Gracies Given Out

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Gloria Gaynor rocked the house at the Marriott Marquis in New York Wednesday, opening a gala presentation of the 30th Annual Gracie Allen Awards with her hit I Will Survive.

The celebration, a presentation of national awards by The Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, was hosted by a hobbled CNN anchor Paula Zahn, who sported a white sequin gown and orthopedic boot, the unfortunate result of a recent dog-chasing event at her home. Fashion maven Kimora Lee Simmons presented the opening award to producers of Dora the Explorer in the category of children/adolescent programming, sans comment on Zahn’s fashion choice.

The Gracie Allen Awards—or the Gracies as they’re affectionately called — honor programming created “for women, by women and about women” in radio, television, cable and web-based media as well as identifying individuals who have made “exemplary contributions to the industry.”

Roz Abrams, WCBS New York news anchor, was honored with the 2005 Tribute Award. Title sponsor Dove and The Campaign for Real Beauty displayed submissions from its national photo essay contest and gave its 2005 Dove Real Beauty Award to Gayle King, editor at large for O magazine.

At a luncheon on Thursday afternoon at swanky midtown restaurant Tavern on the Green, the group presented its local market awards, including for student winner Katie Trotter, a high school senior from Junction City, Ore., who received $20,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds towards a college education.

“The reason we’re here is to bring others forward,” said Oxygen Media CEO Geraldine Laybourne in her keynote address to attendees at the luncheon. The 40 winners (listed below) represented markets from 16 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada, including the half dozen student recipients from New York and California.

The luncheon was hosted by Roz Abrams of WCBS New York. At the close of her abbreviated speech, a slightly under the weather Laybourne declared, “We need to connect the new girls to the old network and that’s what I intend to do.”

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