Digital Consumer, Larry Page Top Guardian List of Most Powerful U.K. Media Figures

Larry Page
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New BBC boss Tony Hall debuts in the third spot, Rupert Murdoch climbs and Netflix boss Reed Hastings gain, but Simon Cowell drops a few spots.

LONDON – The digital consumer ranks at the top of the 13th annual MediaGuardian list of the U.K.'s 100 most powerful media and entertainment industry figures of the past year.

Google CEO Larry Page, who dropped from the first to the second spot, new entry and new BBC director general Tony Hall, Twitter boss Dick Costolo (who was number 2 last year) and new entry Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg round out the top five, followed by Apple CEO Tim Cook who was also not listed last year.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took the seventh spot after his recent deal to acquire the Washington Post boosted him from the 12th position last year, followed by News Corp and 21st Century Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch, who returns to the top 10 after coming in 11th last year following the phone hacking scandal.

Rounding out the top 10 are Martin Sorrell, head of ad giant WPP, and Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, but Simon Cowell dropped from the 9th to the 14th spot. "The TV mogul's private life has been making headlines, but The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent have lost some of their sparkle," the Guardian wrote. "He is still Mr Saturday night, said our panel. But he has not reinvented himself quickly enough."

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was a big gainer, rising from the 83rd rank in 2012 to the 22nd spot this year. "Few media companies have generated such hype in the last 12 months as Reed Hastings's Netflix, with the video-on-demand service's $100 million (£64 million) House of Cards remake hailed by its star Kevin Spacey in his MacTaggart lecture in Edinburgh last month," the paper wrote.

Other big industry names on the Guardian list are Danny Cohen, recently promoted to the head of all BBC TV output who is listed in the 11th spot, ITV TV director Peter Fincham (12), ITV CEO Adam Crozier (15), Shine Group chairman Elisabeth Murdoch (17), Spotify CEO Daniel Ek (45), talk show host Graham Norton (51), Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (57), TV chef Jamie Oliver (80) and Sherlock and Doctor Who producer Steven Moffett (87), David Bowie (98) and Brian Leveson whose Leveson report on media ethics and standards late last year led to much regulatory discussion.

The annual MediaGuardian power list evaluates players based on three criteria – cultural, economic and political influence in the U.K.

Explaining its top ranking for the digital consumer, or "you" as the paper listed the winner, the Guardian wrote this reflected "the extent to which mobile and social media are transforming an industry traditionally dominated by moguls, editors and celebrities." Concluded the paper: "Both as the audience and creators of content, it's all about people power."

The Guardian also noted that "it was a year of extraordinary upheaval in the media," highlighting the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal, the Leveson report and a debate about the extent of state surveillance of the Internet.

Twitter: @georgszalai