Broadcasting & Cable celebrated its 27th Hall of Fame on Monday (Oct. 16) at a golden-hued ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Below are some of the best musings from this year’s honorees Monday night.
Bill Abbott, CEO of Crown Media Holdings, Inc. and Crown Media Family Networks
“I want to thank the one person who I would not be in this position without and that is my wife Shannon. She is not only the most beautiful person I know on the inside and out but also a trusted confidant, best friend and terrific mom who gave up her own career to raise our sons, who are also here tonight, Oliver and Jamie, and our daughter Perry. As I mentioned, they are also here with me tonight and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So thank you for putting up with my crazy schedule, for your support and for making me proud every day. I dedicate this recognition to you.”
Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group
"I am truly humbled to be here tonight and to be counted among Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame honorees past and present."
"To my beautiful often exasperated and steadfast wife Diana and our amazing children Catherine and Braden, you are what makes it all worthwhile."
Gary Bettman, commissioner, National Hockey League
“Today, fortunately, virtually everything on television is available in HD, which might well benefit our sport more than any other. Plus sports are available as you all know on a variety of digital platforms, including Facebook, Google and Twitter.
"So it has been fascinating to live through the evolution of this technology, particularly broadcast technology, because that evolution has given sports fans more opportunity than ever to connect.”
“Who could have predicted...that last Wednesday I would stand in Las Vegas to watch a professional sports team from Las Vegas play its first home game at an arena named T-Mobile? But there I watched the power of sports at its absolute finest. The power of sports to unite and strengthen a community, to offer hope and healing to spirits battered by a horrific tragedy. Players from both teams stood together with first responders in support of a community. It was dramatic. It was emotional. It was a remarkable scene and a moment that was broadcast around this country by NBC Sports Net and in Canada by Rogers [Communications]."
Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Stations
"The fact is, when I received a call from Bill [McGorry] regarding the Hall of Fame, at first I thought he wanted me to buy some tables to help someone from CBS, so as you can imagine I am very flattered and humbled to be part of the amazing group of people who are being honored here this evening."
"I couldn't help but wish my 95 year old aunt could be here tonight since she thought, and told all her friends in the building she lived in in Brooklyn, that I sold TVs for a living and I could get them a good deal. If you only knew how many TVs I had to buy over the years. Although my mom and dad passed before I got my first job with CBS in New York, I know they are smiling down at me full of pride as I literally follow in dad's footsteps every morning when I walk into the building. Actually WCBS's local news is produced in the same studio my dad worked in 50 years ago for the Captain Kangaroo show."
"Working in local TV is very challenging at times but it's gratifying to know the public still turns to local stations first and foremost when something big is happening."
Bob Greenblatt, chairman, NBC Entertainment
“This is kind of extraordinary for a kid who 34 years ago packed up a car from rural Illinois and drove to Los Angeles to be part of the entertainment industry, really not knowing anybody out there or what I was going to do.”
“I am happy to say broadcast television is alive and well.”
"This is my family, the people that I work with. Every show is its own family but these companies are really your family. Hopefully people wake up every day wanting to come to work, feeling good about the workplace, the workplace environment, the safe place that we have. But also a place to be proud of. That to me really is about the shows."
“I love being in this position, this platform that we have, to tell great stories and maybe change the world. Shows like This is Us touch people, and Blacklist and SVU, all these shows.”
Sen. Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters
“Boy, my old habits die hard. I see a crowd like this big and I immediately feel a filibuster coming up. But truly this is such an honor to receive this award. I’m practically speechless, which is rare given that I am a recovering politician.”
“In this room tonight, there are hundreds of distinguished, accomplished broadcasters and moguls, famous journalists. In other words, a cornucopia of fake news. So, welcome.”
“In my view, broadcasting is the indispensable, irreplaceable communications medium. We are in every community free of charge, available to all regardless of race, religion or income.”
John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions
"I've been incredibly blessed in life, and one thing that's become abundantly clear to me: any success I've had is a direct result of working with extraordinary people. I actually believe the way we think about individual achievement is inaccurate. I've never seen a single example of anything noteworthy anyone has ever been able to achieve without the support of others. I think one of our greatest challenges is being honest enough to admit that we can achieve nothing on our own, and humble enough to see that we can achieve anything if we'll only work together. So tonight I'm accepting this not as an individual but for everyone who did the work with me that you're recognizing.”
