The 24th Annual B&C Hall of Fame celebration Oct. 20 honored a group drawn from the best of all the media worlds. From syndication to programming and advertising, the honorees ran an impressive gamut.
What also struck us about the evening was how deftly cohosts Megyn Kelly and Bob Costas complemented this admixture of luminaries. Armed with discerning wit, they injected their own authentic sensibilities and even, in Kelly’s case, gently sparred with an inductee.
“I congratulate you…and I forgive you,” Kelly, host of Fox News’ The Kelly File, said of Viacom entertainment group president Doug Herzog, who launched The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Taking the stage later, Herzog acknowledged “the irony of a Fox News anchor presenting an award to the guy who created The Daily Show. I just hope [Fox News host Bill] O’Reilly doesn’t hear about this because your ID card may not work tomorrow morning.”
Costas, whose many sports media roles include cohosting NBC’s Sunday Night Football and Costas Tonight, didn’t deliver the kind of charged commentary he fires off sometimes on Sundays. But he made fun of his pinkeye predicament during the Sochi Olympics (as did Kelly) and didn’t shy away from trading zingers with his cohost: “Megyn is lovely, but the network for which she works has misrepresented my views so often that I am now polling at 53% in the Iowa Democratic caucus.”
Segueing to an introduction of Bud Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, Costas zeroed in on one of the lingering controversies of his office. “Bud is a man of action,” he said. “The minute he found out this was a Hall of Fame ceremony, he banned Pete Rose.”
The point here isn’t that we intend to turn the Hall of Fame into a roast. These free-spirited, true-to-form oneliners not only lightened the mood; they also reminded us of the disparate perspectives our business encompasses, and that when brought together they are greater than the sum of the parts.
“Tonight is a strange meeting of worlds,” Costas observed. In that spirit, we say (stealing from a bumper sticker), keep the Hall of Fame weird.