarvey, Michael O'Connell, Bryn Elise Sandberg and Tatiana Siegel.

  • Dean Baquet, A.G. Sulzberger and Maggie Haberman

    Executive editor; publisher; White House correspondent, The New York Times

    Getty Images

    Even as Trump derides the "failing" outlet, his hometown paper clearly matters more to him than any other. Haberman, 45, has impressively cast herself as both presidential antagonizer and interpreter. Sulzberger, the 38-year-old scion of Times overlords, has emerged as one of journalism's leading advocates, personally schooling Trump on the danger of attacking the press. And Baquet, 62, nearing five years on the job, leads a newsroom that churns out scoops — and Pulitzers.

    NYC FIGURE MOST RIPE FOR A DOC 

    Baquet "Darren Walker. He's the president of the Ford Foundation, a child of a single mother, a black, gay man who is the best-connected person I've ever encountered in New York."

    Haberman "City Council Speaker Corey Johnson."

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW

    Baquet "[Washington Post columnist and former Times public editor] Margaret Sullivan. I don't always agree with her, but so what."

  • Samantha Bee

    Host/executive producer, 'Full Frontal With Samantha Bee,' TBS

    Alison Buck/Getty Images

    Her desk-less, guest-less show remains a driver of big views (a March clip calling Tucker Carlson a white supremacist has 1.1 million on YouTube) and big audiences (4.2 million per episode across platforms). After calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless c—" on air in May, the 49-year-old faced heavy censure — but a month later, Full Frontal nabbed seven Emmy noms. The co-creator of The Detour (with husband Jason Jones) also inked a first-look deal with TBS in December.

  • Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Abby Huntsman and Meghan McCain

    Co-hosts, 'The View,' ABC

    Getty Images

    After several years of tumultuous cast changes, the current configuration of The View ­— which features not one, but two, conservatives (McCain, 34, and Huntsman, 32, civilly sparring with left-leaning Behar, 76, Goldberg, 63, and Hostin, 50) — has its biggest audience since the Barbara Walters era, with nearly 3 million viewers a day. In its 22nd season, the talker boasts not only impressive longevity in a genre littered with failures, but also a renewed relevancy — it remains a go-to campaign stop, and the candidates don't get a pass, as when Behar bluntly told Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz that his potential candidacy "will guarantee Trump another four years."

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    Behar "I was 24 on a quiz show, Name That Tune. No idea how I got on that show since I was working as an employment counselor for New York State. I lost."

    McCain "I was 11 at the RNC with Bob Dole."

    NYC FIGURE MOST RIPE FOR A DOC 

    Behar "Rudy Giuliani. From a hero to a Roy Cohn clone, he's beyond ripe."

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW 

    Goldberg "Sevan Biçakçi on Instagram — and @TheTweetofGod."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY

    Huntsman "My golden retriever, George, tried to swallow a gigantic dead rat. We were walking in front of a packed outside restaurant at brunch — families were gasping in horror as I tried to force it out of his clenched mouth with my bare hands. That was humbling."

  • Michael Bloomberg and Justin Smith

    CEO, Bloomberg LP; CEO, Bloomberg Media

    Paul Morigi/Getty Images; Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

    Bloomberg LP reached a record $10 billion in revenue in 2018. But it's the 77-year-old former NYC mayor's business media empire that perhaps gives him greater influence. Under Smith, 49, Bloomberg Media hit record revenue last year with double-digit growth while morphing TicToc, its Twitter network, into a global media brand that is now on screens in more than 30 airports in the U.S. and Canada.

    SORRY, L.A., NEW YORK STILL HAS BETTER … 

    Smith "Access to Europe."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY 

    Smith "Having a business lunch at Bilboquet two tables over from President Trump's former lawyer [Michael Cohen]."

  • Stephen Colbert and Chris Licht

    Host/executive producer; showrunner/executive producer, 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,' CBS

    Courtesy of CBS

    Late-night's ratings race leans further in CBS' favor every year. The 54-year-old Colbert's show — whose current upward trajectory began when Licht, 47, joined three years ago — pulls 3.8 million viewers every night, outpacing Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show by double digits, and it recently topped the NBC rival among younger viewers for the first time. With his feet planted firmly in political satire, Colbert is already a must for 2020 Dem aspirants — Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have stopped by, and California Congressman Eric Swalwell announced his candidacy on the show April 8.

    HOW WILL THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY END?

    Licht "With an election."

    SORRY, L.A., NEW YORK STILL HAS BETTER …

    Licht "Mass transit, bagels and pizza."

  • Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon

    Host, 'Anderson Cooper 360°'; host, 'Cuomo Prime Time'; host, 'CNN Tonight,' CNN

    Getty Images

    Lemon, 53, has doubled down on his impassioned addresses to the camera, drawing the ire of Trump, while Cuomo, 48, has leaned harder into news in the year since he moved from morning to primetime (see page 84). As for Cooper, 51, the CNN stalwart and 60 Minutes correspondent gives the network dual personalities — he's both the face of breaking stories and an annual source of humor on its celebrated New Year's Eve countdown. CNN's exclusively male primetime block pulls in an aggregate audience of 3.5 million viewers a night across broadcasts, which puts it far behind Fox News and MSNBC. But these three are the stars of a brand that generates significant revenue for WarnerMedia (CNN's 2018 profit was $1.2 billion) — and is one of the few TV assets being left alone by new owner AT&T.

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW 

    Cooper "I think the most moving and powerful place on Instagram is @theaidsmemorial."

    Cuomo "David Goggins."

    Lemon "Twitter is too toxic, so I don't bother anymore. But please don't make me choose just one Instagram feed. I have three staples: D.L. Hughley, Deon Cole and Will Smith."

    SORRY, L.A., NEW YORK STILL HAS BETTER … 

    Cooper "Um, everything?"

    Cuomo "Everything!"

    Lemon "And I mean everything. I don't mean to be a snob, but we have better food, transportation, architecture, beaches and can I say better people without everyone getting mad at me?"

  • Sam Dolnick, Michael Barbaro and Lisa Tobin

    Assistant managing editor; host, 'The Daily'; executive producer/editor for audio, The New York Times

    From left: Sam Dolnick, Lisa Tobin and Michael Barbaro
    From left: Sam Dolnick, Lisa Tobin and Michael Barbaro
    Wesley Mann

    In a signs of the Times’ growing influence beyond print, The Daily became one of Apple's most downloaded podcasts of 2018, more than doubling from 2017. With 8 million monthly uniques, The Daily (hosted by rising star Barbaro, 39, and overseen by executive producer of Times audio Tobin, 33) is also carried on more than 140 public radio stations nationwide. Dolnick, 38, who oversees the Times’ audio report as well as its film, TV and digital projects, also received a writer credit on Clint Eastwood’s 2018 drama The Mule. Coming soon, a spinoff of The Daily for TV dubbed The Weekly, which sparked a bidding war.

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW

    Dolnick "@houseofhighlights has basically become the way I follow the NBA. It's the best mix of highlights from the games, memes and weird NBA gossip."

    Barbaro "Times White House photographer Doug Mills' Instagram. The man must have the patience of Job. He always waits for the best shot."

    Tobin "My favorite Instagram feed belongs to @dusendusen. And I cannot stop stalking the many, many acquaintances of mine from high school who are now doing those direct sales scams — the people buying big houses and winning cruises for selling their Facebook friends weight loss shakes and overpriced face cream. I can't get enough."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY 

    Tobin "Arriving at Penn Station after a blissful vacation, that would be the woman standing outside the entrance to the A/C/E, with no pants on, urinating down the stairs, reminding me I'm home."

  • Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade

    Co-hosts, 'Fox & Friends'

    Getty Images

    "I'm just a guy who's lucky enough to host a great show and knows him," Kilmeade told THR in October, speaking about his close rapport with Trump. But there's evidence that three hours of the president's daily "executive time" is spent watching Friends Doocy, 62, Earhardt, 42, and Kilmeade, 54. And on days when Trump actually calls in, cable news' No. 1 morning show gets a sustained bump on its average audience of 1.5 million. Not that it's always a love fest. Kilmeade fiercely opposed Trump's hastily announced pull-out of U.S. troops in Syria, subjecting White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to a surprisingly tough interview on the topic.

    YOU KNOW IT'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON WHEN …

    Doocy "My son Peter, a Fox News correspondent, tells me he can't come home for the weekend because he's going to New Hampshire, then Iowa, followed by South Carolina, then back to New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina."

    Earhardt "Candidates stream dentist appointments on social media."

    Kilmeade "The first candidate shows up in Iowa and pledges to make ethanol the fuel of the future."

    SORRY, L.A., NEW YORK STILL HAS BETTER … 

    Doocy "Snowstorms."

    Earhardt "Cheesecake."

    Kilmeade "Street vendors, mass transit and comedy clubs, especially Gotham."

