Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

50 Most Influential LGBT People in Media

Article excerpt

Donald Trump is in the White House, and Americans badly need a check on power, making the media more important now than ever before. LGBT people continue to gain influence in the media, so picking the top 50 most influential LGBT members of the media is challenging. We've only done it once before, in 2014.

First, we asked LGBT journalists who they'd pick. As we've done in the past, we left the meaning of "influential" open to interpretation. The responses seem to show that journalists value social media influence as much as everyone else does.

Only those media figures who are publicly out are eligible for this list, and we're glad to say that includes more people this time around. And as much as we appreciate our colleagues in LGBT media, this list consists of reporters and editors who produce for mainstream outlets on largely non-LGBT beats.

1. Rachel Muililim

Host, MSNBC's

The Rachel Maddow Show


Rachel Maddow defines MSNBC. In July, her show became the most watched in all of cable news because--even when the Donald Trump drama piles up and buries the rest of cable news--progressive Americans rely on Maddow for some perspective.

2. Anderson Cooper

Host, CNN's

Anderson Cooper 360


CNN's Anderson Cooper became the first out gay man ever to host a presidential debate because Americans trust him. Always objective, Cooper asks hard questions no matter whether he's interviewing Kellyanne Conway or is holding back tears at the Pulse tragedy.

3. Lydia Polgreen

Editor In Chief, Huff Post


Although it might not bear her last name, as the new editor in chief of Huff Post, Polgreen is a force for evolution at the first digital media enterprise to win a Pulitzer Prize. The once pioneering news source is now a stable and massive voice in liberal media, with Polgreen aggressively in the driver's seat.

4. Roxane Gay

Author and Contributing

Op-Ed Writer, The New York Times


A contributing editor at Bluestem Press and the founder of Tiny Hardcore Press, Gay is a renowned professor and commentator and New York Times contributor with several fiction and nonfiction books to her name. Her latest memoir, Hunger, delves into the intersection of trauma and her varied identities.

5. Charles Blow

Columnist, The New York Times


The election of Donald Trump has only emboldened Charles Blow as a voice of the Resistance. Whether it's because of his regular CNN appearances or his burgeoning social media influence, or just because he's so in sync with what's happening in progressive America, more people are listening now than ever before.

6. Robin Roberts

Anchor, ABC's

Good Morning America


A beloved figure in American media, the GMA anchor began her career in local sports journalism before becoming an ESPN sportscaster for 15 years. Having beat cancer twice, Roberts is also the host of the podcast Everybody's Got Something, in which she interviews celebrities and personalities in celebration of "resiliency."

7. Shepard Smith

Anchor, Fox News's

Shepard Smith Reporting


Late last year, just before the election and as Fox News seemed in questionable stability, Huffington Post wrote a profile asking, "Is Shep Smith The Future Of Fox News?" His signature fast-paced reporting attracts lots of viewers. But our favorite things are the enough-is-enough moments when Smith sounds off on the news and goes viral.

8. Harvey Levin

Founder and Executive

Producer, TMZ


You may have a hard time looking at Levin the same after he met with (and vaguely defended) Donald Trump back in March. Still, he lords over the gossip behemoth known as TMZ, breaking some of the biggest celebrity stories in the world, like Prince's untimely passing last year. …

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