The 13th Annual BROADCASTING & CABLE Hall of Fame—recognized as the leading industry venue honoring the pioneers, the innovators and the stars of the electronic arts—will induct 12 members this November, ranging from a Hispanic radio and advertising pioneer to a game-show host. Three enter the hall posthumously.
Also, there's an unusual 13th honoree. For the first time in its history, the B&C Hall of Fame will honor a television show: The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening and entering its 15th season on Fox.
The Hall of Fame's newest members will be honored at a formal dinner Nov. 10. The 13 honorees bring to 237 the number of individuals honored by the Hall of Fame since its inception by the magazine in 1991.
Announcement of the 2003 honorees is made by William McGorry, senior vice president of the Reed TV Group (of which BROADCASTING & CABLE is a part); Harry Jessell, the editor in chief of the magazine; and Donald West, Hall of Fame chairman and former editor in chief.
"Each class is always the best class, and 2003 is no exception," says West. "This year is exemplary. It is our job to honor them, but the truth is that they have honored us far more, as they have the professions they have so distinguished."
This year's inductees: Comedian and talk-show host Steve Allen (posthumously); former Radio Advertising Bureau and Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau chief Robert Alter; actress Candice Bergen, star of Murphy Brown; Jeff Bewkes, chairman of the Entertainment and Network Groups at AOL Time Warner; Edward Caballero, Hispanic broadcasting and advertising legend; Ben Hoberman, retired ABC Radio executive; Ted Koppel, anchor of ABC's Nightline; Frank N. Magid, of the eponymously named news-consulting firm; Judy McGrath, president of the MTV Networks Group; Fred Rogers, the children's-show host (posthumously); Pat Sajak, host of Wheel of Fortune; and Margita White, former FCC commissioner and television association head (posthumously).
The BROADCASTING & CABLE Hall of Fame was established in 1991 on the 60th anniversary of BROADCASTING, the television and radio industry's "bible" since 1931 (it became BROADCASTING & CABLE in 1993). With each succeeding year, a new class has been inducted at a reception and formal dinner that attracts a critical mass of the profession's leading executives and professionals.
Election to the Hall of Fame is made by the Board of Editors, acting on nominations from the industry at large. Proceeds from the dinner go to a number of industry causes, including The Broadcasters Foundation, which offers assistance to fellow professionals who have fallen on hard times, and the International Radio & Television Society's training programs for aspiring professionals.
Honored posthumously, he is best remembered as the first host of The Tonight Show, but this creative, rule-breaking and truly nutty dynamo also wrote 54 books and nearly 8,000 songs and hosted the fascinating PBS history series Meeting of Minds.
Media switch hitter
During his long, distinguished career, he battled the dominance of broadcast TV—first as head of the Radio Advertising Bureau and later at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. That both media prosper bears testimony to his effectiveness.
Ms. Monday Night
She owned Monday nights on CBS Television from November 1988 to August 1998 as Murphy Brown, still the role model for a generation of independent, spirited, intelligent women. Her father, Edgar Bergen, was a charter member of the Hall of Fame.
The Real Mr. Big
Since last July, he has been chairman of the Entertainment & Networks Group of AOL Time Warner empire. It includes his beloved HBO, where previously he was CEO, presiding over such hits as The Sopranos, Sex and the City
and Band of Brothers.
In his own words
He left Cuba as a young lawyer to pioneer Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. He helped launch Univision (then SIN) in 1968. Later, his sales-rep firm helped jump-start hundreds of Hispanic stations. He's now building a music-video broadcast network.
During his long career in radio, he was credited with turning that medium's tide as it felt the weight of television. He took radio from mainly music to big on talk—first at West Coast powerhouse KABC(AM) Los Angeles, later for all of ABC Radio.
One of broadcasting's most honored journalists, he opened a new frontier for television news in 1980 with America Held Hostage, which grew into the Nightline
franchise. In 2003, he embellished his 40-year ABC News career with his frontline coverage of the Iraq war.
Frank N. Magid
His consultant firm, founded in 1957, uses sophisticated research to help news directors serve viewers by analyzing their needs and suggesting improvements. In virtually every town, there's a station that employs Frank N. Magid Associates' services.
MTV Band Leader
As president of MTV Networks Group, she's responsible for keeping cutting-edge networks MTV, MTV2, VH1 and now Comedy Central at the forefront of cool for teens and young adults, with shows ranging from Total Request Live
to The Osbournes.
Art of Make-Believe
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
turned out to be as wide as the world. Dedicated to the gentle and the kind, he comforted and entertained children for three decades and become a cornerstone of public television. He is honored posthumously.
While working as a TV weatherman in Los Angeles, he was discovered by Merv Griffin. The rest is history. Since 1983, when the syndicated Wheel of Fortune
debuted in the access hour, no game show has come close to beating its Nielsen numbers.
A Swedish immigrant, she went to Washington to serve in the Nixon White House and as an FCC commissioner. As head of the Association of Maximum Service Television, she led TV's advance into digital and high-definition TV. She is honored posthumously.