Oprah Winfrey named most powerful woman in entertainment

Mumbai: Harpo, Inc. chairman and popular television host Oprah Winfrey has been named the most powerful woman in entertainment on The Hollywood Reporter’s 17th annual Women in Entertainment: Power 100 special issue, honoring the top 100 women in the motion picture and television industries.

Following Winfrey are Disney Media Networks co-chairman Anne Sweeney at the second spot and Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman and Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group chairman Amy Pascal.

"The decision to place Oprah at the top of the list was based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded media and her immense cultural influence. Today’s most powerful woman in entertainment might just be the most influential woman in America," said Hollywood Reporter editor-in-chief Elizabeth Guider.

Winfrey is the most notable shift on the list, moving up from 2007’s number six spot. Of last year’s top ten nine are making their third or greater consecutive appearance with MGM’s Mary Parent the only newcomer making her first appearance on the list.

Amongst the others that feature on the The Top 10 in the Power 100 list are as follows: CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group president Nancy Tellem, DreamWorks SKG co-chairman and CEO Stacey Snider, USA Network and Sci Fi Channel president Bonnie Hammer, MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath, Motion Picture Group MGM chairperson worldwide Mary Parent, 20th Century Fox Television chairman Dana Walden and CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler.

As in the past, this year’s issue also ranked the Top 10 actresses by salary. Though the industry has seen prices drop for both male and female stars, there are still a handful of actresses, some relative newcomers, who can command multiple millions to make a picture. Last year’s No. 2, Angelina Jolie claimed the top spot from top earner Reese Witherspoon. Julia Roberts claimed No. 2, even after a long absence from the screen, earning $15 million-plus for Duplicity. Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz are at No. 3 and 4 respectively, while screen-novice Katherine Heigl made her first appearance on the list at No. 5.

This year’s program included a Q&A with Winfrey, Pascal and Sweeney moderated by Guider and Oscar-nominated actress Sigourney Weaver.