16 Media Winners of 2016, From Steve Bannon to Gretchen Carlson (Photos)
As a roller coaster year winds down, it’s time to declare who came out on top in the industry
Brian Flood | Last Updated: December 27, 2016 @ 9:26 AM
The bizarre last year featured a wild presidential election, the toppling of a pioneering cable news titan and a new host of pundits who have emerged as household names. Check out 16 winners in media from 2016.
Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine
Shine and Abernethy were named co-presidents of Fox News Channel after Shine’s mentor, former CEO Roger Ailes, stepped down in disgrace amid numerous accusations of sexual harassment. They not only survived the storm, they now run the network, which was the most-watched in all of basic cable for 2016.
Also Read:Fox News Co-Presidents Bill Shine, Jack Abernethy Ink New Deals
Gretchen CarlsonThe former Fox News host was courageous enough to go public with sexual harassment claims against then-CEO Roger Ailes, who was arguably the most powerful man in media. Ailes stepped down in disgrace while Fox News settled with Carlson and even issued an apology.
Also Read:Fox News Is Most-Watched Cable Network of 2016
Max KellermanThe man who was chosen to replace Skip Bayless on “First Take” is now the co-star of one of ESPN’s biggest brands. The boxing expert who played himself in “Creed” had as considerable a career upgrade as anyone in sports media this year.
Also Read:ESPN’s Max Kellerman on Why He’s No Skip Bayless (Exclusive)
Marty BaronThe editor of the Washington Post has been a respected journalist for years, but when Live Schreiber portrayed him in the Academy Award winning film “Spotlight” it took Baron’s renown to a whole new level.
Also Read:5 Lessons From the ‘Spotlight’ Big Oscar Win
Hulk HoganThe former professional wrestler received $31 million plus a share of distributions from Gawker’s recent $135 million sale to Univision when he successfully sued the media gossip site for publishing portions of a sex tape in which he was featured.
Also Read:Gawker Media Announces $31 Million Settlement With Hulk Hogan
Fox News’ Primetime LineupLet’s face it, 2016 was a terrific year for the Fox News primetime team. Bill O’Reilly has the No. 1 cable news show and the No. 1 book in America, Megyn Kelly emerged as a household name and Sean Hannity was the only major news host to believe in Donald Trump's presidential prospects. Not too shabby.
Also Read:Why Bill O’Reilly Is Having a Better Month Than You
Kellyanne ConwayConway was brought in by the Trump campaign to help soften his image, and she went on to become the first female campaign manager to ever win a presidential election. Conway emerged as the likable voice of reason among the Trump campaign and even received the “Saturday Night Live” treatment when Kate McKinnon parodied her frequent TV appearances.
Also Read:Watch ‘SNL’ Ruin Kellyanne Conway’s Day Off (Video)
Andy CohenThe “Watch What Happens: Live” host produces Bravo's extremely successful “Real Housewives” series and even joined pal Anderson Cooper for a nationwide tour in 2016. On top of all that, Cohen was rumored to be replacing Michael Strahan on “Live!” with Kelly Ripa, but he’s too busy for another gig.
Also Read:Andy Cohen Reveals Skin Cancer Diagnosis on ‘Live With Kelly’ (Video)
Gabriel ShermanThe New York Magazine editor literally wrote the book on Roger Ailes back when most observers thought now-disgraced Fox News CEO was a stand-up guy. Sherman was proven right about Ailes in 2016 and was out in front of the story with a ton of scoops surrounding Gretchen Carlson's claims of sexual harassment against the Fox News co-founder.
Also Read:6 New Revelations From Vanity Fair’s Explosive Roger Ailes Expose
BONUS WINNER: "Morning Joe"
The MSNBC show deserves recognition for taking Trump seriously from Day 1. In fact, the show survived accusations that it was too friendly with Trump before turning on him and touching off a Twitter feud with the then-candidate. Now, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough are back in Donald's good graces and have as loyal a fan base as any show on cable news.
Also Read:‘GMA,’ ‘Morning Joe’ Among Most Googled News Shows of 2016
Click here for those media members who didn't have as prosperous a 2016 with TheWrap's list of the year's media losers.