  • Nancy Dubuc and Josh Tyrangiel

    CEO and executive vp news, Vice Media

    Desiree Navarro/WireImage; Getty Images

    Dubuc's first year at the helm was spent smoothing over concerns about corporate culture; in March, the company paid nearly $2 million to settle a gender pay-disparity suit. Now the hands-on exec is faced with the task of setting up the digital pioneer for long-term stability, a challenge made more daunting by Disney's $157 million write-down of its investment. Dubuc, 50, cut costs at Vice — which reportedly was unprofitable in 2018 with flat revenue despite a $5.7 billion valuation — by laying off 10 percent of its workforce (about 250 jobs). But she's doubling down on film and TV (Amazon picked up thriller The Report, produced by Vice Studios, for $14 million at Sundance) and investing in the 200-person newsroom led by Tyrangiel, 46. Though the former Bloomberg Businessweek editor saw his TV portfolio shrink with the cancellation of HBO's weekly Vice newsmagazine, the father of two says projects are in the works for new platforms that will play to Vice's strengths. Meanwhile, Vice News Tonight won four News & Documentary Emmys in 2018. "Our game is not sitting behind a desk parroting other people's conventional wisdom," he says. "It's actually generating the original storytelling out in the field."

    YOU KNOW IT'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON WHEN …

    Dubuc "Ask three people, get three different answers on the number of candidates in the race."

    Tyrangiel "Everyone in my family turns into Nate Silver minus the knowledge and statistical acumen."

  • Jimmy Fallon

    Host, 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,' NBC

    Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

    He may have lost ground to rivals Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, but the 44-year-old not only delivers the youngest audience among the 11:30 p.m. shows, but also outranks all other late-night series on social platforms and hit a major milestone in February when its YouTube channel passed 20 million subscribers. The most-viewed clip? A video of Fallon playing "Wheel of Musical Impressions" with Ariana Grande has racked up more than 128 million views.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    "My friend and I skipped school to go see Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. They were doing an audience giveaway, and we decided to stand up no matter what seat number got called, just to make sure we'd get on camera. It worked! [Executive producer Michael] Gelman still owes me a JCPenney gift certificate."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY 

    "We did a show where I walked around the city all night, and we shot the whole thing on smartphones. I sang doo-wop under the Brooklyn Bridge with The Roots, then I made meatballs at Rao's, then I drank whiskey at an Irish pub with Conor McGregor. And it ended like every great night in New York: I left my phone in the cab."

  • Jeff Glor, Lester Holt and David Muir

    Anchor, 'CBS Evening News'; anchor, 'NBC Nightly News'; anchor/managing editor, 'ABC World News Tonight'

    Getty Images

    Despite year-over-year dips, the broadcast nets' evening telecasts remain, hands down, the biggest draw in TV news. Between ABC (9 million), NBC (8.6 million) and CBS (6.3 million), these anchors address nearly 24 million Americans nightly — with Muir, 45, now edging NBC's Holt, 60, by nearly half a million viewers, the biggest margin in 23 years. Expect those two, alongside CBS' Glor, 43, to get an even bigger spotlight come fall when the first round of Democratic presidential debates kicks off.

    YOU KNOW IT'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON WHEN …

    Glor "Airfares to Des Moines quadruple."

    Holt "Suddenly everybody wants to talk about the Electoral College."

    Muir "Did it ever end?"

  • James Goldston

    President, ABC News

    Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

    Goldston does not make headlines for attacking Trump or positioning his network in the middle of the media-political fray. "We don't pick sides, we don't play favorites," he says. Despite his lower-key profile, Goldston, 50, presides over a division that boasts the most-watched morning and evening news shows and can also point to a string of exclusive sit-downs (Michael Cohen, Melania Trump — during which the first lady told anchor Tom Llamas that her husband's infidelities are "not a focus of mine"). Goldston's unit also bowed a third hour of GMA, long on his wish list, acquired the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight just in time for the midterms and launched streaming news service ABC News Live.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV … 

    "As the new executive producer at Good Morning America, I agreed to don a pair of jeggings for a style segment. Not a great experience for our viewers."

  • Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Craig Melvin

    Anchors, and news anchor, 'Today,' NBC

    From left: Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Craig Melvin
    From left: Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, and Craig Melvin
    Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

    With nearly 4 million viewers, Today pulls in more than $400 million annually in ad revenue and is the most popular morning broadcast among younger viewers. Meanwhile, Today .com reaches more than 7.5 million users every day (four times more than GMA's digital platform). Guthrie, 47, has emerged as the show's linchpin with headline-grabbing interviews (she asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders if Trump owes Robert Mueller an apology, launching a blizzard of memes and umbrage from the right). Kotb, 54, is so integral to the franchise that she continues to pull double-duty on the fourth hour, where April 8 she officially welcomed new co-host Jenna Bush Hager. Melvin, 39, who was promoted in September, proved his mettle during a testy June exchange with Bill Clinton that went viral after the former president jabbed a finger at Melvin for asking him to reevaluate his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

    YOU KNOW IT'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON WHEN … 

    Guthrie "The sun rises in the east."

