While Boris Johnson, riding on the tails of London’s Olympic glory, has taken the top spot in GQ’s 100 Most Influential Men in Britain in its February issue the media figures include bloggers, newspaper owners and columnists. The top media figure is Daily Mail owner Johnathan Harmsworth with indications that he is taking a more hands on approach to the business following the appointment of Geordie Greig at the Mail on Sunday last year.
The Mail scores very well in the list with Harmsworth joined by Mail Online editor, Martin Clarke, and Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre.
Harmsworth is at seven in the overall list with Lord Justice Leveson and Robert Jay QC just behind at joint eighth whose effect GQ says was “devastating” and together they have probably changed the way the British press operates forever.
The 21 media figures in the list of 100 include those from WPP, BSkyB, The Sun, The Times and BSkyB.
1. Johnathan Harmsworth (7), 4th Viscount Rothermere and chairman of Associated Newspapers and chairman of the Daily Mail.
2. Lord Justice Leveson and Robert Jay (8), presiding judge and lead counsel for the Leveson Inquiry.
3. Martin Clarke (11), editor of the Mail Online. The digital juggernaut that in November recorded its best ever month for traffic figures as it passed more than 112 million unique browsers. As the editor of the world’s biggest online newspaper he is seen a potential future editor of the Daily Mail and successor to Paul Dacre who is 77 in GQ’s list.
4. Lionel Barber (13), editor of the Financial Times. The paper has made a great move to digital and one that continues to make it pay. His next challenge could be involvement in the sale of the paper from Pearson.
5. Danny Finkelstein (17), the executive editor of The Times. Nicknamed “the fink” he is described as one of the best connected journalists in politics and nothing happens at The Time without his input.
6. Owen Jones (21), author of ‘Chavs the demonisation of the working class’, and Labour lefty the Independent newspaper columnist is a Twitter favourite with some.
7. Tony Hall (22), the incoming director general of the BBC. The chief executive of the Royal Opera House and a former director of BBC News, was been named director general at the end of last year having failed to get the job in 1999.
8. Adam Crozier, CEO of ITV. The former ad man continues to see the cash roll in from the X Factor and Britain’s got Talent.
9. Tony Gallagher (35) editor of The Daily Telegraph. Gallagher continues to steer Britain’s top selling broadsheet newspaper to circulation and profit success. The paper made £55.7m last year.
10. Dominic Mohan (43), editor of The Sun. The paper has had a rough year, but it is still the country’s biggest selling newspaper.
11. Jeremy Darroch (50), chief executive of BSkyB. Last year he told Sky over 10 million subscribers and its sponsorship of British cycling with Team Sky was perfectly timed for Olympic glory.
12. Sir Martin Sorrell (52), chief executive of WPP Group. He might not be popular with all WPP’s shareholders (that issue of his £12.4m salary), but he is the world’s most powerful ad man.
13. Ian Hislop (56), editor of Private Eye. After more than 26 years at Private Eye the satirical magazine is in rude health and hit is highest circulation for a quarter of a century (225,000).
14. Paul Staines and Harry Cole (59), editor and news editor of Guido Fawkes blog. The blog and the duo go from strength to strength.
15. Martin Wolf (63), associate editor and chief economic commentator of the Financial Times. The lone voice of Keynes-style economics in Britaina nd many are turning to him as the recovery fails to materialise.
16. David Allen Green (70), legal correspondent at the New Statesman and Jack of Kent blogger. Best known last year for winning for the defence what became known as the “Twitter joke trial”.
17. Paul Dacre (77), editor of the Daily Mail. A strong performance at Leveson, but increasingly looking over his shoulder at Mail Online editor, Martin Clarke, and Greig at the Mail on Sunday.
18. Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, owners of the London Evening Standard, the Independent and i. The Standard remains a free powerhouse and even made a modest profit last year. Next challenge to find an investor to share the burden of print.
19. Richard Desmond (99), founder of Northern & Shell and owner of Express Newspapers. His papers, including the Daily Star, continue to do well and Channel 5 is apparently scoring well with younger audiences. Last year he took the unexpected high moral stance of threatening to close the Irish Daily Star after it published those pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge.