Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Gayle King, Amber Ruffin spirit Questlove were among the stars celebrating the return of The Hollywood Reporter‘s New York Power Media party at The Pool in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday night.
This year’s Most Powerful People in Media party, presented by A + E Networks, was held in conjunction with the publication of THR‘s 10th list of the 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media and took place for the first time since 2019, a three-year gap during which much had changed.
After being hit hard at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City appears to be back in full swing, with this week also marking the first in-person upfronts since 2019 and various other pre-pandemic activities resuming.
The Today show’s Craig Melvin, who made this year’s power list with his fellow anchors on the NBC morning show, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, insisted, “New York’s back, baby!”
“New York always comes back,” he added THRexpressing skepticism over those who may have said over the past two years that the city would not return.
Fox Business’ Charles Payne expressed a similar sentiment, observing how the streets are crowded, train traffic is back up and the tourists will surely return, he said. “We’re getting on our feet,” he added.
Guthrie, who recently recovered after testing positive for COVID-19 over Mother’s Day weekend, was excited to be at an event, marveling, “It’s like no one’s been out for two years.”
Kotb seemed especially excited to attend this event, saying she was already getting “the vibe.”
“It always feels electric here,” she said.
Guthrie and Kotb posed for photos with Jenna Bush Hager, with the women cheering each other on as they broke apart for solo pictures.
Speaking to THRthe Today hosts shared that their supportive dynamic is what really fuels them, observing that “friendship” and “lift[ing] women up ”is the real power. Kotb emphasized that she’s Guthrie’s biggest fan, saying that when her fellow anchor lands an interview, she feels good.
Inside, guests seemed ready to party like it’s 2019, crowding in elbow to elbow for conversation and cocktails.
Early on in the night, Guthrie, Kotb and Bush Hager stopped for a quick catch-up and group photo with Geraldo Rivera, who then swiftly snuck out after the photo.
Ninety-two-year-old gossip maven Cindy Adams parked herself just outside the entrance with a notepad so she could get a good look at the starry guest list.
Inside, Brooke Shields and Caroline Rhea were seen sharing drinks and conversation, with Shields ‘daughter Rowan – who Shields’ had praised on the carpet – in tow.
Towards the end of the night, Don Lemon was seen sharing drinks and smiles with Maye Muskone of the night’s most sought-after guests fresh off of her Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover, in front of The Pool’s glittering pool.
Ruffin (who was also among those seen with Musk), Charlamagne tha God and Questlove were in orbit all night. The NBC late-night host and Charlamagne embraced with smiles soon after his arrival, before he moved to one of the room’s more private corners for a quieter, more subdued discussion with Questlove.
Honorees Ben Smith, Lawrence O’Donnell and Brian Stelter were also spotted deep in conversation inside the party.
Earlier, Ruffin told THR that being on this year’s media power list is “pretty unbelievable.”
“We spent so much time in a pandemic it was kind of like performing in a vacuum,” Ruffin said, observing that the recognition, “feels like somebody heard it.”
Back in the arrivals area, Gayle King was spotted paging through this week’s issue of THR, perusing the power list. Here CBS Mornings co-host and fellow media power list honoree Nate Burleson said, “Is that Gayle King?” before joining her. The two later chatted with Tony Dokoupil and his wife Katy Tur.
Kotb and Tina Brown also greeted the CBS contingent at the door.
The three CBS Mornings anchors posed for photos together and then were surprised by new CNN CEO (and CBS alum) Chris Lichtwho greeted them by marveling at the “CBS This Morning crew. ” King grabbed him and insisted that Light is “true power.”
Dokoupil and Tur were later spotted working the room.
Other guests at the event included talk show host Tamron Hall, The View‘s Sunny Hostin, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, 60 Minutes‘Bill Whitaker, conservative pundit Ann Coulter and Good Morning America‘s Amy Robach, TJ Holmes and Ginger Zee.
This event was held in accordance with local health and safety guidelines.
Abbey White and Jackie Strause contributed to this report.