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW 

    Kotb "Maria Shriver's Instagram makes me happy. But BuzzFeed's honeycomb harvesting video is the most soothing thing you'll ever watch."

    Melvin "Chrissy Teigen."

  • Sean Hannity

    Host, 'Hannity,' Fox News

    Courtesy of Subject

    For the 57-year-old host of 2018's most watched cable news show (3.3 million viewers each night), closeness with Trump has bestowed unprecedented influence — not to mention well-watched exclusive interviews. Even his time slot rival, CNN's Chris Cuomo, calls Hannity "the most powerful person in the media." But the relationship has also caused headaches for Fox News bosses, who called Hannity's onstage appearance at a November Trump rally an "unfortunate distraction."

    YOU KNOW IT'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON WHEN … 

    "We hear Republicans are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamaphobic, and they want dirty air and water and they want to throw Granny over a cliff in her wheelchair."

    HOW WILL THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY END?

    "With the entire Destroy Trump Media Mob in need of intensive therapy as they search for the next victim of their irrational daily rage. Also they will need post-Trump traumatic shock treatment when they see their audiences evaporate out of boredom and they realize Trump was great for business."

  • Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell

    Host, 'All in With Chris Hayes'; host, 'The Rachel Maddow Show'; host, 'The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell,' MSNBC

    Courtesy of MSNBC

    The two years leading to the Mueller report provided a ratings boon for MSNBC's primetime lineup anchored by Hayes, 40, Maddow, 46, and O'Donnell, 67. For 2018, Maddow finished as cable news' No. 2 program; it finished 2019's first quarter as the No. 1 show in the critical 25-to-54 demo, beating Fox News star Sean Hannity. In December, MSNBC pulled off the seemingly impossible, nabbing a week at No. 1 and besting Fox News for the first time in 17 years.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV 

    Maddow "Me on the left opposite G. Gordon Liddy on the right. If memory serves, there may have been a somewhat awkward exchange about his prison record?"

    SORRY, L.A., NEW YORK STILL HAS BETTER … 

    Hayes "Subways, even in their sorry, sorry state."

    O'Donnell "Airports."

  • Gayle King, Norah O'Donnell and John Dickerson

    Anchors, 'CBS This Morning'

    Roy Rochlin/Getty Images; Gary Gershoff/WireImage; Walter McBride/WireImage

    The show's anchors (whose ranks shrank from four to three after the recent and sudden departure of Bianna Golodryga) continue to nail newsmaker interviews. King, 64, is the heart of CTM, choreographing a succession of gets including a jaw-dropping sit-down with R. Kelly. And O'Donnell, 45, scored the first interview with Martha McSally after the Arizona senator disclosed that she was raped by a superior officer while serving in the Air Force. Meanwhile, Dickerson, 50, who has taken a leading role in the show's political coverage, also saw his memoir about his mother, pioneering newswoman Nancy Dickerson, optioned by Showtime, with Stephen Colbert and wife Evelyn attached to produce.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV 

    King "I was 22 years old at the anchor desk in Kansas City, Missouri. I read the same story back-to-back and didn't know it."

    O'Donnell "I was 10 years old, anchoring an educational broadcast in Seoul, South Korea, where my father was stationed in the U.S. Army."

    Dickerson "It was 1993. I was on Court TV with Fred Grandy talking about a case that was a part of the BCCI banking scandal. I was covering it for Time. My mouth was so dry it felt like I layered it with drywall dust."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY

    Dickerson "My wife and I stopped into a local place for a quick late dinner and had a chat with Bernadette Peters on her birthday like we were old friends."

  • Mark Lazarus, Andrew Lack, Noah Oppenheim and Phil Griffin

    Chairman of NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News; chairman, NBC News and MSNBC; president, NBC News; president, MSNBC

    Getty Images

    Lazarus, 55, transformed the company's sports portfolio from a linear loss leader to a profit-driving multiplatform enterprise. Now he's expected to turn his focus to news, including a free streaming service, NBC News Now, set to launch in May. NBC News, headed by Lack, 71, and Oppenheim, 40, has maintained its competitive edge despite negative headlines, like the early termination of the $69 million Megyn Kelly experiment. All four of the unit's flagship shows — TodayNightly News With Lester HoltMeet the Press With Chuck Todd and Dateline — finished 2018 No. 1 in the 25-to-54 demo for the third consecutive year. Meanwhile, 61-year-old Griffin's MSNBC is coming off of its best year in ratings and revenue — and last year beat CNN in total viewers.

    FAVORITE SPOT IN NYC

    Lazarus "30 Rock"

    Lack "Any Midtown lobby that can be used as an indoor shortcut in winter."

    Oppenheim "30 Rock. It never gets old coming to work in this iconic building."

    Griffin "Mott and Spring in NoLita."

