Dave Lougee, president and CEO of Tegna, picked up the 2020 Golden Mike Award at the Plaza Hotel in New York March 4. The event is a fundraiser that supports the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which provides aid to broadcasters in need.
Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition, hosted the gala, which attracted more than 350 attendees and raised over $400,000.
George Beasley, founder and chairman of Beasley Media Group, got the lifetime achievement award. Beasley’s daughter Caroline, the CEO of Beasley Media Group, accepted on his behalf.
Nile Rodgers and Chic performed, the songs including disco staple “Good Times” and “Get Lucky,” which Rodgers co-wrote.
Prior to rising to the top of Tegna, Lougee was executive VP of Belo. Earlier, he was VP of news at WRC Washington and news director at KUSA Denver.
Former Belo chief Jack Sander saluted Lougee from the stage. The Sander Media founder noted Lougee’s local news background as an indicator of how much he loves and supports community content and those who gather it. “Congratulations and well done,” Sander said.
Gordon Smith, National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO, described Lougee’s work from when he was chairman of the NAB board. “We love the passion you bring to broadcasting every single day,” Smith said.
Smith talked about how nothing makes Lougee happier than when a Tegna reporter picks up a Murrow or Cronkite award for reporting excellence. “At his heart, he’s a news guy,” said Smith.
Lynn Beall, Tegna executive VP and chief operating officer of media operations, was next. She spoke of Lougee’s focus on doing the right thing on a daily basis. “I have seen this play out countless times in the years we have worked together,” Beall said. “He stands for truth and he reminds us every day that what we do truly matters.”
Lougee then stepped on stage. “If you would’ve told me you could get this room to simultaneously say ‘I’m up all night to get lucky,’ I wouldn’t have called that,” he quipped, referring to Rodgers’ performance.
Lougee said broadcasters are called upon to serve their communities every day. “We can’t [do that] if we don’t take care of our own,” he said.
Local broadcast relies on “facts, not fear,” he said, amidst the national confusion around coronavirus, and provides truth when so much fake news is floating around.
“I’ve never forgotten nor taken for granted the power we have as broadcasters,” said Lougee.
The Broadcasters Foundation of America has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy.
Past Golden Mike winners include Perry Sook, Emily Barr, David Barrett, Michael Bloomberg and Bob Pittman.