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In an industry ruled by handshakes and long lunches, the measure of power is not as simple as the plaque on your door. Some offices, such as network chief executives, wield influence by virtue of their roles.
Others are touched by ratings gold, have produced the most innovative and edgy programs or presided over long careers or vast slates.
Fairfax Media informally canvassed a panel of experts – critics, executives and industry insiders – to compile this list of the 75 most influential people in television.
It draws together the power partnerships, the deal-makers behind the deals, stars with contract-closing power, the agents who represent them, those with a luminous media presence and the myriad of players, producers and stakeholders who live in the shadows.
The network bosses
* Richard Freudenstein, chief executive, Foxtel
Steered a path of innovation towards a bigger audience and stronger profits.
* David Gyngell, chief executive, Channel Nine
Linked inextricably to Nine's DNA, and leads Nine in its new golden age.
* Tim Worner, chief executive, Seven Network
Built David Leckie's ratings-leader into a stronger, more robust business.
* Hamish McLennan, chief executive, Channel Ten
Grappling with a raft of inherited problems, but has presided over Ten's first gains in years.
* Mark Scott, managing director, ABC
Turned the national broadcaster into an innovative, multi-platform leader.
* Michael Ebeid, managing director, SBS
Evolved the multicultural broadcaster into an edgy, forward-thinking player.
* Bruce Gordon, chairman, WIN Television
Former Hollywood player who controls Australia's biggest regional TV network.
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