The 2008 Power 100

by Editorial

Robert Novak

Robert Novak


Robert Allbritton
Chairman and CEO, Allbritton Communications
With ten TV stations and an influential newspaper (Politico), Allbritton Communications annually posts substantial growth (11.5% last year). Through strategic hirings at the paper (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen), the publication’s influence is reflected in the fact that many powerbrokers such as Clinton and Rove claim the paper is first in their morning news digest.

Wolf Blitzer
Host, CNN’s “Situation Room”
Blitzer moved to Washington in 1972 after reporting for the Jerusalem Post joined CNN as its pentagon correspondent on the eve of the first Persian Gulf War. As one of the hardest working journalist in the biz (his show is on for three hours on weekdays and his Sunday broadcast covers more airtime than other Sunday shows) he has seen his ratings rise and eclipse his competitors on FOX News. Blitzer’s star certainly rose this year when talk show host Ellen Degeneres tried to call “The Situation Room” and couldn’t get through. Their exchanges softened the often hard pressing journalist who anchors CNN’s highly rated and respected show.

David & Katherine Bradley
Chairman, Atlantic Media Company
President, CityBridge Foundation

At the tender age of 26, Fullbright scholar David Bradley founded and grew the Advisory Board Company into a phenomenally successful enterprise. His next project, the acquisition and growth of the Atlantic Media Group in 1999, which owns The National Journal, Hotline, Congress Daily, The Atlantic Monthly, and other publications, provides a perfect platform for the media mogul to showcase his resolve in pursuing top-seated journalists like The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Goldberg and blogger Andrew Sullivan. In short, he cultivates a culture of talent, hosting local roundtables for top journalists to speak with prominent thinkers and business leaders. Wife Katherine runs CityBridge, their family foundation, which supports a host of education and health-related initiatives.

Nate Davis
President & CEO, XM Satelite
As president and CEO of XM Satellite Radio since 2006, Davis puts to good use the tech-savvy smarts he exercised at his previous appointment, executive vice president of all technical operations at Nextel. Davis also serves on the boards of Mutual of America Capital Management Corporation and Charter Communications. XM is about to become even more relevant, as the company is slated to launch POTUS ’08 (created in association with C-SPAN), the first national radio channel completely devoted to a presidential campaign. Davis’ impending merger with XM’s top competitor may be the best evidence of his power and influence.

Craig Dubow
CEO, Gannett Inc.
Dubow began in advertising sales, where a firm handshake and eye contact traditionally are what put dinner on the table. After parlaying his people skills into a post at a local radio station, his rise was meteoric. Today, Gannett is the USA’s largest newspaper group in terms of circulation. The company’s 90 daily newspapers in the USA have a combined daily paid circulation of approximately 7.3 million. In addition, Gannett owns nearly 1,000 non-daily publications and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine of approximately 23 million circulation.

John Fahey & Tim Kelly
President and CEO, National Geographic Society/ National Geographic Global Media
The environment is hot right now (all too literally, according to reports on global warming), and National Geographic’s brand is on top of environmental issues and reportage. Fahey has led an evolution of the National Geographic Society, including its entry into cable television with the National Geographic Channel, which airs in 34 languages and reaches more than 250 million homes in 166 countries, and the international expansion of National Geographic magazine, now published in 29 local-language editions. Kelly, formerly the president of National Geographic’s television & film division, was appointed in October 2007 as president of the new National Geographic Global Media group, where he oversees the production of award-winning content.

Dan Glickman
President, MPAA
President Bill Clinton appointed this former Kansas congressman Secretary of Agriculture, in which capacity Glickman served from 1995 to 2001. A Pollywood player in the truest sense of the word, he’s now the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, where he’s been a major force behind the anti-piracy movement, encouraged movie theater attendance through a variety of catchy “campaigns,” and (in 2004) replaced the late Jack Valenti as its prime lobbyist. A freemason and Friend of the World Food Program, he continues to speak passionately on matters of world agriculture and its globalization.

Donald E. Graham & Katharine Weymouth
Chairman & Publisher, The Washington Post
Since his 1991 inauguration, this cheery CEO – known for his hardball tactics and great smile – continues to maintain the Post’s reputation as the premier Washington newsroom (taking home an impressive six Pulitzers this year). Weymouth, a Stanford educated lawyer and granddaughter of the late Kay, became vice president of newspaper advertising for the $8.8 billion media and education company. Though it’s been a bumpy road for these Posties (Graham recently divorced, and the paper is offering several employee buyouts and suffering a significant decrease in circulation), they continue to be media power houses.

