An eclectic group of TV and radio pioneers has been selected as Giants of Broadcasting. This year’s class includes the late Don Cornelius, who was the revolutionary Soul Train host from 1971 to 1993.
- The man who gave Archie Bunker life, Norman Lear , is among the 2012 group. The producer-extraordinaire, Lear was behind some of television’s most endearing sitcoms, including All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, Good Times, and One Day at a Time. Lear, who turns 90 on July 27, has won four Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
- Ted Turner brought the idea of 24-hour news to people’s homes, and CNN was born in 1980. The mogul also founded TNT (Turner Network Television) and TCM (Turner Classic Movies). He was named Time‘s Man of Year for 1991.
- Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer were the longtime PBS nightly news anchors. They were first to anchor a one-hour newscast in the U.S. and made of career at that rare feat. The MacNeil/Lehrer Report debuted in 1975. Eight years later, the tandem was expanded to 60 minutes. MacNeil, who earlier in his career worked for NBC News, retired in 1995.
- Sir Howard Stringer was a 30-year veteran of CBS News. He moved from journalist to producer and ultimately a senior executive. Stringer was the recipient of nine Emmy Awards during his career at the network. In 2009, Stringer became CEO of the Sony Corporation.
- Andy Rooney had a decades-long association with CBS Television. In the earliest days of the medium, he was a writer for Garry Moore and Arthur Godfrey. But, of course, his legacy was cemented on 60 Minutes with the closing, lighter segment. His last appearance was October 2, 2011–his 1,097th commentary–was just weeks before his death at age 92.
- George Beasley is the chairman, CEO, founder of Beasley Broadcast Group, one of the earliest adopters of HD Radio digital technology.
- Erica Farber is credited with being the first woman general manager at a major market radio station. She held the post at RKO’s WROR-FM Boston in 1976, which led to being named VP/general manager at sister station WXLO in New York.
The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation selects the honorees annually. A gala luncheon will recognize the 10th anniversary of the Giants of Broadcasting in October 18 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.