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Tops in Our Book

BROADCASTING & CABLE has tapped David J. Barrett, president and CEO of Hearst-Argyle Television, as the Broadcaster of the Year, an honor he'll receive officially during the Television Bureau of Advertising's annual marketing conference April 15 in New York.

"David is a great broadcaster," says B&C Editor in Chief J. Max Robins. "He runs a terrific TV group that understands the importance of news and community service."

Barrett joins distinguished company. The first two recipients of the award were Dennis Swanson, then of WNBC and now of the Viacom Stations, and Dennis FitzSimons, chairman and CEO of Tribune Co.

A Chicago native, Barrett was deputy general manager of Hearst Broadcasting in 1997 when it merged with Argyle Television to form Hearst-Argyle Television; he was named CEO in 2001. Besides being a member of the board of National Association of Broadcasters, he's an innovator and defender of affiliate rights.

Barrett has been a leader in persuading Congress to roll back the TV-station ownership cap.

Hearst-Argyle is the ninth-largest TV group, reaching 16% of the nation's TV homes through 27 stations. Its 12 ABC affiliates make it the largest distributor of that network, and Barrett is a past chairman of the affiliates group.

He is the new chairman of the FCC-sponsored Media Security and Reliability Council and also serves on the board of the Association for Maximum Service Television.