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The television industry has seen more than its share of fleeting success stories; finding enduring legends is another matter entirely. And in our celebration of 80 years of putting out B&C, we felt it appropriate to choose -- from among some stellar, accomplished names -- a group of "8 Over 80" that to us truly define Ben Franklin's advice to "Work as if you were to live a hundred years." Based on their continued success and work ethic, these octo- and nanogenarians seem ageless.
The founder (in 1973) and chairman of Cablevision Systems Corp. just turned 85 and still runs -- with his son James -- one of the nation's leading media companies. Along with a company that serves the New York metropolitan area and four western states, Dolan also sits atop Madison Square Garden -- and the New York Knicks -- and Newsday; the man also founded HBO. You liked The Sopranos? You gotta thank this guy.
Brought on to WDEF Chattanooga in 1940 because of his deep voice -- he was discovered while working at a gas station -- Masingill may be the only broadcaster to have reported both the Pearl Harbor and Sept. 11 attacks. He currently hosts a morning show on WDEF radio and does morning segments on WDEFTV via remote, before coming in to the office to do noon and 6 p.m. general-interest segments. Oh, by the way: he's 90.
It would be hard to name any figure in the industry that wields more power than the 80-year-old founder, chairman and CEO of News Corp. His empire -- despite the recent cross-pond scandal -- remains historic and extraordinary, and includes Fox, Twentieth Century Fox and Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
He may be "Only One Man!" as his autobiography suggests, but there's is no reason to believe the perennially busy Reege will fade into the sunset after his Live! With Regis and Kelly departure, which came and went last week. Philbin, 80, has nearly 60 years in the business, including talk and music shows and reviving the game-show genre with the 1999 premiere of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
This 88-year-old is atop CBS and Viacom, which includes some of the most vital cable networks appealing to people less than half his age, including Comedy Central, MTV and BET. His oversight also includes Paramount Pictures and the National Amusements theater chain.
The dean of American baseball sportscasters has been the voice of the Brooklyn turned Los Angeles Dodgers since 1950 -- back when Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson were part of a great doubleplay combo. Scully's is the longest professional sportscasting run in history. Yet it's a credit to the nearly 84-year-old legend that this fact barely scratches the surface of his accomplishments and famous calls.
The first female coanchor of an evening news show -- in 1976, with Harry Reasoner on ABC -- Walters opened an incredible number of doors for women in television news. Now 82, she is the calm center of The View, and until 2010, she spent 29 years making stars cry on Oscar night.
She will turn 90 in January, which is when the national treasure and, according to one poll, America's most famous and trusted personality, is set to host her new reality show, Betty White's Off Their Rockers. Beyond classic roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, her current schedule of appearances and the series Hot in Cleveland would exhaust most performers regardless of age.
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