The Top Ten in TV

Written By mista sense on Thursday, April 26, 2007 | 7:08 PM

OK, I know that I am slow on this, but I think it's still worth noting. TV Week issued its "Ten Most Powerful People in TV News 2007" list awhile back, but TCG was preoccupied with other things--my bad.

But here's what the underestimated reporter, Michele Greppi, had to say about key Cable Game players.

First on the list, interestingly, was Roger Ailes, the chief of Fox News, who ranks ahead of even the broadcasters. Here's part of Greppi's explanation for Ailes' being#1:

The most-watched cable news network for five years running, Fox News has its killers' row of brand-name personalities who know good television when they make it. It becomes big news when Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera pick an intramural fight, going toe to toe and index finger to index finger over illegal immigration.

The first quarter of the year saw a pernicious ratings erosion stop for the first time in months. Prime-time ratings were up 8 percent. New cable carriage deals that triple Fox's subscriber fees also ensure distribution of Fox Business News when it launches later this year.

The channel's signal, digital in the rest of the country, will be analog in New York City to guarantee that Time Warner Cable will pipe it in to Wall Street offices in the business capital of the world. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2006, parent company News Corp. reported its cable network revenues had increased $13 million year-to-year to $275 million, primarily reflecting increased contributions from the Fox News Channel. FNC's operating income grew 25 percent, primarily from higher affiliate revenues and additional subscribers. lags behind the Web sites of CNN and MSNBC, but its 7.5 million unique users in February represents a 29 percent increase from February 2006.

Four-year-old Fox News Radio is now at 650 affiliates and counting and has beefed up its D.C. bureau with a reporter assigned to the White House.

The rest of the list rounded out as follows:

2. Steve Capus, President of NBC News; 3. Charles Gibson, Anchor, ABC's “World News'”; 4. David Westin, President of ABC News; 5. Tim Russert, Managing editor and moderator of “Meet the Press” and senior VP and Washington bureau chief for NBC News; 6. Keith Olbermann, Host of MSNBC's “Countdown With Keith Olbermann'”; 7. Sean McManus, President of CBS News; 8. Jon Klein, President of CNN/U.S.; Ken Jautz, Executive VP of CNN Worldwide; Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide; 9. N.S. Bienstock, Talent agency; 10. Jon Stewart, Anchor of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Some of the choices are a bit strange: Why for example, is Keith Olbermann on there? He's just a low-rent anchor on a low-rated cabler.

But perhaps Greppi explained Olbermann's inclusion, however unsatisfactorily, when she announced in her introduction that some names were included on her list for "a little 'have we got your attention now?' shock value.

Yes, Olbermann is good at that.

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