  • Seth Meyers

    Host, 'Late Night With Seth Meyers,' NBC

    Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

    Not only is Late Night the top talker at 12:35 p.m., but the 45-year-old's chops — and connections in the comedy world via former stomping ground SNL — have made his show a top stop for stars (Amy Schumer, Andy Samberg) and politicos (AOC, Bernie Sanders, Stacey Abrams). On his wish list? "I've been saying Rihanna for a long time but now I've decided to play hard to get. So in case she's reading this, I've moved on. But certainly it would be nice to have Barack Obama."

  • Lorne Michaels

    Executive producer, 'Saturday Night Live,' 'The Tonight Show' and 'Late Night,' NBC

    John Lamparski/WireImage

    SNL continues to nail buzzy Trump spoofs, adding cameos from Matt Damon (as Brett Kavanaugh), Ben Stiller (as Michael Cohen) and Steve Martin (as Roger Stone) and pulling in 9 million viewers — besting all other network comedies (in primetime!) except CBS' Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon. Michaels, 74, also exec produces a string of comedies from SNLers past (Simon Rich's Miracle Workers and Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider's The Other Two) and present (Aidy Bryant's Shrill).

  • Hasan Minhaj

    Host, 'Patriot Act,' Netflix

    Gavin Bond/Comedy Central

    Six months into his run, Minhaj has taken on the student loan debt crisis, Amazon's plan for world domination and immigration enforcement in the Trump era. But no episode has gotten more attention than his takedown of Mohammad bin Salman, which Netflix pulled from the Saudi Arabian market at its government's request. "It became an international case study on art, the internet and freedom of speech, which is very of the now," says Minhaj, 33, who will be delivering weekly bombshells at Netflix for some time, as he's only half- way through his massive 32-episode order.

    HOW WILL THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY END? 

    "The same way it started. In ways you would never expect."

    TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW

    "@houseofhighlights is the new SportsCenter. And the fact that Omar Raja, a Pakistani kid in his 20s, made something from his apartment in Orlando that completely disrupted the way we consume sports highlights is truly inspiring."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY 

    "I was walking home after doing a set at the Comedy Cellar and this girl was puking in the bushes, so I ran over to help her. She jolted up, stared at me for a moment and asked, 'Are you my Uber driver?' "

  • Matt Murray

    Editor-in-chief, The Wall Street Journal

    Axel Dupeux

    Skepticism greeted the decision a decade ago to put most of the Journal's content behind a pay wall. These days, few are questioning the move as digital subscriptions are at 1.7 million, up more than 13 percent from the previous year and well ahead of print subs (roughly 1 million). Leading the charge is Murray, 52, who was named editor in June and has shepherded bombshell reporting on Trump's payments to Stormy Daniels and PG&E's role in the California wildfires. "I always feel that The Wall Street Journal is right at the heart of where markets are moving," says Murray, who in March announced that 50 additional staffers would be hired upon a content deal with Apple.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    "It was on CNBC with Kudlow & Cramer. A guy in an old T-shirt told me where to sit. I nodded at the hosts. My heart was racing. The camera light came on and they started yelling at me."

  • Trevor Noah

    Host/executive producer, 'The Daily Show,' Comedy Central

    Rich Fury/FilmMagic

    Noah, 35, has the No. 1 show among young men, nearly 15 million social media followers and cultural cachet earned through sharp sociopolitical commentary. No wonder Comedy Central has locked him down through at least 2022. His wide-ranging content deal with parent Viacom includes a Paramount adaptation of his best-selling memoir, Born a Crime, starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o as his mom.

    YOU KNOW IT'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON WHEN …

    "The news is judging how politicians eat."

    DREAM GUEST 

    "Melania Trump. I'd love to know if she chose her online bullying platform as a way to dig at Trump."

  • John Oliver

    Host/executive producer, 'Last Week Tonight,' HBO

    Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

    Six seasons in, the Brit expat's weekly show drums up big buzz for its biting commentary and investigative comedy. With a raft of Emmys and nearly 5 million viewers each week, Oliver, 41, regularly pillories Trump. But he also offers comedic takes on everything from Brexit to robocallers to (gasp!) HBO parent AT&T.

    HOW WILL THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY END?

    "That's a very optimistic question."

    TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW

    "Good luck beating what Cher is throwing down."

  • Bill Owens

    Executive producer, '60 Minutes,' CBS

    Courtesy of CBS

    Since taking over the top spot in the wake of Jeff Fager's ouster, Owens, 52, has doubled down on hard news, positioning newsmaker interviews (or interrogations) in the broadcast's leadoff spot, including the first with fired acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and a rare sit-down with President Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt that was filled with lies and half-truths about the country's human rights abuses. After it was over, el-Sisi's henchmen attempted to strong-arm 60 Minutes producers into spiking the interview. Meanwhile, the program's ongoing reporting on the opioid crisis has garnered awards (including the prestigious Columbia DuPont Award) and spurred Senate hearings. It's the reason more than 11 million people watch every Sunday.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    "1988, sitting behind Dan Rather on the CBS News assignment desk."

