Whenever there's a big radio merger, the parties always talk about how the efficiencies of the new company will permit better news and public-affairs programming. So why are the number of radio entries in the annual Peabody Awards decreasing?
Judges received only 145 radio entries this year, down from 200 in 1999 and 185 last year, according to Louise Benjamin, interim director of the awards, which are sponsored by the University of Georgia. It also says something about the state of radio journalism that all three of last year's radio winners were from noncommercial stations or networks. Organizers aren't sweating the decline of commercial-radio interest, but, recognizing the changes in electronic journalism, they are opening the contest to the Internet next year.
This year's Peabody winners will be announced March 29. They will be honored at a May 21 luncheon in Manhattan at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel hosted by CNN's Christiane Amanpour.