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Media Person of the Year - 2002
I Want Media, 01/01/03

Who had the most impact, for good or ill, on the media landscape in 2002? According to the voters in I Want Media's poll for Media Person of the Year, the media industry's most influential personality is ... Martha Stewart!

The founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia received more votes than any of the poll's other top 20 candidates, including Steve Case, Bonnie Fuller, Rupert Murdoch and Tina Brown.

In addition to being named Media Person of the Year, Martha Stewart will receive a genuine I Want Media baseball cap.

Actually, "Other" received the most votes in the poll, divided among write-in candidates ranging from CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour to InstaPundit blogger Glenn Reynolds to New York Post media reporter Keith Kelly.

>> Read write-in votes.

>> Read voter comments.

>> Read press coverage.


Media Person of the Year

Other (See write-in votes below.)

Martha Stewart made headlines with insider-trading charges and could even be forced to step down as CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Bonnie Fuller revived Us Weekly, which the Wall Street Journal called the "hot magazine of the moment," and was named Editor of the Year by Advertising Age.

Rosie O'Donnell pulled the plug on Rosie magazine, an event that may make publishers more wary of launching celebrity-branded magazines in the future.

Roger Ailes guided Fox News to become the top-rated cable news channel and was revealed to have offered advice to President Bush, calling his objectivity into question.

Arthur Sulzberger Jr. set out to transform the New York Times into a global media brand by buying out the Washington Post's stake in the International Herald Tribune.

Ted Turner reportedly mobilized AOL Time Warner's directors to oust CEO Gerald Levin and is said to have a key role in deciding on a possible CNN-ABC News merger.

Barry Diller became interim co-chairman and CEO of Universal Entertainment, a move suggesting that he could one day helm a possible Vivendi spin-off of Universal.

Jean-Marie Messier was ousted as CEO of Vivendi Universal after running up billions of euros in debt by investing in and acquiring properties promising "convergence."

Michael Powell marked his first year as head of the FCC with an eye on loosening media ownership limits, which could fundamentally alter the U.S. media landscape.

Tina Brown saw her high-profile Talk magazine shut down, but maintained her buzz by resurfacing with a must-read column in the Times of London.

Sumner Redstone patched his rift with Viacom colleague Mel Karmazin (and was named Media Person of the Year at Cannes' International Advertising Festival).

Rupert Murdoch is believed to have helped block a rival's acquisition of DirecTV and will reinforce his position as the world's pay-TV king if the firm ends up in his pocket.

Richard Parsons took over as CEO of AOL Time Warner and put his famous diplomatic skills into overdrive to appease unhappy shareholders and employees.

Brian Roberts became a media titan when his Comcast acquired AT&T Broadband, creating a cable giant with unprecedented influence over both television and the Internet.

Gerald Levin stepped down as CEO after engineering the rocky AOL-Time Warner merger, which his company's own Fortune magazine described as a "great train wreck."

Michael Ramsay may not be a household name, but the co-founder/CEO of TiVo has prompted television execs to warn that his product could wreck industry fundamentals.

Michael Eisner survived sparring matches with Disney directors who were unhappy with the company's dismal performance, but still has to turn around the stumbling ABC.

Susan Lyne has the Herculean task of resuscitating ABC, which slipped to a distant No. 3 behind NBC and CBS and lost nearly one-fifth of its viewers last season.

Steve Case became a lightning rod for shareholder and employee discontent at AOL Time Warner, with critics calling for him to follow Gerald Levin out the door.

William Dean Singleton was known for slashing newspaper jobs, but reportedly became a journalism booster and vowed to make his Denver Post a top U.S. newspaper.





>>  WRITE-IN VOTES:
  • Chris Albrecht, HBO

  • Christiane Amanpour, CNN

  • Israel Asper, CanWest Global Communications

  • Glenda Bailey, Harper's Bazaar

  • Ashleigh Banfield, MSNBC

  • Jeffrey Bewkes, AOL Time Warner

  • Sergey Brin, Google

  • David Carey, The New Yorker

  • Katie Couric, NBC

  • Daily newspaper editors

  • Eminem, performer

  • Steve Florio, Conde Nast

  • Bernard Gershon, ABCNews.com

  • Jay Harris, formerly of the San Jose Mercury News

  • Eric Janssen, Evening Post, Wellington, New Zealand

  • Mel Karmazin, Viacom

  • Keith Kelly, New York Post

  • Michael Kelly, The Atlantic

  • Tom Kemp, Penton Media

  • Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

  • Paul Krugman, New York Times

  • John Malone, Liberty Media

  • Gregory Moore, Denver Post

  • Michael Moore, filmmaker

  • Larry Page, Google

  • Janet Parshall, Salem Radio Network

  • Howell Raines, New York Times

  • David Remnick, The New Yorker

  • Glenn Reynolds, InstaPundit.com

  • Henry Schleiff, Court TV

  • Paul Steiger, Wall Street Journal

  • Howard Stern, Viacom

  • Andrew Sullivan, writer





>>  VOTER COMMENTS:
  • "Michael Kelly, of The Atlantic Monthly, for making quality journalism newsworthy and exciting."
    Tina Brown


  • "Don't forget the people who have brought The New Yorker to profit for the first time since S.I. Newhouse Jr. purchased it in 1985. That would be publisher David Carey, editor in chief David Remnick and CEO Steve Florio."
    Keith Kelly, New York Post


