These are the 10 most influential communicators in the U.S. (2024)

Published by

Alejandro Baños

Topics:

  • Tucker Carlson
  • Media and communications
  • Suzanne Scott
  • Matt Drudge
  • Elon Musk

The news website Mediaite.com has compiled a list of the 75 most influential U.S. communicators, based on more contemporary factors such as the number of followers they have on social networks or more traditional ones such as television ratings. Conservative professionals such as Suzanne Scott, Elon Musk or Tucker Carlson top the ranking.

1. Suzanne Scott

The executive director of Fox News occupies the first place in the ranking of most influential communicators in the United States. Forbes listed her as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the World in 2021.

Fox News continues to beat its competition in viewership and, since she was named CEO in 2018, is the most-watched newscast on the television grid. She pioneered the on-demand service (VoD) by launching, in the same year of her appointment, Fox Nation. This platform was a success, while other competing proposals such as CNN+ failed.

She managed to turn around the delicate situation that the network went through after the 2020 elections. It was losing audience by leaps and bounds, but managed to recover with decisions that were criticized at the beginning, such as the expansion of opinion programs in prime time.

In addition, another of Fox News' successes with Scott at the helm is the billions in revenue it earns, more than other networks such as MSNBC and CNN.

2. Elon Musk

It is a clear example of how someone can reach a very wide audience through social networks. The entrepreneur has become one of the most influential communicators in the United States after acquiring Twitter last October.

His activity on the social network does not cease, posting tweets at all times. Incessant, it can be said that it has become a communication monster. After his acquisition, he promised to turn Twitter into a platform where total freedom of expression would prevail.

Musk has begun to uncover information that the previous Twitter executive did not publish and to reinstate accounts that were banned. And the public, by and large, has clicked the "Like" button on many of Musk's actions.

3. Chris Licht and David Zaslav

CNN is the second most watched channel in the United States after Fox News. It is the television of reference for the left. For this reason alone, CNN and Warner Bros. CEOs Licht and Zaslav, respectively, are considered some of the most influential professionals in the country.

The network saw its ratings fall steadily and had to eliminate the CNN+ streaming platform. Until Zaslav added CNN to his vast business empire. Under his leadership, the network managed to recover, leaving aside the partisanship of the previous executive and opting for a new image.

4. Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson Tonight is one of Fox News' flagship programs. It was the most watched program for years until his colleagues from The Five dethroned him. Despite this, it continues to outperform its competition in viewership and the presenter has a strong influence on the right-wing viewer. Fox Nation also dominates the on-demand service.

Through his rhetoric and image he has managed to charm the most conservative target and those who defend the MAGA movement. Even those who oppose his speech recognize his intelligence and skill on the air. His criticism of Ukrainian President Zelenski and his defense of the perpetrators of January 6 are well known.

5. Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist

Morning Joe has positioned itself as one of the leading opinion programs on television. The show's host, Joe Scarborough, along with Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist have achieved success through a very everyday show format: sitting around a table with a cup of coffee, they opine and discuss the news of the day with a long list of regular contributors.

This success has been achieved thanks to the different political positions present. Scarborough is a Republican and Brzezinski is a Democrat - despite their ideological differences, they are married. For his part, Geist brings humor and irony to the table. It does not manage to reach the audience level of its competitor Fox & Friends, but it does have a considerable sphere of influence. MSNBC has a diamond in its grill.

6. Sean Hannity

Hannity is, along with Tucker Carlson, the recognizable face of Fox. The Fox News anchor often outperforms his immediate competitors - CNN and MSNBC - in viewership and influence. Also on the radio, millions of listeners listen to him every day.

The journalist is a staunch Trump supporter. Thanks to the friendship he forged with the former president, his show skyrocketed in viewership and attracted all of Trump's followers.

7. Matt Drudge

The creator of The Drudge Report consolidates his place in Mediadite's ranking. Its news aggregator has been influencing society for more than 30 years and gained fame after uncovering the Monica Lewinsky scandal that led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

His level of influence has transcended journalistic boundaries. Billy Eichner played him in the series American Crime Story. In addition, two more Matt Drudge film projects have been announced.

8. Lester Holt, Norah O'Donnell, and David Muir

The three anchors of NBC, CBS and ABC's nightly newscasts captured nearly 20 million viewers last season. Thanks to this level of viewership, Holt, O'Donnell and Muir are the recognized faces of their respective television networks.

These are the 10 most influential communicators in the U.S. (2)

Great TV moments have been left with their viewers, such as Holt's interview with Attorney General Merrick Garland or Muir talking with Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenski about his country. O'Donnell interviewing a photojournalist who documented the murder of a Ukrainian family at the hands of Russian forces.

9. Maggie Haberman

The New York Times White House correspondent and CNN analyst became the gnat buzzing in the ears of the right and, above all, Trump supporters. It published several of this year's most important news stories, such as the Mar-a-Lago raid and the January 6 investigations.

In her book Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America she published different stories about Trump, such as that he allegedly flushed very important papers down the toilet.

10. Greg Gutfeld

The Fox News political comedian has been able to garner high ratings for the two hit shows he hosts: Gutfeld! and The Five. His comedy and political irony against leftist doctrine has established him as the leading host in this market segment, beating out the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and, often, Stephen Colbert.

Other important and reputable communicators have positioned themselves at the top of the ranking, such as Ben Shapiro, Jesse Watters or Whoopi Goldberg.

The role of the media and its influence

The information sector plays a fundamental role in the rule of law: it is the necessary tool for every citizen to be aware of what is happening in his country or in the world or to know the different points of view on any event. But this does not mean that every media outlet has a secure future, which is why they are constantly evolving along with the technological transformation.

The media will always be the fourth power in society, it has the ability to influence and guide the citizen in ideological, political and economic issues, however, what if it is the public that is gaining ground over the media? Nowadays, readers, listeners and viewers demand to be informed with greater immediacy and independence and to be allowed to participate. They also want to move away from politicization and manipulation. For these reasons, the information sector has had to adapt to new technologies, such as social networks, which make it possible to meet the public's desires. Supporters welcomed the possibility for the media and communicators to interact and demonstrate greater closeness with them.

This proximity of the traditional media through these new information channels has increased the power of influence of communicators over citizens.

These are the 10 most influential communicators in the U.S. (2024)
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