The Pool (formerly the Four Seasons) continued to host some of the most influential in NYC last week, when top names in media toasted The Hollywood Reporter‘s 35 Most Powerful People in Media annual issue. Anna Wintour, Hamish Bowles, Megyn Kelly, Arianna Huffington, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Dr. Oz, Alina Cho, David Remnick, Don Lemon and more were joined by their pals outside the industry, including Julia Stiles, Zac Posen, Timo Weiland, Harvey Weinstein, and Dionne Warwick.
“This year, the big difference was that we viewed everything through the lens of Trump, because Trump is the story, the giant asteroid hovering over the entire media universe, and everyone is staring at it trying to figure out what to do,” THR editorial director Matthew Belloni told The Daily. “The people we knew had to be on the list were people who had been impacted by Trump…people like Rachel Maddow, whose ratings are way up, and Steven Colbert, who we decided to do the cover with because he’s had a complete turnaround. The Trump candidacy and then election have really given him an opportunity to find his voice, and the ratings show that he really has. He’s now beating Jimmy Fallon in total viewers.”
As for Belloni’s media idol? “I’ve always been a giant Oprah Winfrey fan, even when I was a kid. There’s nobody in media who owns their brand as much as [she does]. Everything she does, from the movie roles she takes to her show to her network to branding opportunities to her magazine, everything she touches is 100 percent consistent with the Oprah brand. I think that’s very difficult, and she does it with ease.”
Seeing how we were at The Pool, we polled Belloni on his last swim. “I was visiting my parents in Scottsdale, and the hotel we stayed at had a pool, and a lazy river!”
Also walking the carpet was The Lions model Cameron Russell (who hosted one of the most popular TED Talks), donning a silk pantsuit by Alejandra Alonso Rojas. “I wanted to come out and celebrate the media in times we need them to feel celebrated most and take risks,” she said, counting Maddow, Amy Goodman, Margaret Prescod [of “Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod”] and David Remnick as her go-tos.
We also caught up with Dr. Oz, who was chatty on the red carpet, arm in arm with his wife Lisa. “It’s one of the best parties of the year…It’s like a reunion! I get to talk to a lot of friends. And I like talking to people on the cutting edge. I find it illuminating but also enlightening,” he told us. As for his favorite newscasters, “I do The Today Show a lot, so I’m biased—Matt and Savannah!”