The 2010 Watch List

A quick look at the 10 executives poised to break into next year’s Mediaweek 50
as well as those facing new challenges/opportunities.

1. Chase Carey, COO, News Corp.
The longtime aide de camp to Rupert Murdoch is coming back to the fold after running DirecTV successfully. Can he become the heir apparent to the sprawling News Corp. empire?

2. Mel Berning, executive vp, national ad sales, A&E TV Networks
The former MediaVest buyer has stewardship over two high-end reach vehicles in A&E and History, which together pull in more than $700 million in ad sales revenue; new acquisition Lifetime adds another $605.1 million to the pot.

3. Bill Wilson, president of AOL’s MediaGlow
AOL’s growing collection of niche sites, many of which are not AOL-branded, offer up the most promising aspect of the embattled portal’s business. Now Wilson needs to monetize it.

4. Dennis Woodside, head of sales, Google
Following Tim Armstrong isn’t easy—though it helps when you’re selling a product that already commands a 60 percent market share. Still, he needs to raise his profile on Madison Avenue.

5. Chris Jennewein, senior vp & publisher, Greenspun Media
Helped take the Last Vegas Sun newspaper and several other magazines online. With no core print product, he created a new online model that it calls “online first,” going beyond moving print to the Web with breaking news gaming, business real estate, news sports. Recently launched a daily TV show,

6. Owen van Natta, CEO, MySpace

The former chief revenue officer at Facebook, Van Natta’s well respected. But MySpace needs to recapture the buzz and ditch its low-rent social networking reputation fast.

7. Brian Buchwald, senior vp of local integrated media, NBC Local Media
Oversaw the relaunch and redesign and “locals only” branding for the NBC city Web sites. In beta since October 2008, the 10 city sites were conceived as an alternative to the typical TV site. The approach seemed to work—unique visits to the city Web sites increased from 5 million to 20 million in June.

8. Lou Cona, senior vp, Condé Nast Media Group

The company’s new corporate sales honcho, Cona has softened the group’s image, not previously known for its flexibility, with advertisers. Will it help turn around  sagging ad fortunes?

9. Stephanie George, executive vp, Time Inc., president of advertising sales and marketing.
As the point person to help invigorate the veteran publishing company’s ad sales, she’s off to a fast start with the creation of a digital ad sales network, individualized Mine magazine.

10. Liz Brixius and Linda Wallem, creators of Showtime’s Nurse Jackie
This pair scored a second-season renewal for Showtime’s most grownup series after just one episode. Starring the super-talented Edie Falco as a drug-addled, philandering nurse who somehow manages to remain the hero of the show, NJ was the highest rated new show in Showtime’s history, outperforming all originals in their first season.  

Related: Watch List 2009