For better or worse 2010 has been a huge year for media stories.
From Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks dump, to Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart‘s dueling rallies, from Fox News dominating the ratings to, well, everything that Sarah Palin has been getting up to. It’s been a roller coaster ride.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Wire is looking at the biggest names in media this year, and the people most likely to dominate and change the media in the near future.
Help us choose by submitting your nominations. Write us at [email protected] Polls close Dec 19th. Results to be revealed in Jan 2011.
In Glenn Beck's own words, nothing was revealed by WikiLeaks that he hadn't already told us! Beck hosted a rally that launched another rally, linked Julian Assange to George Soros, and proved the country is doomed by point to Business Insider headlines. the end of the world Everyone from Jimmy Carter to Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes has accused him of going too far. In the meantime, Fox News Channel's ratings stay strong as ever.
Picking on the Palins and blaming Fox News for everything bad that's ever happened, ever, is standard fare for the always controversial Keith Olbermann. But his biggest story this year was getting ruthlessly suspended from MSNBC for failing to disclose political donations... for a grand total of three days.
At Business Insider's 2010 IGNITION conference, Henry Blodget asked several interviewees: Will HuffPo be worth more than the New York Times in five years? A few answered: 'Maybe.' In her own words, Arianna Huffington said that in the future everyone (not only HuffPo) will be 'flourishing,' that she had no competition with Tina Brown, and that, no, she wasn't going to run for president.
Jon Stewart had a huge year in 2010. Following his Rally to Restore Sanity, he made ratings history by beating rivals David Letterman and Jay Leno to become October's highest-rating talk show in the 18 - 49 range -- the first person to do so since 2000 at least. And he managed to keep his sense of humour the whole time.
Rupert Murdoch seems impervious to the recession as News Corp keeps expanding and pulling in a profit (thanks to Fox, no thanks to MySpace). His luck might turn around soon -- he has a new paywall experiment going up that many pundits predict will fail, and an ugly tell-all coming out about him by a disgruntled ex-employee, But in case you feel bad for Murdoch, check out this animation of him in a shark costume.
Nick Denton made some big moves this year -- his website Deadspin paid $12,000 for the nude pictures of Brett Favre, and that $12,000 increased the value of Deadspin by millions. Now that he redesigned Gawker and split with ad chief Chris Batty, the media industry is keeping a close watch on all of his moves (check out our 60 second version of Felix Salmon's 60,000 word Tome on Gawker, for example).
There's been so much speculation about whether or not The Daily Beast's merger with Newsweek will be a success, and controversy over the shutting down of Newsweek.com (complete with protests by Newsweek employees) that we know everyone will be watching to see how Tina Brown's triumphant return to print will go in 2011.
Ah, Bill O'Reilly. He inspired a fed-up Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar to walk off the set of their own TV show (Goldberg later returned to explain herself on O'Reilly's show week later), and joked to Jon Stewart that Glenn Beck doesn't know who he is. However O'Reilly really takes the cake this season by blaming atheists for ruining Christmas.
The most recent media savvy of Newton Leroy Gingrich includes a reference to the Obama's national security as 'amateurish' (he was talking about the infamous WikiLeaks), but also called Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann both 'hostile' and 'an embarrassment' during a bipartisan debate the pair supposedly moderated during the previous election. According to Olbermann, he has never moderated a debate that included GOP members!
Fox News contributor Karl Rove normally loves butting heads with the likes of Sarah Palin, but recently called her book tour stop in Iowa 'a smart thing to do.' He also pointed out that, in response to Obama's tax cut press conference, that Democrats consider the President 'aloof' and not a political force to fear.
A former America's Got Talent judge, Piers Morgan's most recent claim to fame is replacing Larry King at the 77-year old host's venerable CNN timeslot. Once an employee of Rupert Murdoch, Morgan has also stirred up some dust by reporting that the News Corp. chairman 'will want to kill' him (in ratings, at Fox News), and by trying to get Obama to appear on Piers Morgan Tonight.
While currently dominating the entertainment world in full force, Kanye West has evoked some less-than-pleasant commentary from two presidents, one after his foolish Taylor Swift-gate, and the other for ruining George W.'s decade--for which he apologized, and instead trashed Matt Lauer, comparing the journalist to a child abuser.
Andrew Sullivan, the self-described conservative writer at the Atlantic, lampoons political figures like Sarah Palin on his blog, the Daily Dish. However he has plenty to say about the rest of the the GOP, including their treatment of the budget deficit as 'irresponsible' on the Chris Matthews Show--he also critiqued his own host magazine's website redesign, citing their 'deep misunderstanding of blogs.'
Oprah Winfrey most recently cried during an interview with Barbara Walters, but the billionaire media empress was also a recipient of the Kennedy centre honours along with choreographer Bill T. Jones and Paul McCartney. She's also known for her highly publicized and frequent audience gifts, and will be launching her own cable network, starting January 2011.
Formerly disgraced govern er Eliot Spitzer sought vindication by joining political columnist Kathleen Parker on a CNN talk show, however some early concerns over low ratings and reported off-screen tensions between and his co-host threatened to ruin the show entirely. It turns out, instead that there's not enough on-screen hostility to make the show a hit.
Thanks to America's unhealthy relationship with sex and nudity, the Transport Security Administration has received disproportionate media coverage for its recent upgrades to security scanners and searches. Evidence of some serious shark-jumping include commentary by Eliot Spitzer on his CNN talk show, a show of TSA support by President Obama, and even an actually funny satirical ad by SNL.
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