5. Tim Russert
Managing editor and moderator of ‘Meet the Press’ and senior VP and Washington bureau chief for NBC News
Last year’s rank: 4
Why he was chosen: “If it’s Sunday, it’s ‘Meet the Press'” is not just Tim Russert’s sign-off. It underscores the nearly 60-year run the show has had as the premier Sunday newsmaker show, a record that today is being honored with induction into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
“Meet the Press” is No. 1 among Sunday newsmaker shows nationally, with more than 4.1 million viewers during the first quarter of this year. More telling, it is the most-watched newsmaker show in Washington, D.C., running 91 percent ahead of its nearest competitor, CBS’s “Face the Nation,” during the first quarter.
An award-winning perennial fixture on the power list, Mr. Russert casts a bigger shadow during presidential campaign seasons, and the current one already is taking on marathon status for its early and crowded start. He’s dusting off the white dry-erase board that attained iconic status on Election Night 2000.