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6. Keith Olbermann

Apr 16, 2007  •  Post A Comment

6. Keith Olbermann
Host of MSNBC’s ‘Countdown With Keith Olbermann’
Last year’s rank: N/A

Why he was chosen: The utter failure of Phil Donahue on MSNBC in 2003 was presumed to mean left-leaning hosts of prime-time TV shows were an endangered species. But, lo, a star rose in the west over Secaucus, N.J., and its name was Keith Olbermann.

First-quarter 2007 ratings for the cranky Mr. Olbermann’s “Countdown” rose 76 percent year-to-year to an average 713,000 viewers and helped galvanize MSNBC’s increasingly popular, politically obsessed lineup; even the first telecast of “Tucker Carlson” perked up 33 percent to 238,000 viewers in the first quarter.

Mr. Olbermann’s take-no-prisoners approach frequently means he gives a demographic beat-down to his CNN competitor, Paula Zahn.

Introduction: Top 10 Most Powerful People in TV News 2007

1. Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News

2. Steve Capus, President of NBC News

3. Charles Gibson, Anchor, ABC’s ‘World News’

4. David Westin, President of ABC News

5. Tim Russert, Managing editor and moderator of ‘Meet the Press’ and senior VP and Washington bureau chief for NBC News

6. Keith Olbermann, Host of MSNBC’s ‘Countdown With Keith Olbermann’

7. Sean McManus, President of CBS News

8. Jon Klein, President of CNN/U.S.; Ken Jautz, Executive VP of CNN Worldwide; Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide

9. N.S. Bienstock, Talent agency

10. Jon Stewart, Anchor of Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’