Susan Swain and Rob Kennedy, president & co-CEOs, C-SPAN
Kennedy gave the Hall of Fame remarks:
“We're thankful to be honored as a team but what cheers us the most is the recognition this gives to C-SPAN.”
“We're a non-profit public service, we take no government money. But there is a group of CEOs on our board who has given us advice and counsel, their vision has contributed greatly to our success.”
“Every team needs a coach, every orchestra needs a conductor, and we have executive chairman Brian Lamb….He had the vision of what our public service could be.”
John W. Waller, III, chairman, Waller Capital Partners
Waller noted that on his assistant's desk there are three giant Rolodexes containing the names of friends, mentors and competitors in the cable business. Another one will be added soon.
He noted that the cable business is a family and built by entrepreneurs.
"It's been my home for 35 years,” Waller said.
Waller said he saw an opportunity to expand his business in broadcast, telecom and digital.
"I'm going to really need that fourth Rolodex," he said.
"I used to climb poles, I've had doors slammed in my face, all in the name of HBO."
Cyma Zarghami, president, Viacom Inc.’s Nickelodeon Group
“I’ve been attending this event a long time and this is definitely your best one yet.”
“Since the Stone Age when I got here, Viacom has been nothing but supportive.”
“It's been an amazing journey and an incredible privilege to lead a brand that stands for nothing but good things.”
María Elena Salinas, co-anchor of Noticiero Univision
"It has been my duty and my mission all of these years to empower the Latino community, informing them of their rights and also their responsibilities. I appreciate the trust they have placed on me and my colleagues. And at a time when the immigrant community is being portrayed in a bad light (and I’m being very diplomatic with that term, I really should say “under attack”), we need to be together, we need each other more than ever. These are tough times, but we will prevail because we know how to work and how to thrive under the most adverse conditions and we will make sure everyone knows just how much we contribute as a community to making this the great country that it is.
"Unfortunately, our industry is also going through tough times. We in the news media face a challenge that we never thought we would. Our duty has always been and continues to be to report the truth, to denounce corruption and injustice, to question authority, to be a watchdog of those in power, to represent the people and look out for their best interest. Yet there are those who would prefer to discredit the press, to attempt to remove the filter that prevents them from saying and doing whatever they please, without being questioned. The news media’s existence, our credibility, our place in this democracy is being challenged, and we cannot allow that to happen. We cannot allow our profession to be disrespected. We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced or intimidated. An uninformed or misinformed society is one that is vulnerable to the abuses of those in power, and we can’t allow this to become the new normal. So to all the executives here, and there are many, thank you for supporting your news divisions."
Joy Behar: "It is true that Barbara Walters kept that show on the air, because when we first started the show 20 years ago – now it’s almost 21 – she had to go door to door to the affiliates and the O&Os to keep it on. She was almost like a Jehovah’s Witness, the woman. That’s why we’re here today because of Barbara. And we’re so grateful for this award, aren’t we Whoop?"
Whoopi Goldberg: "Yes we are."
Joy Behar: "Star [Jones] and I are the originals, we were there at the very beginning."
Star Jones: "OGs in the house."
Joy Behar: "And it’s 21 years now, we’ve had 21 co hosts. I’d mention them all but I can’t really remember their names. No, that’s not true, that’s a joke. Liven up, OK? My god, this group."
Whoopi Goldberg: "People don’t understand how hard this is to do on a daily basis. It’s not easy because half the country, you know going in, is going to hate you. It sounds kind of funny but it’s not when people come up and confront you. … We’re thrilled that, you know, Barbara Walters got us all jobs and we’re all women and we continue to do the stuff that other people don’t want to do. Because it’s not an easy gig but we like doing it."
Star Jones: "We want to pay special tribute to our girl, BW. None of us would be here without Barbara Walters, and the most brilliant vision that she had to put women at the table and actually say that women are not a monolith and there are opinions and we want to hear what all women think from all walks of life, any background, any experience."
Joy Behar: "And it’s great that in these particular times we’re very relevant. … We’re living in very treacherous times right now, and a woman’s voice is very important, as we all know this particular week."
Star Jones: "And by the way, y’all could use some more black people in the room, just saying."