The Newhouse School at Syracuse University’s Mirror Awards honored Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group with the Fred Dressler Leadership Award at its annual ceremony Wednesday afternoon.
The awards, which honor the best in media reporting, were emceed by ABC News anchor David Muir and had Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan from Live! with Kelly and Michael present the award to Sweeney at Cipriani 42 in New York. Both talked of Sweeney’s commitment to the ABC team in New York with her constant shuttling back and forth between L.A. – Muir recalled her being there to welcome back his team from covering the protests in Egypt in 2011 and Strahan remembers her in the studio on the day he was announced as co-host.
After accepting the award to a standing ovation, Sweeney recalled the three things that stand out in her memory of Dressler, the late Time Warner Cable executive: His devotion to his family, “his commitment to the cable industry and his belief that it could deliver a terrific experience and creative excellence to consumers, something I believe as well and something we strive to do at Disney,” and his unwavering faith in his people and commitment to nurturing their talent.
Sweeney also recalled the memory of working as an ABC page for Dick Clark on The $10,000 Pyramid during college in the late 1970s. Clark (Syracuse ’51) was also honored Wednesday with a Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by TV actor and classmate Jerry Stiller (’50).
Clark’s widow Kari accepted the award, and presented The Newhouse School with a $5 million check for the naming of the school’s renovated studio complex. Dick Clark Studios will open on the campus of Syracuse in fall 2014.
Plenty of TV industry names were in attendance at the event, including Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav and president of advertising sales Joe Abruzzese, CNN executive VP Ken Jautz and CBS News VP Chris Licht.