The Library of American Broadcasting, located at the University of Maryland in the town of College Park, is a 42-year-old resource for the radio and television industries as well as academic communities. This year the LAB will hold its annual Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts luncheon, honoring those who’ve made their mark on the U.S. radio and television industries, on October 16th, during its traditional luncheon in New York City.
This year, nine new honorees will join the 170 other Americans who’ve already been recognized (note: eight were confirmed as of press time).
According to Don West, chairman of the Giants of Broadcasting and the Electronic Arts, during first year the awards took place – in 2003 – there were 50 honorees, all of whom represented the first generation of the U.S. broadcasting industry. About four years ago, West expanded the event to include the Electronic Arts, which includes cable. The first member of the cable industry to be honored was Brian Lamb, creator of C-SPAN. Ted Turner has also been honored.
“Now the people who we’re honoring are not founders of new industries, but game changers,” he said. “They’re the ones who are really competing with broadcasting or changing the game of broadcasting,” he said. Last year, rather controversially, the LAB honored Barry Diller, founder of Aereo, who opened his speech saying “It’s lovely to get an award from all these people who are suing me.”
West hopes to expand to more Internet pioneers; particularly he says he’d like to honor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the English computer scientist often considered the creator of the World Wide Web.
Here are the honorees who will be feted at this year’s event (as announced thus far):
Pablo Raul Alarcon, Sr. – The late Mr. Alarcon was the founder and chairman of the board of directors of Spanish Broadcasting System and is considered a pioneer in the Spanish-language radio broadcasting industry.
Raul Alarcon, Jr. – The son of Mr. Alarcon, Raul is the current CEO and president of SBS’s 20 radio stations across the U.S.
Regis Philbin – The longtime host of ABC’s Live! (with Kathie Lee Gifford and later Kelly Ripa) retired from his post in 2011 after 28 years.
David J. Barrett – The recently retired chief executive officer and chairman of Hearst Television helped take the company private in 2009.
Chuck Scarborough – This veteran anchorman has been on News 4 New York for 40 years.
Fred Silverman – After working in programming at CBS and ABC, Silverman started his own company, The Fred Silverman, and worked as an independent producer. He remains in the business and does program consulting across the spectrum of electronic media.
Peter Smyth – The chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Inc., one of the nation’s leading broadcasting companies, Smyth oversees the operational efforts of 21 radio stations, a group of weekly newspapers and several telecommunications towers.
Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill – Veteran journalists Woodruff and Ifill are co-anchors and managing editors of PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. Ifill is also the moderator and managing editor of Washington Week on PBS.
Sylvester L. “Pat” Weaver – A former president of NBC, the late Mr. Weaver created the Today show. He has long been considered one of TV’s great innovators. His daughter, actress Sigourney Weaver, will accept his honor.