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The Eighth Annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards

In honor of the late programming executive Brandon Tartikoff, NATPE recognizes four figures in television each year with the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award. Tartikoff, who passed away in 1997 at age 48, was known not only as a professional whiz, but also as someone who brought a sense of humor and respect for the creative process to all that he did. At 31, he took over a then-struggling NBC Entertainment and in a few short years turned NBC into a ratings winner. He introduced such enduring hits as Cheers, Hill Street Blues, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Golden Girls and St. Elsewhere.

The Legacy Award recognition is presented to individuals who exhibit the sort of extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in creating TV programming that Tartikoff embodied. Profiles of the 2011 Legacy Award recipients appear in the pages that follow. The honorees are:

Dick Ebersol: A Special Award For a Good Sport

Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Univeral
Sports & Olympics, has won
innumerable awards during a 44-year
career in which he helped bring the
Olympics to new heights, created a
dominant primetime franchise in Sunday
Night Football
and launched Saturday Night Live. More.

Mary Hart: A Stellar Career as Television's Consummate Host

As she wraps up nearly 30 years as host
of the iconic entertainment news program
Entertainment Tonight, Mary Hart
continues to make news herself as she
accepts a most deserving Brandon Tartikoff
Legacy Award at this year's annual
NATPE convention. More.

Regis Philbin: Going Out on Top

Regis Philbin never had the pleasure of
knowing the late Brandon Tartikoff
personally, but like so many in the
television business, marvels at his
reputation. "He was one of our guys
who was a legend while he was still
alive," Philbin says.

The same could be said of Philbin, who has hosted
his nationally syndicated daytime talk show Live!
With Regis and Kelly
in some form since 1983, and
last week gave his surprising announcement that this
season will be his final one on the show. More.

Gerhard Zeiler: Passionate About Programming

Ask longtime friends and associates about
RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler and
they invariably mention his success
running Europe's largest broadcaster,
a massive regional operation that includes
40 TV channels and 32 radio
stations in 10 countries. More.