John Hendricks & David Zaslav
Chairman & President, Discovery Communications
Zaslav, a one-time head of NBC Universal cable and domestic television, had been at the network since 1989, when he helped launch CNBC. He met Hendricks, the founder and chairman of Discovery Communications, when he was creating Discovery. In 2006, Zaslav took over the head spot at Discovery Communications, citing his extreme joy at working with Hendricks, who he considers a mentor and friend.

Chris Matthews
Host, MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.
More than a talking head, Matthews is an American history buff who lives and breathes politics, has authored numerous books, and, together with Tim Russert and Keith Olbermann, has increased the influence of NBC/MSNBC’s news operations. He’s also one half of a serious power couple: wife Kathleen Matthews, who anchored News 7 on WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, is now executive vice president of J.W. Marriott. Future possibilities for this talk-show pundit may include a run for the Senate – on an episode of The Colbert Report which aired in April, Matthews mentioned a possible run in Pennsylvania, saying that his boyhood dream was to be a senator.

Robert Novak
Some say that Novak’s power is clearly reflected in the fact that he managed to reveal the identity of a covert CIA agent, and still avoid prosecution. Regardless, this right-leaning press man dubbed the “Prince of Darkness” retains access to senior Republicans (like Karl Rove) and influential Democrats (like Rep. Rahm Emmanuel).

Keith Olbermann
Host of “Countdown With Keith Olbermann”
This razor-sharp news anchor with deadpan wit has seen his MSNBC prime time ratings soar (inching out arch-nemesis Bill O’Reilly of FOX News). He writes his own material and his nightly broadcast impacts the course of the nes cycle and political debates in Washington. And his “special comments,” while ruffling more that a few feathers have helped steel the resolve of Washington politicos to take on the administrations positions on topics ranging from the Iraq war to wiretapping to the erosion of habeas corpus. His new found influence has landed him a spot as co-anchor with Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s election night coverage.

Tim Russert
Host, NBC’s “Meet The Press”
The longest-serving anchor in the Sunday talkfest’s 60 year history, he wins the eyes and ears of over five million political junkies who can’t get enough of all things political. Not only does MTP continue to be one of the highest revenue generating shows on television, it’s one of the key media gatekeepers for the Oval Office in the 2008 election.

Rafe Sagalyn
Sagalyn Literary Agency
He’s one of the top literary agent in the field of upmarket non-fiction and fiction, with clients drawn primarily from journalism, business, and academia in Washington, including David Maraniss, David Ignatius, and Rick Atkinson.

Robert “Bob” Schieffer
Anchor, CBS
With ratings that regularly beat those of George Stephanopolous, and oodles of Lifetime Achievement nods, Schieffer’s span of almost 40 years (yes, he started at CBS in 1969, when man first walked on the moon) is hard to beat, and he’s not leaving anytime soon. Schieffer recently told the New York Times that he was putting off retirement for an indefinite period of time at the behest of CBS News president Sean McManus. Schieffer’s considerable audience seems to appreciate a less-confrontational (and perhaps more sober) setting in which to catch the latest political developments.

George Stephanopoulos
Correspondent, NBC
This former Clinton administration advisor has soared to new heights since he made the big switch from politics to journalism. Now acting as ABC News chief Washington correspondent and hosting Sunday morning news show This Week With George Stephanopoulos, this award-winning reporter has also made the New York Times Bestseller List. Though he took considerable heat for asking the Democratic candidates Fox-News-prompted questions in their last debate, perhaps this will help him further develop his nonpartisan credentials.

Chris Wallace
Host, Fox News
With the extensive list of high-profile political guests (including former president Clinton, with whom he sparred on-air) that have appeared on Wallace’s “Fox News Sunday” show, it’s no wonder he makes our Power 100 again this year. Known for a “fair and balanced” approach combined with his quick and aggressive demeanor, this guy can get anyone to talk … which is probably why he has won every major broadcast news award as well.

George Will
He’s as old school as bobby socks and fraternity pins, but he remains the voice of reason for conservatives. An op-ed writer for The Washington Post (his column is also syndicated in more than 450 newspapers), his trophy case is chock-full of editorial nods, including a Pulitzer for distinguished commentary. Will also writes a column for Newsweek, is a contributing analyst for ABC News, and has been a regular member of ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday mornings since 1981.

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