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VANITY FAIR RELEASES LIST OF TOP ENTERTAINMENT EXECS
List Already Unfair To The Vanity Of Many
Obviously marketshare and future online endeavors in the music industry don't really matter to Vanity Fair, as the magazine ranked the top entertainment executives, resulting in much water-cooler talk and many bruised egos.

Music titans Doug Morris (Universal), Thomas D. Mottola (Sony), Jimmy Iovine (Interscope/Farmclub), Richard Parsons (Warners), Roger Ames (Warners) and Ken Berry (EMI) are among those excluded by the magazine's high-profile yearly list of the top 50 most powerful entertainment leaders. BMG's Strauss Zelnick, however, made the cut at No. 39, which will irk others for sure.

This year, Vanity Fair's report, subtitled "the top leaders of the information age," recognized executives involved in new technology as well as those who hold power in the traditional entertainment business.

While there were many noticeable exemptions, the magazine did acknowledge the potential power of a combined AOL-Time Warner. Many of the merged company's ruling brass made the list, including Steve Case, who came in at No. 1, Gerald Levin at No. 4, Ted Turner at No. 14 and Bob Pittman at No. 15.

Case, the designated chairman of AOL-TW, jumps from sixth to first, besting perennial topper Microsoft's Bill Gates, who came in second this year after four years as the top dog.

Viacom Chairman/CEO Sumner Redstone finished strongly at No. 3 what with the FCC clearing his company's purchase of CBS. Levin, who will take on the role of CEO, AOL-TW, remains at No. 4 for the second year in a row, while News Corp. honcho Rupert Murdoch drops from second to fifth.

Among those dabbling in the music industry to land in the elusive top 50 were Disney's Michael Eisner lands at No. 10; DreamWorks partner/director Steven Spielberg at No. 11; DreamWorks partner and music legend David Geffen at No. 13; Amazon's Jeff Bezos at No. 24; Sony's Howard Stringer at No. 25; Viacom's Mel Karmazin at No. 26; DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg at No. 30; MTV's Tom Freston at No. 33; and Seagram's Edgar Bronfman Jr. at No. 45.

While Morris, Iovine and Mottola were not listed individually, Morris and Iovine were mentioned as key to Bronfman's success, while Mottola was included in the assessment of Stringer's potential.

Those included on the list are ranked based on "power, influence and billions," and mixed with an "x" factor combination of "leadership, charisma and style," Vanity Fair said.

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