Welcome to the Media Power List. Starting today, every two weeks we'll be running a rundown of who's killing it in everyone's favourite dying industry.
15: 'BASIC WITCH' MAGAZINE
Everyone's a witch now. They have been for years. Basically, Basic Witch is the new Which?
14: 'TIDYING UP WITH MARIE KONDO' ON NETFLIX
The return of a classic TV format: scolding unhinged dirty people. Forget the bottom-inspectors of How Clean Is Your House, the greatest ever show about cleaning was Channel 4's Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners vs Hoarders, in which two mental illnesses were forced to battle it out for ultimate supremacy. Different times. In 2019, just putting that idea in your pitch deck is probably worth a short prison sentence. What few knew is that it was a fix all along; as anyone who has done a cursory dive into the data knows, hoarders are almost never cured. The mess is terminal, the tragedy all internal, and a few haggled wins over a stack of 1997 Radio Times won't stop it from coming back. Anyway: Marie Kondo's new show.
13: PAVEL PILNIK
The fake name of Giles Coren's rumbled troll account comes from a character in his novel. He used his Times email account to set it up. Pavel talked about "kikes", despite Giles being Jewish, then abused Giles in defence of Giles' wife. Now, Coren says he's "got lots of troll accounts". A mysterious and cack-handed act piece of self-abasement.
12: CHRIS EVANS
Sometimes it's just weird to remind yourself who he is and that he still exists. Like looking at your hands in the midst of a 2CB binge, and going: 'Wow… these… are… my hands.'
11: MEDIA PREDICTIONS FOR 2019
They're fucking everywhere. "Ever more politicians – though not journalists – will favour Instagram over Twitter." "Voice activation will come of age." "A return to personal authenticity." "A vast tide of redundancies, foaming crimson from horizon to horizon." Etc, etc.
10: MARK ZUCKERBERG'S ANNUAL PERSONAL CHALLENGE
One year he decided he would only eat meat he killed. One year he went to every state in the Union. One year he "built an artificial intelligence to control his smart home". This year, the aim is: "to host a series of public discussions about the future of technology in society – the opportunities, the challenges, the hopes, and the anxieties".
I mean, his emotional hearings in Congress last year melted all our hearts, so why not drive him around the country, sticking him on a stage in front of humans?
9: TERRORISTS TAKING 'THE DEATH OF NEWSPAPERS' LITERALLY
In December, the offices of Greek broadcaster Skai and the newspaper Kathimerini were bombed with 10kg of explosives. Leftists The Group of Popular Fighters have now claimed responsibility, accusing these right wing news outlets of "promoting a capitalist agenda in Greece" and "terrorising society [into believing] that beyond the EU there is nothing but chaos and hell". Quentin Letts would not come quietly.
8: JULIE BURCHILL
"Hey, it's Julie. Listen, I've got a New Year's pitch for you… Yep, same as last January."
7: LINDSAY LOHAN’S BEACH CLUB ON MTV
In which the part-time Muslim opens a bar in Mykonos and staffs it with the usual reality TV condoms full of walnuts. Sample quote: "When you meet your boss, don't show up in a bra." Inshallah. Early reviews suggest: Boring!
6: THE SELF-DRIVING BILLBOARD
According to Mashable: "In a 15-minute test in a commercial complex, the vehicle caught the attention of 1,000 people. Nearly 60 percent of viewers looked at the autonomous advertisement for more than five seconds, which PerceptIn considers a sign of being 'highly engaged'."
On the plus side, anti-obesity laws mean that if it is seen within 200 yards of a school gates, the local Robocop is legally allowed to shoot it.
5: PEWDIEPIE'S 'YOUTUBE REWIND 2018 BUT IT'S ACTUALLY GOOD'
Proof if needed that YouTube should always be a weird place, a natural home territory of dorks with armfuls of memes and mad After Effects skills. It is not the home of Will Smith and John Oliver doing a Fortnite dance.
4: SIR MARTIN SORRELL
The former boss of the world's biggest media company. He allegedly put some prostitutes on expenses? And that's now wrong in the media? Well, listen up, squares: this sassy gutsy sex-positive tycoon denies the prostitute allegations and is now returning with his own brand new media company, S4. Think of his comeback as Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps meets The Dirty Dozen, via SATC 2.
3: JD WETHERSPOON SPOOF ACOUNTS
Six months after the company unilaterally closed down all its social media, it has gone to the High Court to order Twitter to reveal the user behind a pair of JDW parody accounts. So let's get this straight once and for all: does social media matter, or doesn’t it?
2: SHIRU CAFE, RHODE ISLAND
Gets customers to hand over data instead of payment. Digital media companies – which have never offered free services in exchange for data – are appalled.
1: YUSAKU MAEZAWA
The founder of Japan's second-largest online shopping site, Zozo Inc, is now the most retweeted man in history. He beat out that guy who tweeted to Wendy's about wanting chicken nuggets.
How? Not by wit, nor politics, nor sexual misadventure, but by cold hard cash. He said he'd pay a total of 100 million yen (£72,000) to 100 random people who shared his post. Total spend of under a million pounds is dirt cheap advertising. By comparison, last year Colgate-Palmolive spent $1.5 billion. Look for this stuff to start taking over Twitter until it is an unusable swamp of these pricks. Which at least would make a change.