Swanson's TV Dinner

Dennis Swanson (center), executive VP and COO of Viacom TV stations, mediates a finger-pointing match between Court TV President Henry Schleiff (left) and Warner Bros. President Dick Robertson at the John A. Reisenbach Foundation Gala for a Better New York. Swanson received the Foundation's Distinguished Citizen Award, only the second person to be so honored in the Foundation's 11-year history. The TV and advertising industry raised over $300,000 for quality-of-life programs in New York.

Historical Meeting

GE's Vice Chairman Bob Wright
(right) chats with William F. Baker, president and CEO of WNET(TV)
New York (left), and Jim Basker, president of Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, at the opening night of the New York Historical Society's Freedom: A History of US exhibit. Wright was a featured speaker at the GE-sponsored exhibit, which runs through Jan. 28.

They Have the Muse

Actress Alfre Woodard, AMC
Networks President Kate McEnroe
and film publicist Lois Smith
were honored by New York Women in Film & Television
at the organization's annual Muse Awards and Gala Luncheon. Ex-talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell
(right) was master of ceremonies. Actress Francis McDormand
was also honored.

Wussler's Avoiding Armageddon

These days, broadcast and cable veteran Robert Wussler is toiling on projects that reach into the past and the future. Wussler, who has served as president for CBS Sports and CBS Television, and in key executive posts at CNN and Turner Broadcasting, now shepherds Ted Turner's documentary-production company, Ted Turner Pictures, as its president and CEO.

In early 2003, two of his projects will hit the screen: a theatrical movie, Gods and Generals, recounting the first two years of the Civil War, and PBS documentary Avoiding Armageddon, examining the origins and future of weapons of mass destruction. Gods and Generals, which is Turner's second Civil War movie, opens Feb. 21; Avoiding Armageddon
airs on PBS over four nights beginning April 14.

Making the documentary, Wussler leaned on his news background. "My television experience for the last 40 years has included covering nuclear, biological and chemical warfare," he said.

Up next for Ted Turner Productions, Wussler said, could be a third Civil War movie in 2004 or 2005 and possibly a documentary on energy or water.

Fritts Receives Founders Award

President Eddie Fritts
accepts the Founders Award from the National Commission Against Drunk Driving. The NAB and NCADD, partners on the issue of drunk driving for 10 years, have launched such ad campaigns as "Friends don't let friends drink and drive" and "Designate before you celebrate."

"We're extremely proud that a large portion of the $9.9 billion in public service generated annually by local broadcasters is dedicated to anti-drunk-driving initiatives," Fritts said. "I can think of no other cause more important."