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Yesterday the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation handed out the 42nd Annual Gracie Awards at a luncheon at Cipriani on 42nd in New York City. Host Dylan Dreyer led the program alongside presenters Bevy Smith from Bravo’s “Fashion Queens,” Larry Mullins from CBS Radio’s 1010 WINS, Christine Nagy from The Bob and Christine Show, and Erin Moriarty, CBS “48 Hours” correspondent. The Gracie Awards were presented to honorees which were previously announced (view full list of honorees here) in recognition of individual achievement and outstanding programming by, for and about women in local and student TV, radio and interactive media.
Lifetime Achievement Honoree Jane Pauley was presented her award by close friend and colleague Martha Teichner.
Highlights from the show include:
AWM/F Board Chair and Chief Product Officer, Advertising Management Systems, for Imagine Communications Sarah Foss opened the Luncheon by sharing how she went into the media industry because of her admiration for Lifetime Achievement Honoree Jane Pauley. She then described the Luncheon as, “truly the heart of the Gracies—it’s where we celebrate each of you telling stories that impact each of us in our communities and schools. We remember how we got started with celebrating students as they enter our industry. We celebrate why we got into media. Why we are STILL in media.”
Foss went on to say, “This year, the events across the globe—and how media covered them—remind us that we live in an ever-changing world where attention spans run low, and quick-fire news cycles and tweets can compromise facts and events. We’ve been harshly reminded that there is still so much work to be done in the fight for women’s rights, religious freedom, gender and race equality.”
Host Dylan Dreyer, weather anchor of NBC News’ “Weekend TODAY” and regular co-host for TODAY, opened the awards with a story of how she grew up with all brothers and wasn’t intimidated being one of two women in her meteorology program.
After sharing her inspiring and personal story of beating breast cancer, songwriter Kara DioGuardi shared how she wrote the song Sober with Pink. She then performed the song as well as the Kelly Clarkson collaboration Walk Away.
Award-winning “CBS Sunday Morning” journalist Martha Teichner introduced Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Jane Pauley, relating how the two met while working on a local television station in Chicago in their early careers. She shared how Pauley “had to endure a hostile environment with no mentors, no one to rely on or ask questions to. No one made her feel at home.”
“Jane conducted herself in Chicago with tremendous dignity and developed a kind of respect among her peers that she has developed among her colleagues for her entire career,” said Teichner.
Lifetime Achievement Honoree Jane Pauley kept the full crowd laughing, sharing stories on aging, self-reflection and marriage. She said of her marriage to famed cartoonist Gary Trudeau, “I think the advantage to growing old together is that neither of us can see in hi-definition.”
When reflecting on her career, Pauley said, “I think one of the secrets to my success has been my awareness of pathetic moments that I can share with people. There’s a certain authenticity to being able to admit the things I can admit.” She continued, “I hope you find great inspiration from a woman who started the best new job of her career at the age of 65.”
Pauley went on to say, “From the perspective of a woman who has been in the television business since the VHS was considered new technology, go ahead and do it. Give yourself a break. There is a thing you do better than everyone else and you’re struggling as I speak to think of yours. I went decades trying to find a single strength. If you can’t think of that thing, you’ll turn 50 someday and it’ll come to you.”
“48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty presented the non-commercial radio awards, stating, “What I love about radio is that you have to create images with your voice and your words. Our words and what we do truly matter.”
When closing the show, host Dylan Dreyer asked the crowd to, “not let today slip through your fingers. Take the energy of this event and this room and use it to continue to impact the world for good. Now, more than ever, we must stand as a force to report, entertain and educate in a way that is inclusive of all, no matter the gender, race, age, whatever!”