Nice Situation: A reporting powerhouse on both the domestic and international fronts, Blitzer anchored primary, convention and Election Night 2008 coverage for CNN. Balanced: In addition to steady coverage of the President in the “Situation Room” there’s been a marked increase in human interest stories – a little levity in tough times.
Chairman, Atlantic Media Company
New Growth: Since acquiring the Atlantic Media Group in 1999, Bradley has hired some of the industry’s best columnists and expanded its multimedia outlets. He also recently founded Potomac Research, a company that acquires intelligence on how federal activities affect the private sector. Round Table: Bradley regularly hosts ultra-A list, off-the-record dinners in his Watergate office; guests have included Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner, and NBC’s David Gregory.
President and CEO, National Geographic Society
Locally Sourced: Geographic was promoting “green” long before the term was coined, and Fahey, a businessman, is proving that sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive. NatGeo 2.0: Fahey has led a tech revolution that includes the National Geographic Channel, now airing in 27 languages and 163 countries.
Don Graham and Katharine Weymouth
Chairman and Publisher, The Washington Post (respectively)
Legacy: Who doesn’t know that Weymouth wears her late grandmother’s pearl necklace for good luck? Her appointment as publisher of the Post was the year’s most talked about change in print media power. The Big Story: The ways of the written word are changing, and it falls on the uncle/niece team to usher the family’s venerable paper into the wireless world.
Host, “Meet the Press”
Hot Seat: In the summer of 2008 Gregory joined the ranks of media royalty when he was chosen to fill Tim Russert’s very big shoes as the host of Meet the Press. Coming Up Next: Gregory’s challenge in the coming year is to maintain Russert’s cachet and clout while doing his own thing.
John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei
Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor, Politico (respectively)
New Paradigm: The duo left The Washington Post in 2006 to create the dynamic print/web phenomenon (with Robert Allbritton’s money). News coverage in Washington hasn’t been the same since. Growth: Unlike most media outlets, Politico recently upped distribution from three to four days a week, added circulation, and hired new staff.
Host “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” NBC
Not-so-Neutral: After making headlines for his pro-Obama rhetoric during the 2008 campaign, Matthews explored a possible Pennsylvania U.S. Senate run, but ultimately chose to stay at NBC for the time being. Next Chapter: With five books already penned, the former print journalist (and walking political encyclopedia) is set to bring the pen to paper again soon.
Columnist, The Washington Post
Life of Letters: Robinson began penning his Op-Ed column in 2005, after a 25-year career at the Post that included stints as foreign correspondent, foreign editor, and city editor. He recently recommended that President Obama needs to get hot under the collar from time to time. A Winning Year: In April 2009, Robinson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.
Anchor, CBS Sunday Morning
On Air: This veteran newscaster has covered it all: the White House, Pentagon, State Department, and Congress, delivering almost exclusively political news on CBS since 1969. Country Crooner: A long-time singer/songwriter, Schieffer performed at the Grand Ol’ Opry before moderating the third presidential debate. Expect further vocal stylings in 2009.
Editor and Publisher, MetroWeekly
Village Voice: After two decades under Shulman’s leadership, the weekly magazine-style paper for Washington’s gay community has grown into the nation’s largest LGBT arts publication. Future Plans: In April the magazine launched the Next Generation Awards, a recognition of the efforts of LGBT activists under 30.
Food Writer, The Washington Post
The Dish: If a restaurant can impress this popular critic, its survival is practically assured (think Buck’s Fishing & Camping in Cleveland Park); if not, the doomsday countdown begins (think Grace’s Mandarin at the National Harbor). The Disguise: Sietsema is known to carry a paper mask to private Washington social events to protect his anonymity from careless shutterbugs.
Chief Washington Correspondent, ABC News; Host, “This Week”
Wow Factor: The former Clinton staffer’s Sunday morning show has rocked the media establishment by beating Meet the Press three times since January. Open Line: In January Politico reported that Stephanopoulos takes part in a daily conference call with James Carville, Rahm Emanuel, and Paul Begala.
Blogger, The Daily Dish, The Atlantic
Pioneer: Sullivan’s unique viewpoint as a gay, Catholic, libertarian enlivens his widely read political blog, which has helped increase traffic to the Atlantic website by 30 percent. Journo in the News: In 2008 amid widespread criticism, Sullivan publicly defended his decision to post a rumor that Sarah Palin’s fifth pregnancy was faked and that the baby was her daughter’s.
Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent, NBC News
New Job: A contributing editor at The Atlantic, Todd was a contender to host NBC’s Meet the Press. When the job went to David Gregory, Todd stepped in to cover the White House. Making his Mark: Beloved for his “down to earth” reporting style, it was Todd’s stand-out coverage of the 2008 presidential race that put him on the media map.
Host, “Fox News Sunday”
Independent: A registered Democrat who addresses a prominently conservative audience, in early 2008 Wallace railed against the network’s “Fox and Friends” for comments that Wallace labeled as “Obama-bashing.
Journalist and author
Party Animal: The dean of conservative opinion writers, Will’s columns on the environment and the future of the GOP regularly garner him equal parts praise and ire. Invite-Only: In late 2008 Will hosted a dinner for Barack Obama and fellow conservatives Bill Kristol, David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer at his house in Chevy Chase. Mum’s the word on what they discussed.
Director, President and CEO, Discovery Communications
Reality TV: The hand of “Zazz” rocks the cradle for 1.5 billion subscribers to the world’s largest non-fiction media outlet. Seeing Green: Ad sales and revenue have risen as Discovery re-brands channels, focuses on winners (“Trading Spaces,” “Monster Garage”), and prepares to launch the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2010.