Stars come out for broadcasters award dinner

Brian Williams didn't know if he was traveling from New York City to the Sagamore Resort Hotel on Lake George in a jet or with a jet pack.

He endured the all-important task of closing the aircraft doors (something he prefers to leave to the expertise of six trained stewardesses).

He made do with in-air provided "dinner"a snack bag of Cheez Its and "not even a full size can" of Coca Cola.

Williams went through all that (and more) to make it to the New York State Broadcasters Association Tony Malara Awards Dinner where he was accepting the Broadcaster of the Year award on Monday, June 27.

While many of the 300 or so broadcast industry attendees got the night off from work, Williams arrived fresh off anchoring the Nightly News on NBC to accept his award. After a brief roast of 2011 Hall of Fame inductee Regis Philbin, Williams shared his journey to becoming one of the most successful and decorated journalists in the industry.

"Growing up as an Irish-Catholic kid on the Jersey shore my mother would always point out correspondents and anchors on television, knowing that I was always writing for the student paper, always so interested in what Walter [Cronkite] was reporting on," he recounted. "She'd always tell me, bless her heart, that I could do just as well as those people " or even better."

Williams' decision to drop out of college panned out when he spent one-year in an unpaid internship with the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington DC, a move he credits with breaking him into the industry because he served as the liaison to all the state broadcasting associations and rubbed noses with the "who's who" of the broadcasting community.

"My boss suggested I have a meal with a man visiting from Pittsburg, Kan., who owned a very nice television station in the middle of a cornfield. I failed miserably by the way. After a year out there I couldn't get stations in Springfield, Mo., or Tulsa, or Topeka or Wichita to screen my tape. Lord knows St. Louis and Kansas City laughed me out of their newsrooms," he said.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment