The Grinch brings up the rear of this year's power player list
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51 TONY JONAS
LAST YEAR no. 56
President, Warner Bros. TV

AGE 46 Credits With Friends, ER, and Jesse, his company almost sets NBC’s Thursday schedule. Got record $13 mil per episode for ER. Put most new shows (eight) on the fall schedule; locked up key talent (ER exec producer John Wells, Drew Carey exec producer Bruce Helford) in long-term deals. Debits The Brian Benben Show‘s already bye-bye and Vengeance Unlimited‘s future looks limited. Will a Clooney-less ER stay healthy next year?

52 JODIE FOSTER
LAST YEAR no. 53
Actress-Producer

AGE 35 Credits Motherhood, which seems to have energized this super-choosy Oscar fave. She’s in negotiations to star in a non-musical version of The King and I for $15 million — a payday that puts her just behind Julia Roberts. Her production company, Egg Pictures, will hatch about half a dozen films in the next year. Debits This thoroughbred has a rep as a bolter: Don’t count on her doing anything until the ink’s drier than the Sahara.

52 JON FELTHEIMER, ANDY KAPLAN, AND ERIC TANNENBAUM
LAST YEAR 47/—/—
Exec. VP, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and President, Columbia TriStar TV Group; Exec. VP, Columbia TriStar TV Group; President, Columbia TriStar Television

AGES 46/37/35 Credits Sony’s TV trio is responsible for 34 shows, including hits Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek (overseen by Tannenbaum). They also haul in megabucks peddling Seinfeld reruns and control more than 25 channels worldwide, including espanol juggernaut Telemundo. Debits Mad About You and The Nanny are ripe for euthanasia; new shows Cupid and Fantasy Island are struggling.

54 DON IENNER
LAST YEAR —
Chairman, Columbia Records Group, and President, Columbia Records

AGE 47 Credits Claims best U.S. market share of any label, with Will Smith and Savage Garden quadruple platinum and Lauryn Hill headed there fast; getting Aerosmith to cover treacly Diane Warren ballad for Armageddon went a long way in recovering that notorious $30 mil investment; fourth-quarter lineup (with Bruce and Mariah) looks hot. Debits Smith and SG not exactly the ”heritage” stuff label prides self on; Maxwell’s second album fizzled.

55 TOM FRESTON
LAST YEAR no. 38
Chairman-CEO, MTV Networks

AGE 52 Credits With reinvigorated VH1 (hats off to president John Sykes), more than 30 million TV Land subscribers, and Nickelodeon’s prime-time expansion (not to mention Rugrats‘ box office prospects), Freston’s given the Viacom brass plenty to crow about. Debits The flagship, MTV: This season saw a slew of sketchy pilots; MTV head Judy McGrath’s decision to go more music-centric in a weak rock marketplace is risky.

56 PAUL ALLEN
LAST YEAR no. 74
Chairman, Vulcan Ventures

AGE 45 Credits One of Hollywood’s richest men sells Microsoft stock hand over fist; holds largest DreamWorks stake (24 percent; the founders each have 22 percent), part of USA Networks, U.S. Satellite Broadcasting, and miles of cable. This year’s annual Gatsbyesque bash was a reported $10 million Alaskan cruise (guests included Carrie Fisher, Bill Gates, and Candice Bergen). Debits Name an outsider Tinseltown hasn’t fleeced.

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