How The Most Powerful Women In Media Got That Way

Anna Wintour

Forbes has released its annual list of the 100 “Most Powerful Women” in the world.

Fifteen of those ladies are media elites, from notoriously icy Vogue editor Anna Wintour to vice presidential nominee-turned-Fox News Channel talking head Sarah Palin.

#14 Nikki Finke - Founder and Blogger of Deadline Hollywood Daily

Overall Rank: 79

Age: 56

Why She's Powerful: Finke is the editor-in-chief and general manager of, a scoop-heavy must-read for entertainment and media industry insiders. She was once called the 'most feared, despised, and uncompromising journalist in Hollywood.'

Source: Forbes

#13 Christiane Amanpour - Anchor

Overall Rank: 73

Age: 52

Why She's Powerful: Amanpour worked her way up from an entry-level assistant to the renowned chief international correspondent for CNN to the anchor of ABC network's 'This Week.'

Source: Forbes

#12 Cathleen Black - Chair, Hearst Magazines

Overall Rank: 67

Age: 66

Why She's Powerful: Black was recently promoted from president to chairman of Hearst Magazines and is considered a leader among magazine publishers.

Source: Forbes

#11 Suze Orman - Author and personal finance guru

Overall Rank: 61

Age: 59

Why She's Powerful: Orman became known as a personal finance guru via her hit show on CNBC. Her CNBC contract just got renewed for another two years, and starting next year she'll host a new show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN network.

Source: Forbes

#10 Anna Wintour - Editor-in-Chief, Vogue

Overall Rank: 56

Age: 60

Why She's Powerful: British-born Wintour has been editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine since 1988. With her iconic bobcut and demanding attitude, she is an institution in the realm of fashion and credited with launching the careers of famous designers including Marc Jacobs, John Galliano and Alexander Wang.

Source: Forbes

#9 Rachel Maddow - Talk show host

Overall Rank: 50

Age: 37

Why She's Powerful: Maddow went from hosting a radio station in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to hosting MSNBC's 'The Rachel Maddow Show,' which debuted on MSNBC in 2008, and which pulls in nearly 1 million nightly viewers nightly.

Source: Forbes

#8 Diane Sawyer - News anchor

Overall Rank: 46

Age: 64

Why She's Powerful: After years on ABC's 'Good Morning America,' Sawyer worked her way up to become the second female network news anchor. She took over the chair of ABC's 'World News' this year, and it is the only evening newscast to grow total viewing audience week to week and year to year.

Source: Forbes

#7 Meredith Vieira - Co-anchor

Overall Rank: 40

Age: 56

Why She's Powerful: This TV veteran with nine Emmy awards got her break on CBS's '60 Minutes.' She later became the moderator of ABC's 'The View,' when it first aired in 1997 and remained there until 2006, when she moved over to co-host 'Today' on NBC.

Source: Forbes

#6 Tina Brown - Cofounder and editor-in-chief, The Daily Beast

Overall Rank: 34

Age: 56

Why She's Powerful: Formerly the editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, Brown now runs the Barry Diller-backed Daily Beast.

Source: Forbes

#5 Arianna Huffington - Founder and editor-in-chief, Huffington Post

Overall Rank: 28

Age: 60

Why She's Powerful: She is the co-founder and editor of the Huffington Post, a web-traffic giant with about 6,000 unpaid bloggers and celebrity contributors.

Source: Forbes

# 4 Katie Couric - News anchor

Overall Rank: 22

Age: 53

Why She's Powerful: Starting in 1991, Couric sky-rocketed her career during her position as co-host on NBC's 'Today Show' before landing her own $40 million gig at CBS, where she just celebrated her fifth anniversary as anchor of the 'CBS Evening News.'

Source: Forbes

#3 Sarah Palin - Political maverick and commentator

Overall Rank: 16

Age: 46

Why She's Powerful: Once a vice presidential candidate, Palin is now a well-paid talking head on Fox News Channel and an avid user of Twitter (260,000 followers) and Facebook (2 million-plus fans).

Source: Forbes

#2 Ellen DeGeneres - Talk show host

Overall Rank: 10

Age: 52

Why She's Powerful: DeGeneres' chat show, a five-time Emmy winner, is now in its eighth season. She's also a major force in the gay rights community.

Source: Forbes

#1 Oprah Winfrey - Talk show host and media mogul

Overall Rank: 3

Age: 56

Why She's Powerful: Earning $1.35 billion over the last five years, Orpah is the world's most successful female media executive. Her 25th season of Oprah, the program that has launched multiple careers, spawned countless bestsellers and helped millions of women, will air its final show on Sept. 9, 2011. After that, Winfrey is launching OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture of Discovery Channel and her own Harpo Productions, in January 2012. Topping off 2010 nicely, she will be honored by the Kennedy centre in December for her 25 years in entertainment.

BONUS: Janet Robinson - NY Times Chief Executive and President

Overall Rank: 85 (31 in the business category)

Age: 60

Why She's Powerful: Robinson is is an American publishing executive, and became president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company on December 27, 2004.

Source: Forbes

And now, how abot some filthy rich media moguls?

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