WNET President-Emeritus Bill Baker hosted the 9th annual Giants of Broadcasting ceremony on October 14th. The ceremony paid homage to thirteen “media giants” who transformed the broadcasting industry over a span of seven decades. The luncheon was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where guests wined and dined while enjoying celebratory montages and acceptance speeches.
Honorees included Brian Williams, Christiane Amanpour, Fred Pierce, Charles Kralt, Robert Northshield, Charles Osgood, Rand Morrison, John Dille III, Brian Lamb, Frances Preston, James Arness, Rick Buckley, and Dawson ‘Tack’ Nail.
While most honorees spoke of their past achievements, current ABC international correspondent Christiane Amanpour discussed her hopes for the future of broadcasting. “I do hope in the future that we see many more women on the screen, and that there is a balance between men and women,” she said. “I would like to see the day where women were not judged by the amount of highlights in their hair, not judged by the shortness of their hemlines or deeply plunging cleavages, but [judged] for their professionalism, competence, and the quality of their work.”
The ceremony acknowledged that broadcasting is still relevant. The awards honored media entrepreneurs of the past alongside broadcasting icons of the present. The late James Arness and Dawson ‘Tack’ Nail were commemorated for paving the way for twenty-first century journalism. Meanwhile, CBS anchor Charles Osgood and NBC correspondent Brian Williams continue to make waves in modern day broadcasting.
The ceremony was sponsored by the Library of American Broadcasting, which acts to preserve historical records from past television and radio broadcasts. Their ultimate goal is to “make records available to a wide audience of academia, industry, and the public, while simultaneously keeping a weather eye on the future”. The luncheon is the Library’s biggest fundraising event of the year.