Heard At the B&C Hall of Fame 2010

Broadcasting & Cable celebrated its 20th Hall of Fame Oct. 27 at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC. Here are some of the best musings from this year’s honorees Wednesday night.

  • Jim Bell, Executive Producer, the Today show (on behalf of Today)

It was a late night for the Today show crew. Accepting the show’s Hall of Fame award at nearly 9 p.m., executive producer Jim Bell observed: “we don’t get to go out at night very often.”

Bell noted Today’s more than 28,000 episodes, its countless milestone interviews and stable of A-list hosts and anchors.

“Since 1952 the Today show has been pretty much pulling off the impossible.”

Bell also acknowledged outgoing NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, who was in attendance at the Waldorf-Astoria.

And he noted that Today is the first “live news program” to be included in B&C’s Hall of Fame.

In conclusion, Bell added: “Good night. And in a very short few hours from now, good morning.”

  • Del Bryant, President & CEO, BMI

“There is no better time to have your mother-in-law present than when you’re being inducted into a hall of fame.”

“(Speaking of Phil Everly) I’m so proud of the art that he, his brother and my parents created.”

  • Landel Hobbs, Chief Operating Officer, Time Warner Cable

In thanking his family, Hobbs noted “At work I can solve most problems. My daughters — I don’t have a clue.”

He also acknowledged his peers at Time Warner Cable, saying “I never forget that I work for 47,000 people, not the other way around. I wouldn’t be here without all those folks and what I learned from them.”

  • Raymond Joslin, Founder and former President, Hearst Entertainment & Syndication

“I’d like to thank B&C for inducting me into the (Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame) class of 2010, after all these years of my picture hanging in the post office.”

“I truly believe our lives and fortunes are shaped by the choices we make…We do create our own good luck.”

  • Paul Karpowicz, President, Meredith Local Media Group

Paul Karpowicz was quick to thank his wife of 30 years, Lisa, for her dedication and inspiration as her husband traveled the country managing Meredith’s stations. He also credited his parents, Ray and Ginny, for teaching him his values–and the importance of local television, as Ray once ran a station group. “I truly couldn’t have done it without you guys,” he said.

At 86, Ray still offers considerable insights, said his son. For a peek at next week’s episode of [Bleep] My Dad Says, Paul suggested stopping by the Karpowiczs’ table to see his father in action.

Stations’ reach in the community, thanks to multicasting and the Web, has never been so vast, said Karpowicz. “I’m very excited about the future,” he added.

  • Debra Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BET Networks

“Wow. Wolf Blitzer and Diddy — that’s pretty impressive. And I thought being the only woman honored tonight was it.”

  • Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports

Sean McManus, the son of legendary sportscaster Jim McKay and newspaper reporter Margaret Dempsey, noted that his positions as the president of both CBS News and CBS Sports has allowed him to work in the most “thrilling” (sports) and “worthwhile” (news) milieus of the industry.

“I have been so incredibly fortunate to spend my career in the two most important venues in this organization,” he said. “How lucky I am to have existed in both of these worlds at the same time.”

McManus thanked his many mentors through the years including the late Roone Arledge, IMG’s Barry Frank and Mark McCormack, NBC’s Jeff Mason and Don Ohlmeyer and CBS CEO Leslie Moonves.

McManus also thanked his wife Tracy and children Maggie and Jackson as well as his parents.

“I am still trying to live up to the example they set in their personal and professional lives.”

  • Jon Nesvig, President, Sales, Fox Broadcasting Co. and Executive VP, Fox Television

When CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz introduced the final inductee, Jon Nesvig, president for ad sales for Fox Broadcasting, he noted that most of the network’s brass was supporting their colleague in New York rather than attending the World Series in San Francisco.

Nesvig thanked the crowd, dotted with top ad buyers and ad sales executive for staying until the end of the program. He also noted that while he was the first salesman to get into the Hall of Fame, there are other worthy candidates in the industry and in the room. “I hope you give them some future consideration” he said.

He added that while he competes with other salesmen, “we still come together on worthy causes,” notably the cancer research fund Nesvig set up in honor of his son, who died of lymphoma.

  • Tony Ponturo, Chief Executive Officer, Ponturo Management Group LLC

“I started out in 1974 as an NBC page, the same year that Saturday Night Live started. They’re still around and someone else is still around.”

“Working on Lombardi, I think a lot about this quote: ‘A lot of things would be possible if people didn’t think they were impossible.’”

  • Marc Pritchard, Global Marketing and Brand Building Officer, Procter & Gamble (on behalf of P&G)

Mark Pritchard, global marketing and brand building officer for inductee Procter + Gamble, said the nation’s biggest advertiser believes its products aim to “improve everyone’s life in small but meaningful ways.” And another way to improve people’s lives is by investing in entertainment on TV. “We know that brands are judged by the company they keep,” he said, adding that it takes “great programming to build great brands.”

  • Henry Schleiff, President and General Manager, ID, Military Channel and HD Theater

Schleiff was his usual joking self when accepting his B&C Hall of Fame award Wednesday night. Referring to his tribute video, he said “Thank you David [Zaslav] and Dick [Parsons] for saying those nice things about me — that I wrote for you.”

He also added “This evening we tend to look at the past, but I am so much more excited about what the future holds — for me. They say there’s no ‘I’ in team, but there is in ‘Schleiff’!”

  • Robert Wehling, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

2010 Lifetime Achievement Award winner Robert Wehling mentioned the word “lucky” repeatedly in his induction speech, saying he was lucky to work in such a vibrant industry, he was lucky to work with ground-breakers and innovators such as fellow 2010 inductee, Fox President of Sales Jon Nesvig, and, perhaps most of all, he was lucky to have a “great partner” in his wife, Carolyn.

Wehling also mentioned the tremendous growth of the TV industry during his 41 years at the packaged goods giant, as the landscape grew from three networks to hundreds of channels. He was lucky, he said, to be there to see it grow.

  • Tony Werner, Executive VP and Chief Technology Officer, Comcast Cable

Tony Werner, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Comcast, noted how different the industry was when he was “lucky enough” to be offered his first job in the cable industry just out of college.

“There were three national broadcast networks and just a handful of cable networks,” said Werner. “Boy have things changed since then.”

The industry has evolved to encompass multiple platforms and offerings and has literally “changed the way we communicate.”

“This is a great industry with a fantastic history and an amazing future and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Marisa Guthrie, Jon Lafayette, Michael Malone, Robert Edelstein and Andrea Morabito contributed to this report.