Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper Lead The Advocate’s List of 50 Most Influential LGBTs in Media

By A.J. Katz 

The Advocate has released its list of 50 Most Influential LGBTs in Media. This is an endeavor the outlet has taken on only once before, in 2014.

Here’s how The Advocate created the list:

First, we asked a lot of LGBT journalists who they’d pick. As we’ve done in the past, we left the meaning of “influential” open to interpretation. The responses seem to show that journalists value social media influence, same as everyone else does.


A few caveats about who is eligible for the list: Only those media figures who are publicly out are included. We’re glad to say that includes more people this time around. And as much as we appreciate our colleagues in the LGBT news world, this list consists of reporters and editors who produce for mainstream outlets on largely non-LGBT beats.

The 2017 list is jam packed with some of the most esteemed television news figures in front of and behind the camera.

Rachel Maddow, whose show has climbed to No. 1 across cable news among adults 25-54 and was No. 1 across all measurements in July, takes the No. 1 spot on the list. Maddow was also No. 1 on The Advocate’s 2014 list.

Other TV newsers who made the top 10 include: AC 360 host Anderson Cooper at No.2, Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts at No. 6, Fox News chief news anchor Shepard Smith at No. 7, and CNN Tonight anchor Don Lemon at No. 9.

The other TV newsers to make the top 50:

  • 28. Javier Morgado, CNN New Day executive producer
  • 29. Mo Rocca, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent
  • 32. Steve Kornacki, MSNBC host and political correspondent
  • 38. Pete Williams, NBC News justice correspondent
  • 41. Thomas Roberts, MSNBC anchor
  • 44. LZ Granderson, CNN political commentator; ESPN senior writer
  • 49. Kyle Griffin, MSNBC The Last Word producer
  • 50. Gio Benitez, ABC News correspondent