Peabody Award

Peabody Award

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The George Foster Peabody Awards (Peabody Awards) recognize distinguished and meritorious public service by radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals. In 1939, the National Association of Broadcasters
National Association of Broadcasters
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association, workers union, and lobby group representing the interests of for-profit, over-the-air radio and television broadcasters in the United States...

 formed a committee to recognize outstanding achievement in radio broadcasting. Committee member Lambdin Kay, manager of WSB Radio
WSB (AM)
WSB — branded AM 750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB — is a commercial radio station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia broadcasting a news/talk format. The station transmits with 50,000 watts of nondirectional power day and night, enjoying clear-channel status on its broadcast frequency according to the U.S...

 in Atlanta, thought the award would be more credible if it were academically sanctioned and independently administered. He approached John E. Drewry of the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

’s Henry W. Grady School of Journalism, who enthusiastically endorsed the idea. The Peabody Award was established in 1940 with the school, now the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, as its permanent home.

The Peabody Awards were originally only for radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

, but in 1948, television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 awards were introduced. In the late 1990s additional categories for material distributed via the World Wide Web
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

 were added. Materials created solely for theatrical motion picture release are not eligible.

Reflecting excellence in quality rather than popularity or commercial success, the Peabody is the industry’s most competitive honor, with an average of about 25-35 winners chosen annually from more than 1,000 entries.

The award is determined by one criterion – "Excellence." Because submissions are accepted from a wide variety of sources and styles, deliberations seek "Excellence On Its Own Terms." Each entry is evaluated on the achievement of standards it establishes within its own contexts. Entries are self-selected by those making submissions and as a result the quality of competing works is extraordinarily high. The Peabody Awards are then presented only to "the best of the best."

Peabody Judging


The Peabody Awards judging process is unusually rigorous. Evaluation of the more than 1,000 entries typically received begins in early February with some 30 committees composed of two University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

 faculty or staff members and a selected student. Each committee is charged with screening or listening to a small number of entries and delivering written recommendations to the Peabody Board, a 16-member panel of scholars, critics and media-industry professionals. Board members discuss recommended entries as well as their own selections at intensive preliminary meetings in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 and Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 The Board convenes at the Peabody Offices on the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

 campus in late March for final screenings and deliberations. Only unanimously selected programs receive Peabodys. There is no set number of Awards. Since 1941, when the first Awards were presented for work completed in 1940, no more than 36 Awards have been presented in a single year.

Key People


George Foster Peabody
George Foster Peabody
George Foster Peabody was a banker and philanthropist.-Early life:...

(1852-1938), namesake of the awards, was a highly successful investment banker who devoted much of his fortune to education and social enterprise.

Lambdin Kay was the awards chairman for The National Association of Broadcasters when he was asked to create a prize to honor the nation's premier radio programs and performances, as the Pulitzer did for the print press.

John E. Drewry (1902-1983) was the first dean of the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

's Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He accepted the position of dean when it was created in 1940. That same year he helped Lambdin Kay, general manager of Atlanta's WSB Radio
WSB (AM)
WSB — branded AM 750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB — is a commercial radio station licensed to Atlanta, Georgia broadcasting a news/talk format. The station transmits with 50,000 watts of nondirectional power day and night, enjoying clear-channel status on its broadcast frequency according to the U.S...

, create the Peabody Awards recognizing excellence in broadcasting
Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and video content to a dispersed audience via any audio visual medium. Receiving parties may include the general public or a relatively large subset of thereof...

.

Dr. Worth McDougald (1926-2007) served as Director of the Peabody Awards program from 1963 until his retirement in 1991

Barry Sherman ( - 2000) was the Director of the George Foster Peabody Awards program at the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

 from 1991 until his untimely death in 2000.

Dr. Horace Newcomb currently holds the Lambdin Kay Chair for the Peabodys' in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

. He joined The Peabody Program in 2001.

Award Ceremony


The Peabody Awards are formally presented each year in late May or early June at a luncheon in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. Past hosts include Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

, Leslie Stahl, Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart is an American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up comedian...

 and Larry King
Larry King
Lawrence Harvey "Larry" King is an American television and radio host whose work has been recognized with awards including two Peabodys and ten Cable ACE Awards....

.

Official Sponsors


The Peabody Awards program is an independent, not-for-profit activity supported by entry fees and the annual awards luncheon. The following organizations are Official Sponsors of the Peabody Awards: Broadcasting Cable
Broadcasting & Cable
Broadcasting & Cable magazine is a television industry trade magazine published by NewBay Media. Previous names included Broadcasting/Telecasting, Broadcasting and Broadcast Advertising, and Broadcasting...

, The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia...

, Delta Airlines, Multi-VU, and The Paley Center for Media.

Peabody Awards Archive


The Peabody Awards Collection is the flagship of The Walter J. Brown Media Archive & Peabody Awards Collection. The archives are housed in the Main Library on the north campus of The University of Georgia. The archives mission is to preserve, protect, and provide access to the moving image and sound materials that reflect the collective memory of broadcasting and the history of the state of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and its people. The collection contains nearly every entry for the first major broadcast award given in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Entries begin in 1940 for radio and 1948 for television, and at least 1,000 new entries are received every year - programs created by local, national, and international producers. The collection provides a cultural cross-section of television from its infancy to the present day, featuring news, documentary, entertainment, educational, and children's programming. Once judging is complete all the entries are moved to the Main Library for in-depth cataloging, access, and long term preservation.

Recipients

1940s  1940  1941  1942  1943  1944  1945  1946  1947  1948  1949
1950s  1950  1951  1952  1953  1954  1955  1956  1957  1958  1959
1960s  1960  1961  1962  1963  1964  1965  1966  1967  1968  1969
1970s  1970  1971  1972  1973  1974  1975  1976  1977  1978  1979
1980s  1980  1981  1982  1983  1984  1985  1986  1987  1988  1989
1990s  1990  1991  1992  1993  1994  1995  1996  1997  1998  1999
2000s  2000  2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009
2010s  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  2018  2019