Over the last decade, publishing has changed forever. From the advent of viral content and social media journalism to the ever-changing and diversifying platforms offered by traditional print media outlets, the way we consume content is more varied than ever before.
Thank goodness then, for the barons and media moguls at the helms of these brands, keeping a firm hand on the tiller of the publishing industry and steering us into ever more exciting waters. Here are 25 of the most influential…
Shane Smith, Executive Chairman of Vice Media
The kingpin of Vice Media – the self-professed anarchic alternative to media conglomerates like Fox and Time Warner – Smith is a billionaire, an unlikely media baron and in control of 21st Century Fox-backed entertainment empire.
Andrew Thomson, Director of DC Thomson
Current director of DC Thomson, Andrew Thomson is the man holding the reigns of Shortlist Media — the widely circulated, free-premium magazine brand with titles such as Shortlist, Stylist and Mr Hyde in their portfolio.
Pete Cashmore, CEO and founder of Mashable
CEO and founder of the popular blog Mashable, Pete Cashmore created the site from his bedroom in Aberdeenshire at just 19 years old. Less than ten years later, he made Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, most influential Briton in the world, and most influential Twitter user in the world.
Janine Gibson, Editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed UK
The former editor-in-chief of the Guardian US, Gibson was appointed to her current role at BuzzFeed in September 2015. Under her editorship, the site moved into more hard news and investigative features, unearthed suspicious deaths in the Kremlin and was shortlisted for a Pulitzer.
Will Hayward, Media Consultant
He may currently not be tied to a single company, but Hayward has had a big hand in steering online publishing over the last decade. He was a Vice President at BuzzFeed, before jumping ship to steer the boat at Dazed, and finally acting as the CEO of JOE Media for two years.
Jefferson Hack, CEO and co-founder of Dazed Media
In 1991, at the age of just 19, Jefferson Hack founded Dazed Media with photographer Rankin while at university. Today, the company’s portfolio includes the titular magazine, titles including Another Magazine and Another Man, and the global video channel Nowness.
Richard Desmond, Owner of Express Newspapers
It may not be Pulitzer-winning journalism, but Desmond is the man in charge of companies that publish celebrity magazines such as OK! and New!, as well as the Daily Star and Daily Express. They’re big sellers, and he controls much of our perception of celebrity.
Vanessa Kingori, Publishing Director of British Vogue
Both the youngest and the first female publisher of British GQ, Kingori is a mover and shaker at Condé Nast and continues to smash many a glass ceiling. Today, she is the Publishing Director of British Vogue — the first female and person of colour to hold the role in its century-long history.
Rupert Murdoch, Executive Co-Chairman of 21st Century Fox
Another titan of publishing, Murdoch has over time been in charge of The Sun, News of the World, The Times, HarperCollins, The Wall Street Journal, Sky and Twentieth Century Fox. It’s an impressive list, and he’s among the most influential on this list.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
You’ll likely know him as the CEO of Amazon, the man who made billions from online bookselling, but in 2013 he bought The Washington Post for $250 million — in cash.
Jonah Peretti, CEO of BuzzFeed
Peretti is not only the CEO of BuzzFeed — a feat that would earn him his spot on this list alone — but the 44-year-old is also a co-founder of The Huffington Post, the internationally-read American news and opinion website.
Justin Byam Shaw, Chairman of ESI Media
He doesn’t only own the Evening Standard — a newspaper that informs the opinions of every commuting Londoner as soon as a train dives into a signal-less tunnel, but Justin Byam Shaw is also the co-owner of the Independent. That’s a lot of news; that’s a lot of influence. Listen to the Gentleman’s Journal podcast episode with him here.
Edward Enninful, Editor of British Vogue
After holding the position of fashion director at i-D magazine, Enninful was confirmed as the new editor-in-chief of British Vogue last April. Jonathan Newhouse — elsewhere on this list — called him: “An influential figure in the communities of fashion, Hollywood and music which shape the cultural zeitgeist.”
Geordie Greig, Editor of The Daily Mail
Previously the editor of the Evening Standard and The Mail of Sunday, Greig is a powerhouse of British publishing. Just this month, he succeeded Paul Dacre as editor of the Daily Mail — one of Britain’s most-read daily newspapers.
Evgeny Lebedev, Owner of the Evening Standard, Independent, London Live
At just 38 years old, Lebedev owns the Evening Standard, Independent, and television channel London Live. He’s progressive, influential and has tried to bring a range of diverse — in age and ethnicity — voices to his various publications.
Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere, Chairman of DMG Media
Harmsworth is not only a Viscount, but also the man pulling the strings of the Daily Mail, having inherited the DMGT empire from his great-grandfather Harold. Hee’s known for being strong and principled in reporting on the news straight — despite attempted interference from many previous Prime Ministers.
John Witherow, Editor of The Times
A former journalist with Reuters, Witherow began editing The Sunday Times in 1994, before jumping to The Times in 2013. Since his appointment, the newspaper has won Newspaper of the Year — a testament to his talents.
Robert A. Sauerberg Jr, CEO of Condé Nast
Need we say more? Sauerberg heads up all of the brand’s strategic and day-to-day operations, while working closely with the board. He’s the man with more big-name magazines in his pocket that anyone else in the world — and has quite the influence as a result.
Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist
As the first female Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, Beddoes is considered one of the most influential voices in financial journalism. She has surveyed world economies, contributed chapters to several books and even provided expert testimony on the introduction of the Euro.
Jonathan Newhouse, Chairman of Condé Nast International
Another man pulling strings over at Condé Nast, Jonathan Newhouse has grown the international business of the American media giant by growing its portfolio of international editions — including Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Glamour — first in Western Europe and then in Asia and South America.
Fraser Nelson, Editor of The Spectator
With outspoken views on immigration, gay marriage and freedom of the press, Fraser Nelson has exercised his influence over much of British journalism — from his early career at The Times, through the red-top land of News of the World, to his current role as editor of The Spectator.
Alexander Solomou, Co-founder and CEO of LADBible
It’s the future of online publishing, and LADBible are at the very forefront of the social media journalism revolution. Solomou, who founded the platform in 2012, is committed to viral content and social video, used to provide news, entertainment and community to a global audience of young people.
Kevin Ma, Founder of Hypebeast
After founding Hypebeast in 2005, Ma’s website began to grow exponentially. By 2015, it would be amassing more than 46 million hits every month. Today, the the lifestyle, digital and streetwear focused site has also monetised its influence by opening a retail arm.
Martin Clarke, Publisher of the Daily Mail
Recently upped to publisher of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro newspapers, Clarke is a force to be reckoned with the in the world of UK publishing. Previously the editor-in-chief of DailyMail.com and MailOnline, this job is now held by a Fox News veteran, Noah Kotch.
Katharine Viner, Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian
We’ll forgive The Guardian’s recent redesign for taking inspiration from Gentleman’s Journal — seriously, log on to their site — but Viner has been a tour-de-force in British publishing. Winning a majority ballot from staff, she became the editor-in-chief of the daily in 2015.
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