TV's biggest players gathered to induct 10 of their own into B&C's Hall of Fame at the magazine's 15th annual awards ceremony at New York's Waldorf Astoria.
The inductees each took to the stage to accept their awards, with speeches as different as the people who gave them.
Dick Ebersol, chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics, gave a touching tribute to his wife, actress Susan Saint James, whom he met while working with Saturday Night Live when she was the show's second guest host, thanking her and his family for their support after a plane crash took the life of his 14-year-old son, Teddy, in April. (Teddy, Ebersol later said, were he at the event, would have kept his father in place by reminding him he was "Dick, head...of NBC Sports."
Cristina Saralegui, host and executive producer of The Cristina Show, describing the difficulties of making global television in Spanish and then acknowledged her heritage saying her "big mouth is Cuban but my freedom of speech is American."
Anne Sweeney, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney-ABC Television Group, remembered her days as an ABC page when, dressed in a blazer-and-skirt uniform, she was thrilled just to be able to wave at Barbara Walters. Now, she explained, she can wear whatever she wants and call up Walters whenever she feels like it.
Michael Willner, president and CEO of Insight Communications, thanked family and colleagues after vowing to seek revenge on whoever picked out the pictures and nostalgic tune from his elementary school to play during his video tribute.
Tom Joyner poked fun at the award's size saying "for such a big honor, this is a very small award." He dedicated the award to his business partner and longtime radio executive, David Kantor, for helping "supersize" his service to an African-American audience.
Dennis Swanson, president, station operations, Fox Television Station Group, said he was "lucky they invented television while I was in the adult working world," and expressed hope that he had a couple more years to add to his half century in the business at Fox --which he just joined from Viacom--before he ventured off into a retirement of fishing.
Ken Lowe, president and CEO, The E.W. Scripps Co., thanked his Scripps family as well as his parents, who traveled to New York for the first time ever to see him feted.
Steve Mosko, president, Sony Pictures Television, said that while sports hall of fame inductions usually signify the end of players' careers, he was lucky enough to be able to get up tomorrow and continue going to work and build on that career.
Dick Parsons, chairman & CEO, Time Warner, kept the crowd laughing with a story about attending the 1995 Oscars after he had joined Time Warner as president. His visions of having finally "made it" were shattered when someone announcing arrivals looked in his car and proclaimed him a "no one" to the crowd. (Parsons also gave a shoutout to B&C's own John "M is for Money" Higgins, joking that the actual Hall of Fame is housed in Higgins' basement in Hoboken.
William Shatner, actor, writer, director, producer ... said he found being inducted into a hall of fame "creepy," but saluted his wife by saying that the only thing that "uncreeps" it is that "one day people will walk into the archives and look at my picture and ask, 'isn't he the guy that married Elizabeth? Elizabeth ... he must be something.'"
Chris Matthews of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews and Deborah Norville of King World's Inside Edition presided over the ceremony, while Reed Television Group's Group Publisher Chuck Bolkcom and B&C Editor in Chief J. Max Robins provided opening remarks.
The event benefitted The Broadcasters' Foundation and Cable Positive.
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