As the year draws to a close, media organizations are busy putting together collections of lists and handing out gimmicky awards in an attempt to grab traffic and attention. (Yes, of course, we're working on ours.) A case in point is I Want Media's 2006 Media Person of the Year Poll, a venerable tradition going back all the way to 2002, when Martha Stewart took the title. So it's only natural that Rachael Ray, "the new Martha," (and conclusive evidence that we as a society are getting collectively stupider at an alarming rate) be included. Let's take a look at her qualifications.
Deep down, we all just want to be loved. Everyone. Even a bigshot New York Times writer with a weekly column and an Academy Awards blog and amusing new video clips and the freedom, it seems, to write about nearly whatever he wants, whenever he wants, from wherever he wants, for the world's leading newspaper — Mr. Run Amok, but in a good way — just wants to be loved.
Patrick Phillips of IWantMedia today checks in with the man he picked as 2005's Media Person of the Year, our beloved Anderson Cooper. They talk about the future of TV news, about A.C.'s anchoring style, about Details magazine, and about — natch — premature grayness. Allow us, if we may, to highlight just a few favorite Coop quotes from the exchange:
Page Six columnist Richard Johnson reveals in an interview with IWantMedia that he once applied for the CIA. [Ed. noteOddly, so did I. They didn't want me, either.] Says Johnson: "I was just going to do that on the side. I wasn't going to leave my journalism gig. I wanted to have a dual career. I thought that the journalism gig would provide a good cover. I thought also I could probably get some good stories. Might be a two-way street."
Richard Johnson: Many journalists view gossip columnists as 'the dirty, seamy side' of the news business [IWantMedia]
A confession: we can't keep up with the media congomerates, and are always forgetting who owns Us Weekly. Here are a set of links to useful data and charts. Still missing: a database which, when a magazine title or TV network is plugged in to the search box, produces the parent company in the result.
· Big Ten [a chart, from The Nation]
· Who Owns What [exhaustive listing, from the CJR]
· Media Ownership 2001 [a graphical indictment of media concentration, from mediachannel.org]
· 100 leading media companies [ranked by revenue, from Advertising Age]
· Media giants [a chart, from PBS]
· Resources [a list of other databases, tables and charts, from I Want Media]