Broadcasting & Cable celebrated its 22nd Hall of Fame Dec. 17 to a sold-out grand ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC. Here are some of the best musings from this year’s honorees Monday night.
Philippe Dauman, President and CEO, Viacom Inc.
As the first honoree to speak at the B&C Hall of Fame event, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said “We are finally here,” noting that the event had been delayed by Hurricane Sandy. He said that people in the industry demonstrated that they were “tough and resilient” in recovering from the storm. And as the industry moves to a new digital era he praised the “diversity of thinking and experience” at Viacom that would ensure its success in “entertaining people all over the world every day.”
Jack Abernethy, CEO, Fox Television Stations, Inc.
In helping launch CNBC and FNC, “This business has allowed me to see life’s dramas up close.”
“I was raised an only child…I can’t tell you how much that angered my three sisters.”
Alan W. Frank, President & CEO, Post-Newsweek Stations
“[Former Post-Newsweek CEO] Joel Chaseman told me, come with us–you can do anything you want. I couldn’t say no.”
“While I’m honored by this award, if someone belongs in the Hall of Fame, it’s you, Ann (to his wife).”
Jerald L. Kent, Chairman and CEO, Suddenlink Communications
“I’ve been very fortunate to help build some successful companies, but I didn’t get to this podium on my own. . . I’m very blessed to still have my mother and father with me and they’re here tonight. My dad was an entrepreneur in several businesses. He owned a Laundromat and I remember our family sitting around the kitchen table at night, sorting coins in the wrappers for deposit. That was actually my first lesson in cash management. He also owned Kent’s Frosty Cream, where several family members worked. I will never forget the first banana split I made. It was so bad and messy-I mean, it was bad-that I went outside and refunded half the price to the customers. That was a lesson in product quality and customer satisfaction. And then one summer, dad helped me get a construction job building houses in the St. Louis summer heat and humidity. That was a lesson in what I definitely didn’t want to do with the rest of my life.”
David Levy, President, Sales, Distribution and Sports, Turner Broadcasting, System, Inc.
David Levy remembered advice he got–and ignored–from his dad, an industry veteran who thought David should follow him into syndication sales. “Cable is just a fad.” Instead, he went to work at Turner, where he would go on sales calls accompanied by Ted Turner himself, who would arrive via subway. He thanked the people he’s worked with and praised the “professionalism and good humor” of those he works with now. “It takes a great company to accomplish your goals.”
Chuck Pagano, EVP & CTO, ESPN
“I don’t know who the hell they were describing up there [points to sizzle reel], but that’s not me, I’m just an aging hippie.”
“People in the scientific arena have never been afraid of change, the fact is it’s our charge to execute it.”
Rick Rosen, Board Member, Head of the Television Department, WME
“Agents don’t get honored that often, and the primary reason for that is because of an HBO show based on someone that I’ve never met. I love being an agent. It’s incredibly gratifying and I wouldn’t be standing here today without my clients.”
Rino Scanzoni, Chief Investment Officer, GroupM
An emotional sounding Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer of GroupM, thanked his boss, Irwin Gotlieb, for showing him how to see future trends and turn them into opportunities. In negotiations with CBS Network Sales President Jo Ann Ross, Scanzoni said he learned that a “deal is only as good as the person who stands behind it.” He also thanked his wife, who he called his secret content adviser. “If it weren’t for her, I would have over-invested in Animal Practice and Mob Doctor and I wouldn’t be here today.”
Judge Judith Sheindlin
“These last 17 years for me have been the cherry on the top of this multi-tiered thing which has allowed me and my family to live in a fantasy world…The only problem with living in a fantasy world is that it seems to have gone by in a second.”
Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman, NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media
“I never really realized how much I had in common [with all the other honorees] until I had to go last.”
On going through multiple mergers, from Vivendi-Universal to NBC-Universal to Comcast: “Here’s to all my bosses in the last decade who didn’t necessarily decide to hire me, they just allowed me to stick around.”
“Every other Hall of Fame you have to be retired. I could still screw it all up so it might be premature.”
Good Morning America
Ben Sherwood, president, ABC
“Charlie Gibson always said that Good Morning America was the best named TV show in the U.S. It’s a phrase that most mornings works and some days is really hard to say.” — noted anchors still in the field covering Newtown tragedy
“37 years ago GMA began to disrupt TV viewing habits. For the next 40 years “We’re very excited about disrupting the TV business and they way things are done. We’re just getting started.”
CMO John Hayes: “Looking around the room tonight, I ‘m struck by how many of you have been part of our journey, that has helped form the American Express legacy. Each of our partnerships, each of our relationships, each of our friendships has helped us to consistently deliver creative, innovative and provocative programs that we’re immensely privileged to put in the marketplace. After doing this job for 18 years the single reason I believe we have been successful is because of our never-ending belief in the power of collaboration.
They say that along with age comes wisdom. And since American Express is over 160 years old, I wanted to end with the words that keep us going: If you don’t like change, irrelevance is worse. That’s all, folks.”
Compiled by Andrea Morabito, Rob Edelstein, Michael Malone, Jon Lafayette, Lindsay Rubino and Tim Baysinger.
Media Coverage of the Event