    SORRY, L.A., NEW YORK STILL HAS BETTER …

    "Flights to Europe." 

  • Jane Pauley and Rand Morrison

    Host; executive producer, 'CBS Sunday Morning'

    Matthew Eisman/Getty Images; Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

    Some people spend Sunday mornings at church. Others quietly read the paper over coffee. But for those who still turn on the TV and don't want to endure the combat of an acerbic roundtable, there's newsmagazine CBS Sunday Morning — which in its 40th season is still watched by 6 million people every week. Toplined by Pauley, 67, and executive produced by Morrison, 69, the Peabody- and Emmy-winning program offers its audience everything from CliffsNotes on the Mueller Report to sit-downs with Bill Hader, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kathy Griffin.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    Pauley "I vividly recall my first assignment in the fall of 1972. I was sent out to do a man-on-the-street presidential election survey. I returned from downtown Indianapolis with a dozen answers to my question, 'Who will you be voting for Nov. 9?' Problem: It is mathematically impossible for the second Tuesday of November to fall any later than the 8th. Election Day 1972 was Nov. 7."

    Morrison "I was awful. I'm still awful."

    HOW WILL THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY END?

    Pauley "If Trump doesn't carry South Bend, Indiana."

  • Lydia Polgreen, Noah Shachtman and Ben Smith

    Editor-in-chief, 'HuffPost;' editor-in-chief, 'The Daily Beast;' editor-in-chief, 'BuzzFeed News'

    Getty Images; Courtesy of IAC; Courtesy of Buzzfeed

    In the middle of digital media's reckoning, these editors are not only surviving but generating actual news. After newsroom cutbacks following a $4.6 billion write-down of the Verizon Media group (formerly Oath), Polgreen, 43, says she has the telecom giant's support, especially when it comes to using its forthcoming 5G technology for journalism. "We're at a point where there's a mutual recognition that there are tremendous opportunities that come from bringing mobile technology and media together," says the married owner of three dogs, who presides over a 500-person global staff that attracts a monthly audience of 120 million, according to Comscore. Smith, 42, also let go of more than 40 reporters in January layoffs. But the 200-person outlet, which struck out on its own with a stand-alone site last summer, remains a newsmaker through its much-discussed Mueller Report scoops. Shachtman, meanwhile, has focused on making his 50-person pub "the smartest tabloid on the web," he says. The 48-year-old Brooklynite points to the IAC-owned company's nascent subscription business and film and TV output as growth areas.

    MY PREDICTION FOR NYC'S NEXT MAYOR

    Polgreen "After the season premiere of Veep, I'm wondering if we'd be better off with a dog as mayor."

    Shachtman "Kevin Durant! Oh, sorry. Wrong question."

    Smith "Richard Plepler, obviously."

  • David Remnick, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow

    Editor; chief Washington correspondent; contributing writer, The New Yorker

    Getty Images; Courtesy of Subject; Getty Images

    The 94-year-old magazine is now a multimedia product with a successful radio show (on 200 public radio stations) and podcast (hosted by Remnick), video and a hot-ticket festival. (Although last year, Remnick had to disinvite Steve Bannon, which he characterizes as “a strange episode.”) But Trump's war on the press has crystallized The New Yorker's mission. "Pressure on power is the ultimate role [of the press]," says Remnick, "and if that's taken out of the equation, I don't know that Facebook is going to save the day." Farrow's reporting has brought down a succession of powerful men, most recently CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves. And an exposé reported by Farrow and Mayer, about the misconduct of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, prompted his resignation within hours of publication. Farrow, 31, won't reveal details, or even a pub date, for Catch and Kill — his book about the conspiracy of silence that protects the powerful — but notes: "You can count on me to deliver something that will be meticulous and fair and really, really thorough." Mayer, 63, making her first appearance on THR's list after a four-decade career, authored a deep-dive of the cozy relationship between Fox News and the White House that unearthed eye-popping anecdotes. "You don't have to be incredibly powerful in your own right," says the married mom of one about her role as a reporter. "But you can be serious and right and send a message out around the world."

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    Farrow "Probably when I was a kid, before I can remember, during a terrible time for my family, when the 24-hour news cycle was swarming scandals in new and invasive ways."

    Mayer "I went on Fox News with Rush Limbaugh long ago and he lashed out at me, then called me afterward at home and apologized, essentially saying it was all just an act."

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW

    Remnick "Jerry Saltz is pretty damn funny on Twitter."

    Farrow "Chrissy Teigen is great at Twitter and I'm saying that even though she recently told me she blocked me. She claimed this was accidental, but I don't believe her."

    Mayer "Preet Bharara’s Tweets are among my favorite—he’s not just smart, he’s really funny!"

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY

    Farrow "I was eating sushi on the subway, really shoveling it in, and someone spotted me and tried to take a stealthy picture. And then someone else got in the stealth photographer's face and started shouting, 'Let the man eat his damn sushi!' They were still at it when I exited."

  • Kelly Ripa

    Host/executive producer, 'Live With Kelly and Ryan,' syndicated

    Steve Granitz/WireImage

    Daytime's most popular hot seat is the one next to Ripa and — no offense, Ryan Seacrest — but it's the one to her right. Live, stewarded by the 48-year-old for almost 20 years, is still a go-to for any Hollywood press tour and pulls a daily audience of 3 million. (2020 candidates looking for a safe space will no doubt be stopping by.) The married mother of three also is developing two comedies at ABC via her Milojo shingle and has guested on husband Mark Consuelos' cult CW hit Riverdale.

    MY PREDICTION FOR NYC'S NEXT MAYOR

    "I like this Jeff Zucker rumor I keep reading about."

  • Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski

    Hosts, 'Morning Joe,' MSNBC

    Desiree Navarro/WireImage

    Entering its second decade on the air, Morning Joe showed no signs of fatigue, notching a record year in 2018 with more than 1 million viewers every morning (nearly twice CNN's tally). Though still trailing Trump favorite Fox & Friends by a wide margin, husband-and-wife team Scarborough, 56, and Brzezinski, 51, saw their show grow for the fourth year in a row — and Joe was the only morning show to add viewers in 2019's first quarter.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    Brzezinski "I was covered in sweat. I don't remember a word I said I was so scared. But I do remember I was wearing a velvet headband."

    Scarborough "I was filling in for Jerry Nachman in February 2003. After three minutes of realizing I had no idea what I was doing, sweat started rolling down my back and dripping from my face. I would say I looked like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, except that I was far worse."

  • Suzanne Scott and Jay Wallace

    CEO, Fox News and Fox Business; president, Fox News and Fox Business and executive editor, Fox News

    Courtesy of Fox News; Alex Kroke

    Scott, 53, and Wallace, 47, run the No. 1 cable news network (for 17 straight years). Fox News also is the fifth most-watched network on all of TV and No. 1 in cable. And with $2.7 billion in net operating revenue in 2018, it is far and away the most important entity in the Murdochs' new pared- down company. The network's opinionated provocateurs make the headlines and cause the headaches. But Scott has drawn lines in the sand, suspending Jeanine Pirro (among Trump's favorites) for xenophobic remarks about Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar and publicly reprimanding Pirro and Hannity for appearing at a campaign rally with the president. Both Scott and Wallace, who rose through the ranks on the news side of Fox News, have made news programming a priority, launching a slew of shows hosted by mostly female anchors including Dana Perino, Harris Faulkner, Shannon Bream and Martha MacCallum, who'll have a major role in 2020 campaign coverage.

    YOU KNOW IT'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN SEASON WHEN …

    Scott "Lapel flag pin sales are up! (courtesy of Greg Gutfeld)."

    Wallace "I see Chris Wallace more than I see my wife."

  • Shepard Smith

    Chief news anchor and anchor, 'Shepard Smith Reporting,' Fox News

    Robin Marchant/Getty Images

    Smith, 55, has emerged as a voice of reason amid the overheated rhetoric that dominates much of his network in the Trump era — an old-school anchorman unafraid to call out the distortions of primetime opinionaters. This probably makes for some awkwardness in the Fox News cafeteria. But it has earned Smith, a Mississippi native and die-hard Ole Miss booster, respect across the ideological spectrum. Not to mention stature inside Fox News: He signed a multiyear contract extension last year and is seen as a stalwart of independence by management, including Lachlan Murdoch, who can cite Smith's work when rebutting charges of Trump sycophancy.

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW

    "@dog_feelings."

  • Brian Stelter

    Chief media correspondent and anchor, 'Reliable Sources,' CNN

    Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

    Stelter's profile has risen dramatically as the media has become part of the story of the Trump presidency. His Reliable Sources newsletter is a must-read among the media cognoscenti, and his Sunday show increasingly a who's who of newsmakers. The downsides: He's become a target of conservative personalities and has beefed with Fox News' Tucker Carlson. Meanwhile Stelter's Twitter mentions are filled daily with thousands of angry screeds and personal insults. "I shrug off the attacks," says the 33-year-old, married to NY1's Jamie Stelter. "If I ever start insulting people about their looks or coming up with hateful nicknames … my mom will wash my mouth out with soap."

