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POWER WOMEN: Diane von Furstenberg is more powerful than Anna Wintour — at least according to Forbes. The magazine’s new issue, online today, ranks the world’s most powerful women, and the designer is ranked 33rd, while the Vogue editor in chief comes in at number 51. The only other designer to make the list is Miuccia Prada, who is number 67.
Rankings like this rely on a dubious alchemy of hard facts, statistics and perceived influence. Forbes calculated its list by looking at money (a company’s market value and revenue), media presence (news hits on Factiva and radio appearances), and impact, or “the extent of their reach across industries and countries.”
This story first appeared in the August 22, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is considered the world’s most powerful woman — and why not, she has the economic future of Europe in her hands. Other media people who made the list include New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who debuts at number five, between Melinda Gates and Sonia Gandhi. Abramson is credited with captaining — Forbes’ word — the paper through “an ongoing digital transformation” and drawing more than 500,000 digital subscribers to the paper. Also in the top 25: ABC Television president Anne Sweeney (22) and anchor Diane Sawyer (23). Arianna Huffington is ranked 29th, while Time Inc.’s new chief executive officer, Laura Lang, makes her debut at number 44. Tina Brown is 77th, an upgrade from last year, when she came in at 81. Even though her magazine, Newsweek, faces continued criticism and questions over its financial future, Forbes considers Brown more powerful than Greta Van Susteren (94) and HSN, Inc. chief executive officer Mindy Grossman (96).
Falling off the list: former “Today Show” host Ann Curry, for obvious reasons.