A different Brian Williams, a high school newspaper, the latest “Jeopardy!” steamroller and more. – Poynter

Here is my Poynter Power Rankings: a look at those people, places and things that have had a big impact on the media. They were the movers, shakers and influencers of the week.

Just when we thought it was safe to return to our lives, we got slapped in the face by something called an omicron. The new variant of COVID-19 sent chills up our collective spines and made us rub our temples so we could get back to square one when it comes to the pandemic. Are we overreacting? Under-reaction? What do we need to know? As always with the coronavirus, information is crucial at this time. Time and time again, TV networks have called on those who have been our most trusted voices – Dr Anthony Fauci, Dr Ashish Jha, Dr Sanjay Gupta of CNN – to give us the latest information. Their expertise is still as valuable as ever. A lot of people on TV are talking about COVID-19. But these are the people to listen to.

Buckner has been an accomplished sports writer since 2002. In September, The Washington Post appointed her as a sports columnist for, as he put it, “focusing on how sport shapes and informs our understanding of culture and society.” She’s off to a great start, writing strong columns on the body shame of basketball star Zion Williamson, the homecoming at Howard University and the NBA star Kyrie Irving’s sometimes dangerous outspokenness. His strongest column to date was this week about another NBA player: “Enes Kanter Freedom, off the bench and on Fox News, is a real American now. “ Not that there is any doubt, but it’s clear the Post made a smart move in asking Buckner to become a columnist.

Give CNN credit for taking Chris Cuomo off the airwaves as he investigates whether he crossed the line in aiding his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has been accused by 11 women of sexual misconduct. Now, before he gave CNN too much credit, he was a day late in removing Chris from his prime-time show. News that Chris could have been more involved than originally thought fell on Monday afternoon and Chris was on the air that night. It shouldn’t have happened. But he hasn’t been there since. It will be interesting to see what CNN does. It’s going to be criticized anyway, but you have to think the heat will be greater if Chris is finally allowed to return to the air and his prime-time show. If that happens, CNN’s credibility will take a hit and Chris’s credibility may never recover in the minds of many.

Miller – who wrote the definitive books on “Saturday Night Live,” ESPN, and the Creative Artists Agency – has a comprehensive new book on another media giant: HBO. It is called “Tinderbox: The Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers in HBO” and features interviews with over 750 people on one of the most influential networks in television history. Miller explores HBO from humble beginnings to producing some of the most iconic TV series of all time, including “The Sopranos”, “Game of Thrones”, “Sex and the City” and “The Wire”. (The list of shows could go on and on.) Miller also examines how sports (Wimbledon and boxing, in particular) have helped develop the HBO brand. Miller has been on the sports media podcast tour for the past week and you can hear insightful interviews he did with The Ringer’s Bill simmons, Athleticism Richard Deitsch and Sports Illustrated Jimmy traina.

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The ultra-talented Louis Vuitton menswear designer and founder and CEO of Off-White died of cancer on Sunday. He was 41 years old. Tributes have been numerous, including CNN’s Nick Remsen with “” Virgil was here: “In Virgil Abloh’s last show for Louis Vuitton”; for Esquire, Mitchell S. Jackson with “Virgil Abloh made clothes for him at 17. I wear them for myself at 17.; and Cady Lang of Time Magazine with “5 ways Virgil Abloh’s influence has gone beyond the realm of fashion. “ But the most impressive memory came from the Styles section of the New York Times, which published a special issue on Abloh on Thursday. It includes parts of Jon Caramanica, Guy Trebay, Gina Cherelus, Jessica testa, Andre Wheeler, Anna P. Kambhampaty and Vanessa Friedman. The Times even adorned the Thursday Styles logo on the letterhead printed in quotation marks, in honor of Abloh’s signature style.

I must salute the Tampa Bay Times, owned by Poynter, in particular reporters Corey G. Johnson, Rebecca Woolington and Eli Murray. They wrote the third part of their “Poisoned” series that revealed how a lead factory polluted a neighborhood in Tampa. Yes, it’s a story that affects only part of the country, but it’s a good example of the importance of local journalism.

A reader of the Poynter Report (who happens to be in the network news business) sent me a note on the Pelham Examiner in the New York suburb of Pelham, New York. The Examiner is the school newspaper at Pelham Memorial High School and consists of 42 staff, ages 10-18. But it’s more than a school newspaper. As the Karen Hansen of the Freedom Forum writes, The Independent Reviewer “isn’t just a fun after-school program to put on college applications. It’s essentially the only newspaper in town, which publishes information, according to Russello, that people simply wouldn’t know otherwise. Learn about Hansen’s story and most importantly be sure to check out the Pelham Examiner website. And my colleague from Poynter, Kristen Hare, wrote about the examiner and her coronavirus coverage. This is good stuff!

No no this Brian Williams. I’m talking about one of the greatest sports broadcasters of all time in Canada who is retiring after 50 years in the business. Williams worked for the CBC from 1974 to 2006, then to CTV and TSN from 2006 to today. He also worked in radio stations in Toronto. In 2011, he was appointed to the Order of Canada, not only for his career in broadcasting, but also for his charitable work. He was best known for his prime-time anchoring of the Olympics, as well as for his work on the Canadian Football League shows. But he’s covered many other sports – the NHL, Major League Baseball, golf, figure skating, skiing, horse racing, IndyCar, and other international games. In a statement, Williams said, “Looking back on my career what is most significant is that I have had the privilege of working with so many wonderful and talented people on radio and television. Over the past 50 years, I have been fortunate to cover so many great athletes and incredible events, both at home and abroad. I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone.

What’s that with “Jeopardy!” this season? We have already seen several competitors qualify for the Tournament of Champions by winning at least five consecutive matches. That includes Matt Amodio, who started the season with a 38-game winning streak that stretched back to last season. The latest unstoppable player is Amy Schneider, a 42-year-old engineering executive from Oakland who is the first transgender contestant for “Jeopardy!” history of qualifying for the Tournament of Champions. She wore a trans flag pin on one of the shows. she tweetedThe point is, I don’t often think about being trans, and so when I appear on national television, I wanted to accurately represent that part of my identity: as important, but also relatively minor. But I didn’t want it to sound like some kind of shameful secret, either. Schneider crushes him in the series, with most of his games being runaways. She has now won 12 games in a row and earned nearly half a million dollars, which puts her among the top seven wins in the regular season. Schneider told the Washington Post’s Emily Yahr, “I thought I was pretty good, and I thought I could win three or four games if things went well. I was like, “I might win a few, or have some bad luck in the first game and not win and that would be what it is.” Winning 10 and counting – that’s definitely higher than the top of my internal expectations. The race of elite players, including that of Schneider, helped “Jeopardy! »Get back on his feet following the accommodation controversies after the death of Alex Trebek.

Maybe it’s a click trap, maybe it’s like eating ice cream instead of veg, and you can call me a sucker, but sign me up for all the end lists. year – movies, music, TV shows. And this is the month they all go out. Some of them can be pretentious (I mean, damn it, have you seen NPR’s Best Music List that I linked to Thursday?). Some can be quite basic. Some can be quite obscure, like the one from The New York Times “The best wine books of the year.” But I still love them. And here’s more today: The New York Times with the “Best albums of 2021”; The New Yorker “Best films of 2021”; IndieWire “The 25 best films of 2021”; and Paste Magazine’s “The 50 best albums of 2021.” Keep them coming, people.

Do you have any comments or advice? Email Tom Jones, Poynter Media Editor, at [email protected]

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