When the pandemic forced us all to seek refuge in March, we relied more than ever on TV, publishing and digital brands to connect with the outside world. So it’s no wonder that Adweek’s annual Hot List, which always recognizes the best in these three categories, is full of people and brands who were best when so many things seemed worst.
Take Adweek’s media visionary Reese Witherspoon, who turned Hollywood on its head by founding Hello Sunshine, a successful media company that focuses on female stories – for a variety of platforms.
Our TV Creator of the Year, Jon Favreau, got Disney + off to a hot start with The Mandalorian, while TV Manager of the Year, TLC President Howard Lee, showed that linear networks are still struggling.
Digital Creator of the Year Sarah Cooper turned her beloved lip-syncing of President Trump on TikTok and Twitter into a Netflix comedy special, and Digital Executive of the Year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, helps prosecute lies and hate speech on social media.
Our Publishing Directors of the Year – Substack co-founders Hamish McKenzie, Chris Best and Jairaj Sethi – are resurrecting a flagging industry, while Editor of the Year, Jeffrey Goldberg, cleverly expanded the Atlantic’s subscriber base and carried his own national news during the pandemic.
We also added new categories in this unprecedented year, including Hottest Pandemic Pivot, and added a fourth section to the Hot List: Brands.
Here are all of this year’s Hot List winners:
Adweek Media Visionary: How Reese Witherspoon turned Hollywood upside down // Reese Witherspoon Hello Sunshine is in a hot phase
TV hotlist: The biggest and liveliest shows, networks and people of the year
TV Creator of the Year: Jon Favreau’s first TV series made Disney + a powerhouse for instant streaming
TV Manager of the Year: During the battle of TLC’s cable competitors, boss Howard Lee brings record values
Game Changer of the Year: The only thing that scares Lovecraft Country Creator Misha Green is to play it safe
Publish Hot List: The print and media brands are facing the challenges of Covid-19
Publish Executives of the Year: Media newsletters are booming and Substacks co-founders lit the fuse
Editor of the year: Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic skilfully captains his team while spreading explosive news
Digital hot list: Platforms and innovators who connected us during Covid
Digital Executive of the Year: Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, leads charges against lies and hate speech on social media
Digital Creator of the Year: Sarah Cooper’s Trump Lip-Syncs turned the boredom of the pandemic into a career catapult
Brand hotlist: The companies and people who bravely stood out in a difficult year