Special Report

12 to watch

A Dozen Players Worth Watching in 2009

TelevisionWeek’s annual roundup of the industry’s most watchable figures profiles a dozen of the key players who will be making an impact in 2009. Whether they succeed or fail, each one can be expected to do something worth watching. Here’s this year’s close-up of who’s making things happen in broadcast, cable, digital, syndication, technology, advertising, production, news and other facets of the business.


12 to Watch: Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen, who just last spring was named CEO of OMD U.S., one of the biggest media buyers, is very familiar with what television can do for his advertising clients. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More »... More »


12 to Watch: Barack Obama

Barack Obama has moved to Washington this year. He has a new job with the government, in case you haven’t heard. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan Cohen . . . More » Stephen Friedman... More »


12 to Watch: Barry Jossen

For years, Barry Jossen was known as the ABC Studios executive who made sure producers had the money they needed to bring their creative visions to the screen. His title changed recently, but as he sees it, his mandate remains... More »


12 to Watch: Chris Coelen

The Fox reality series “Secret Millionaire” premiered in December with little fanfare and low expectations—and turned out to be a surprise success. The same could be said for its producer, RDF USA. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . .... More »


12 to Watch: David Gregory

NBC News’ David Gregory became a figure to watch a few months ago, just as coverage of the presidential election began to pick up speed. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan Cohen . . .... More »


12 to Watch: Dr. Mehmet Oz

At the helm of the most anticipated show launching in syndication this fall, Dr. Mehmet Oz has a lot of expectations to live up to this year. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan Cohen .... More »


12 to Watch: Ed Wilson

Righting the ship is the main concern of Ed Wilson, president of Tribune Broadcasting and corporate parent Tribune Co.’s chief revenue officer. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan Cohen . . . More » Stephen... More »


12 to Watch: Jason Kilar

Hulu proved in just nine months of operation in 2008 that consumers and advertisers are hungry for premium programming on the Web. The NBC Universal-News Corp. online video venture ended the year with more than 100 major brands advertising against... More »


12 to Watch: Jay Leno

Anyone who thinks of Jay Leno as an amiable Boston-bred standup who just wants to tell jokes for a living needs to go back and re-read “The Late Shift.” 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan... More »


12 to Watch: Leslie Moonves

Things used to be a lot simpler for Leslie Moonves. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan Cohen . . . More » Stephen Friedman . . . More » David Gregory . . . More... More »


12 to Watch: Oprah Winfrey

After helping to elect Barack Obama president in 2008, Oprah Winfrey’s agenda for 2009 might be even bigger. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan Cohen . . . More » Stephen Friedman . . .... More »


12 to Watch: Stephen Friedman

Stephen Friedman graduated from running mtvU, Viacom’s network for college students, to president of MTV in November. 12 to Watch Chris Coelen . . . More » Alan Cohen . . . More » Stephen Friedman . . . More... More »

12 to Watch: Where Are They Now?

Jeffrey Bewkes After taking the reins as CEO of Time Warner in January 2008, Jeffrey Bewkes moved quickly, cutting corporate overhead costs, folding New Line Cinema into the larger Warner Bros. movie studio, spinning off Time Warner Cable—all moves designed... More »

12 to watch 2008

A Dozen Players Worth Watching in 2008

12 to Watch: Andrea Wong

A little bit of success has new Lifetime CEO Andrea Wong turning up the competitive heat under the network’s staff for 2008. Shortly after Ms. Wong replaced Betty Cohen in April, Lifetime launched “Army Wives,” which proved to be the... More »

12 to Watch: Ben Silverman

There are two moments that encapsulate Ben Silverman’s eight-month leadership of NBC. The first was the fabulously awkward Hollywood Radio & Television Society luncheon in October where the NBC co-chair joined the presidents of his network competitors on stage for... More »

12 to Watch: Bill Tancer

There once was a time when we used to share our deepest secrets with our hairdresser. Now, we share those secrets with Google or Yahoo or MSN.com. We tell Google what we want, who we’re interested in, how we are... More »

12 to Watch: Dave Davis

Dave Davis got caught up in politics when he left WABC-TV, after four years as president and general manager, to become executive VP of ABC News. Not office politics. Presidential politics. The long and crowded run for the White House... More »

12 to Watch: Dick Ebersol

With 3,600 hours of programming slated for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Dick Ebersol has finally relinquished control of the Games. “When you were watching the Olympics as recently as 12 years ago, you were watching Dick’s version of the Olympics.... More »

12 to Watch: Hank Close

When the television industry decided to sell ads based on commercial ratings last spring, no one faced a bigger challenge than Hank Close, head of ad sales for Viacom’s MTV Networks. During the upfront negotiations, Mr. Close was able to... More »

12 to Watch: Jeffrey Bewkes

As he takes the helm as CEO of Time Warner, Jeffrey Bewkes is playing things close to the vest. The conglomerate’s stock was stagnant under his predecessor, Richard Parsons, who had to clean up after the disastrous merger with America... More »

12 to Watch: Lauren Zalaznick

Lauren Zalaznick, president of Bravo Media, decided to stay in town over the holidays. She was moving from one apartment to another and recently sold a weekend house. “We have two houses’ worth of contents that need to get organized... More »

12 to Watch: Lisa Hackner

A onetime receptionist for Telepictures is now the cornerstone of the studio’s immersion into the digital world. “It’s an exciting time for us,” said Lisa Hackner, executive vice president of creative affairs for the company. “I think for all of... More »

12 to Watch: Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick

The television industry should consider March 2 at 9 p.m. as appointment viewing for all. That’s when the biggest test so far in Web-to-TV convergence will occur, as NBC premieres “Quarterlife,” a six-week midseason replacement that started on the Internet.... More »

12 to Watch: Michael Steib

In his inaugural year on the job at Google, Michael Steib launched the first major auction-based system for buying television spots and then guided a partnership between the world’s biggest search engine and the world’s most powerful TV ratings company.... More »

12 to Watch: Mike Darnell

It seems an oversight that this is the first time Mike Darnell has graced TelevisionWeek’s “12 to Watch” list. Throughout his tenure running reality programming at Fox, his projects have resulted in outraged newspaper editorials and Nielsen spikes. Even when... More »

2007 12 to Watch: Where Are They Now?

Peter Chernin The writers strike that loomed for months before becoming reality Nov. 5 was perhaps the most pressing new item of business to land on News Corp. President-Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin’s plate last year. Otherwise, 2007 was an... More »