AP Photo/CBS Broadcasting, Inc., John Paul Filo

5: Times Pelley has interviewed President Obama

Why he matters: Defined by his penchant for hard news, Pelley, 56, has a shelf full of awards including three News and Documentary Emmys in 2013 alone. (CBS claimed 12 wins, the most for any network.) But the anchor singles out as most significant the duPont-Columbia Award in December for CBS' coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings: "It was especially gratifying because it was awarded to all of our broadcasts, which came together in our best traditions when the nation needed great reporting."

Proudest accomplishment this year: "Seeing my son graduate from college with high honors." And professionally speaking: "Training a brilliant team of young journalists," he says. "The quality of our democracy is tied, tightly, to the quality of our journalism. Giving young people 'fire in the belly' for accuracy, fairness and honesty is the most important thing I ever do."