  • "Bonnie Fuller. Her Us revamp will have the same effect on entertainment/celebrity magazines (and related media) that Maxim has had on men's titles."
    Jeff Bercovici, Media Life


  • "Diller, obviously. Duh."
    Michael Wolff, New York Magazine


  • "Rosie O'Donnell ... because it would be the ultimate irony to have her walking around NYC in a hat that says 'I Want Media.'"
    Holly Brady, Stanford Publishing Courses


  • "Barry Diller -- he did not have any great highs, or any severe lows -- instead, he was omnipresent in the media world day after day, whether it was to do another deal for his interactive group, or pout that the French did not tell him about Marvin Davis (if YOU got an offer from this failed movie magnate/shopping mall king, would YOU brag about it??) Bonnie Fuller and Roger Ailes are newsworthy for one event each -- Barry has been consistently newsworthy all through the year, and probably has more 'real' power than all of them combined. And no, he doesn't know me from a hole in the wall."
    Arnie Huberman, Arnold Huberman Associates


  • "Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google, have done more to shake up the media world than anyone else this year. An article by David Gallagher in the New York Times [12/09/02] indicates that Google is the 600-pound gorilla among search engines -- enabling 59.7 million global Internet users to find information they want as opposed to information the media think they need. And Michael Kinsley admits in a recent column about Google News on Slate [11/27/02], "The day is clearly approaching when editors can be replaced by computers." Connect the dots and you can imagine what the media world will look like five years from now."
    Greg Jarboe, Effective Marketing


  • "The excessive and negative coverage Martha Stewart has received this year has exposed the double-standard that exists for powerful women, in both business and in the media. While Enron and WorldCom executives came and went, Martha's story stayed front and center, the constant butt of clever headlines and late-night jokes. Martha's "mess" has allowed us to examine the media's biased methods, and has revealed the depth of the misogyny that still needs to be addressed."
    John Small, SaveMartha.com


  • "Martha is a true Joan of Arc. Think what good Martha could do for the world and the U.S. in particular if she were to become president. ... GO, MARTHA, GO! She has demonstrated special rare skills and has the courage of a lion without roaring."
    Walter Baglien, Portland, Oregon


  • "Martha has obviously made the most headlines, followed closely by Diller, even though he hasn't actually done much -- yet -- besides consolidate his own position. He's certainly my front-runner for Media Person of Next Year. Emotionally, I'm with Tina. In a climate of utter hostility, Michael Kelly has managed to put out a magazine that champions the not-quite-lost art of long-form journalism while managing the nearly forgotten trick of being both intelligent and engrossing. But as Time magazine has sometimes given its Person of the Year award to a whole class of persons instead of just one individual, I think that this year, the people who've had the most impact on the media are the nation's daily newspaper editors, who have filled the gap left by the abdication of the newly bite-sized glossies and made the morning news the country's focal point again, proving anew that reports of the demise of journalism are more than a little exaggerated."
    Michael Gross, New York Daily News


  • "No contest! Martha Stewart has dominated the headlines, the media, the tabloids, etc., without saying a word! She is being pilloried by a male-dominated system unable to recognize or cope with female mega-success! What sets her apart from Oprah and Rosie is that Martha CAN DO MANY THINGS and wants to TEACH US to do them as well. The others just talk. Martha DOES!"
    Judy Miller, Topeka, Kansas


  • "Bonnie Fuller influences pop culture; Roger Ailes influences presidents. First, Ronald Reagan, whose media campaign he managed in 1980 and 1984; now, George W. Bush. Ailes is worthy of Time's 2002 "Person of the Year" consideration, but with Fox News Channel being a competitor to Time partner CNN (Ted Turner was P-o-t-Y in 1991), his Time odds are no better than Tom Daschle's. But Ailes is clearly "Media Person of the Year."
    Steve Cohn, Media Industry Newsletter


  • "I would think that, due to his influence in cable, satellite and network TV, film post-production, programming and foreign distribution assets, John Malone should also be mentioned. Considering his past and present influence on many of the names already on your nominations list, Mr. Malone would be in the favoring to win it."
    Payam Eshraghian, Convergent Media






>>  PRESS COVERAGE:
  • New York Times - 01/05/03
    "In a Web poll conducted by I Want Media, which follows the media industry, 112 of about 500 readers named Martha Stewart as Media Person of the Year for 2002."

  • Washington Times - 12/29/02
    "An online poll for Media Person of the Year found that even heavyweights such as Ted Turner, Michael Eisner, Tina Brown and Rupert Murdoch warranted zero to 2 percent of the votes."

  • New York Post - 12/25/02
    "If you're interested in voting for yourself as a Media Person of the Year, the polls are still open at IWantMedia.com."

  • New York Daily News - 12/08/02
    "Martha Stewart has taken an early lead in the voting for Media Person of the Year on the influential Web site IWantMedia.com."

  • Folio - 02/03
    "Last month the woman christened Media Person of the Year in an IWantMedia.com poll launched a new magazine -- the digest-size Everyday Food."

  • Media Industry Newsletter - 01/13/03
    "Site founder Patrick Phillips sent Martha Stewart an IWantMedia.com baseball cap [for winning the site's poll for Media Person of the Year], but will she wear it when she is mixing an Everyday Food recipe?"



 

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