Broadcasting & Cable welcomed its 24th class of honorees into the Hall of Fame on Oct. 20 in a sold-out gala at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. Here are some of the highlights of inductees’ acceptance speeches.
“My parents taught their children that anything is possible and they made me believe that. And I didn’t see a lot of people who looked like me when I began my career, and my folks said, That’s OK; go for it. And I did, and I’m so grateful to many people [at stations] across the country, for giving me a job, and though many thought of it as taking a chance on me, they never made me feel that way…. I look at this room, and the vast accomplishments of everybody in this room and in this industry, and I know how blessed and lucky I am to be your colleague, and I thank all of you… for the example each of you set in this beautiful, challenging, crazy industry that we all love.”
—Robin Roberts, coanchor, Good Morning America
“The industry has become much more competitive—so we have to become better and better. In the U.S., we are particularly lucky to have Univision as our partner. Management is by far the best that Univision has ever had. This Hispanic market is becoming more and more relevant to everybody. But it is also very important to know that our content with Univision competes head-to-head in audiences in the general body. We are very fortunate to be working with this partner and other world-class companies like Lionsgate, ABC Family, Lifetime, UCB, NBC [and] Endemol. Today, Televisa is ready to follow audiences wherever they go."
—Emilio Azcárraga, chairman, president and CEO, Grupo Televisa
“Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 U.S. gold medal hockey team, once said, ‘we weren't the best players, but we were the best team.’ And that’s how I feel about ESPN. I believe we were the best team.”
—Sean Bratches, executive VP of ESPN
“What I have learned from the great [industry] leaders is the importance of listening to others, respecting others, to always be open to exploring new ideas. People of all backgrounds, all of us do important work. We are the facilitators of ideas. We deliver collective experiences via cable, broadcast and programming and we should make it personal. Business is personal, especially our business. With great pioneers as storytellers, we touch the fabric of people’s lives…with such reach comes great responsibility.”
—Italia Commisso Weinand, executive VP, programming and human resources, Mediacom
“I only ever wanted to be in television. I watched so much TV growing up, my parents actually worried about me. My sisters are here tonight, they can tell you that. But my parents, God bless them, never got in the way of my passion. It turns out I was just studying."
—Doug Herzog, president, Viacom Entertainment Group
“It couldn’t be simpler. Two families battling it out by guessing how 100 people answered survey questions. Combine this with a format with a great host, the wonderful and magic happens.”
—Family Feud executive producer Gaby Johnston
“The late historian Jacques Barzun once famously said, 'Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.' There is such a profound bond between baseball and its broadcast. Ours is the everyday game of pictures, words, names and memories. We're grateful to all the broadcasters and media professionals who have helped fans get to know the heart and mind of America through our national pastime.”
—Allen H. “Bud” Selig, commissioner, Major League Baseball
“[My 88-year-old mother] didn't think I had a place in this industry. You see, mom? I'm up here now."
—Bill Koenigsberg, founder and CEO, Horizon Media
“I get to talk about sports, money and media for a living—and I get paid for that. How much fun, what a treat.”
—Mark Lazarus, chairman, NBC Sports Group
“Even with the explosive growth of paid media, fundamental television remains free, over the air and available to any American with a television and an antenna.”
—David F. Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corp.
“We live in a time when Halle Berry stars in a Steven Spielberg summer replacement show. We remain the envy of all other forms of media.”
—Perry A. Sook, chairman, president and CEO, Nexstar Broadcasting.
“When I think about the people at Lionsgate who make the show, Jon Feltheimer, Kevin Beggs, Sandra Stern, they have been great as a studio. But the truth is that the pilot was made alone by AMC because nobody else was interested in it. Josh Sapan, Ed Carroll and Charlie Collier were really the spirit of what has happened in this business over the past seven years. They took a huge risk in a business that seemed to be dying, that didn’t have a way in. They backed this really peculiar show with no stars from a writer who had never run a show before.”
—Matthew Weiner, creator and executive producer, Mad Men