POWER GRID – Newspaper/Online Editors: Who the Heck is Brian Lam?


o-edPerhaps you’ve noticed our Power Grid, wherein we rank a whole bunch of media people based on an algorithm that uses metrics like circulation, online buzz, and hair cuts (kidding!), though Twitter followers are a category (it’s the new PR!).

Today we look at the top ten results of our Newspaper/Online Editors category. Turns out it’s actually a pretty solid snapshot of the changing, and unchanging, face of media this year. While some of our other category leaders have caused a bit of a stir the fact that the New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller is riding high in the #1 spot will probably not come as a shock. Despite the Times well chronicled financial difficulties it is the media powerhouse. So let’s go a little further down the list! Actually, we have to go all the way to number four before we get out of the Times. Why is this? Mostly because, unlike many other print giants, the Times has devoted so much energy to their online presence they dominate there as well as in print. Also, the lack of firewalls helps (WSJ ME Robert Thomson lands at #6).

At #4 we find Arianna Huffington, who doesn’t edit so much as aggregate, but such is the new world of media that as far as media power is concerned aggregating is as influential as reporting! Speaking of online forces, Gawker’s Nick Denton makes his second appearance on our grid (he’s a #27 mogul!) clocking in at #9 just ahead of the New York Post’s Col Allan. So perhaps the question you are left asking is “who the heck is Brian Lam?” Or! What is Gizmodo? (Answer: Lam is the Editorial Director there). And why is Lam #8?!

And here is where we arrive at the trickiness and genius of our power grid, because what is influence? Gizmodo is part of the Gawker media empire and happens to be their most trafficked site. It’s “an online review dedicated to gadgets, gizmos, and cutting-edge consumer electronics.” It has nothing to do with ‘Capital J’ journalism and yet here it is, just one spot down from WaPo‘s editor Marcus Brauchli!

Want to know why? It’s their Google Buzz (only Perez Hilton and Andrew Sullivan rank higher in that particular category by the way….the Internet makes for strange bedfellows!). Everyone is talking and linking and blogging about Gizmodo. So much more than any of the newspaper sites that it’s landed the Gizmodo editor in our top ten. An affront to “real” journalism everywhere? Or just an affront to their understanding how the Internet works. Or maybe just further proof that chatter equals power.

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