Nine broadcasting luminaries were celebrated at the Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts event in New York Thursday. Held at Gotham Hall, Nightline anchor Juju Chang hosted. The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation hosted the event.
Former CBS Evening News co-anchor Connie Chung, CBS Television Stations President Peter Dunn, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, PBS President/CEO Paula Kerger, Urban One CEO Alfred C. Liggins III, Patrick Communications founder Larry Patrick, The CW President Mark Pedowitz, Advanced Television Systems Committee President Emeritus Mark Richer and Premiere Networks President Julie Talbott were named Giants.
Chung shared a bit about getting a one-on-one with President Nixon in the midst of his Watergate mess. Doing a full impersonation, she spoke of Nixon asking the young reporter how much money she made. “Just remember one thing,” she said Nixon said. “You have to make more money!”
Chung admitted she was a bit confused by the interchange. “To this day, I don’t know what he said,” said Chung. “And that’s the way it was.”
Juju Chang then resumed hosting duties. “We expect impressions from all of you,” she quipped.
She spoke about Peter Dunn getting lost at the massive CBS Broadcast Center as a kid, visiting his father at work. “I still get lost at the CBS Broadcast Center,” said Dunn.
He admitted he wasn’t used to being labeled a giant. “Being here today makes me feel a few inches taller,” said Dunn.
Next up, Holt admitted he “broke a lot of rules along the way,” and did not enjoy a formal journalism education. “I made some spectacular mistakes and miscues,” he said. “Thank God there was no YouTube.”
He urged those in the room to “spot the raw talent” in their shops, and “make them better.”
Pedowitz, for his part, said he wasn’t a giant of anything, except, perhaps, “a giant pain in the ass” to those he works with. He said he was a little uneasy at the podium, preferring to “let the work speak for itself.”
Pedowitz said his longevity in broadcasting is an asset. “If you survive in this industry long enough,” he said, “someone might notice you.”
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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.