Brian Williams Among Broadcast 'Giants' Saluted

Ten broadcast giants were celebrated for being, well, broadcast giants in midtown Manhattan today. The Library of American Broadcasting toasts the best in broadcast TV history each year at the Grand Hyatt, and this year’s honors went to Christiane Amanpour, James Arness, Rick Buckley, CBS Sunday Morning’s braintrust, including the Charleses, Osgood and Kuralt, John F. Dille III, Brian Lamb, Dawson “Tack” Nail, Frederick S. Pierce, Frances Preston and Brian Williams.

As is his m.o., Charles Osgood saluted the crowd in poesy. On what it would be like to be Charles Kuralt, he said: “I gladly would/But no one could/No one else could be that good.”

Osgood thanked the crowd, and Sunday Morning viewers, for hearing the show’s signature trumpet call–”and keep on coming back for more.”

The posthumous awards drew emotional acceptance speeches from the inductees’ families, including the loved ones of Tack Nail and Rick Buckley, who died earlier this year.

Brian Williams, almost as renowned for his witty ballroom speeches as he is for anchoring NBC’s evening newscast, thanked hosts Don West and Bill Baker for the “beautiful blue satellite earth station” they’d given him as part of his induction. He then went on to explain precisely why he was not a Giant, from dropping out of college to working at the NAB office in Washington for $14,000 a year, and fielding calls from the likes of fellow inductee Tack Nail, then of Communications Daily.

“It’s a joy to work in this industry,” said Williams. “I’m the one who pinches myself the most often. I’ve got the greatest job in the world, and this is what our industry is all about.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.