    NYC FIGURE MOST RIPE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

    "Barbara Walters."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY

    "We tried to go to Rubirosa to get that infamous pizza. It was a two-hour wait. We had a wonderful time walking around bookstores, gave up on the pizza and went to a corner slice place instead."

  • George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan

    Chief news anchor, ABC News; anchors, 'Good Morning America,' ABC

    Getty Images

    On the most watched morning show on TV with 4 million viewers each day, GMA's anchor trio books major newsmakers like Jussie Smollett, who gave his only interview to Roberts, 58, before his arrest. She has characterized the sit-down, which took place days before Smollett was taken in for allegedly staging a hate crime, "a no-win situation." (The charges were later dropped.) Meanwhile, Stephanopoulos, 58, in February inked a four-year extension — worth a reported $18 million — to remain at ABC News, ensuring that the father of two will play a pivotal role in 2020 election coverage. Along with co-host Sara Haines, Strahan, 47, anchors the afternoon hour of Good Morning America, now named Strahan and Sara.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    Stephanopoulos "My high school team lost the academic challenge in the final round."

    Roberts "My heart was pounding but it felt like home. Still find live TV exhilarating."

    MY TOP SOCIAL FOLLOW

    Roberts "Selma Blair's Instagram feed."

    Strahan "ReligionofSports on Twitter."


    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY

    Strahan "A Knicks game sitting with a very eclectic group. On one side was Chris Rock and Aziz Ansari and on the other side was 2 Chainz."

  • Susan Zirinsky

    President, CBS News

    Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Showtime

    She's worked at CBS News since she was a 20-year-old Washington desk assistant while still a student at American University. She's covered Watergate, the student uprising in Tiananmen Square (along with her husband, former CBS News producer Joseph Peyronnin), the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, the Gulf War and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. And her ascension to the top job at CBS News — after more than a year of investigations, salacious headlines and one (temporary) stock-price swoon — was greeted with relief and jubilation. "I was doing a happy dance," says Gayle King. Zirinsky, 66, who's mom to an adult daughter, has a long and tricky to-do list, including shoring up all three of the network's regular broadcasts. But she's already got one box checked off: The network is close to a contract extension with King.

    THE FIRST TIME I APPEARED ON LIVE TV

    "Carter collapsed during a race near Camp David. I was running behind him. And I did an interview that ran on every network."

    NYC FIGURE MOST RIPE FOR A DOCUMENTARY

    "Joseph W. Pfeifer was the chief of Counterterrorism and Emergency Preparedness for FDNY. He was the first chief at the World Trade Center attack on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. He sent his brother along with the other firefighters up 80 flights of stairs; his brother did not survive."

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONLY-IN-NEW-YORK STORY

    "Visiting the 9/11 museum and hearing the recording of my assistant, Amy, remembering her dad, firefighter Thomas Gardner, killed on that horrific day."

  • Jeff Zucker

    Chairman, WarnerMedia News & Sports, and president, CNN Worldwide

    Getty

    Trump may have cast Zucker as his media foil — and attempted to block AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner. But the 54-year-old executive could get the last laugh. Not only is CNN coming off of its most lucrative year ever — $1.2 billion in profit on $2.5 billion in revenue for 2018 — but it's also having the most-watched period in its 25-year history (at a time when all of cable news is up — though CNN still ranks behind perennial leader Fox News as well as MSNBC). Zucker is such a popular figure that when WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey in March handed him oversight of the company's vast sports assets (including Bleacher Report and Turner's NBA rights), the overriding concern inside the halls of CNN's New York headquarters was that the boss would have less time to spend on his news portfolio. Not to worry: Zucker may be an avid sports fan (his career began as an Olympics researcher for NBC's coverage of the 1988 Seoul Games), but he has said that he's not going to devote any less time to CNN. "Our job at CNN is to tell the truth," he said recently of Trump's antagonism toward his network. "Sometimes when you're pro-truth, it comes off as anti-Trump."

    FAVORITE SPOT IN NYC

    "Any sports field one of my kids is on." 

    HOW WILL THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY END?

    "I'm sure it will involve a tweet."

    7:21 a.m. Lisa Tobin's title has been updated to executive producer/editor for audio and the number of public radio stations that carry The Daily has been corrected to 140 nationwide.

    7:30 a.m. Jay Wallace's title has been changed to president, Fox News and Fox Business and executive editor, Fox News.

    7:59 a.m. Kelly Ripa's entry has been updated to reflect that Live With Kelly and Ryan is a syndicated show.

    A version of this story first appeared in the April 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.