Ailes, Lauer, 60 Minutes Set For Hall of Fame

By SteveK 

10 new members to the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame will be inducted tomorrow night, spanning the tube from Showtime to ESPN. A few will be from the TV news world as well, and each of the inductees are profiled on the B&C site:

• Marisa Guthrie describes FNC CEO Roger Ailes as having “the populist gumption and nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic of his Rust Belt roots.”

Ailes talks about the bias he sees in the media. “Everybody knew [Tim] Russert was a liberal Democrat,” he says. “And everybody knows [Tom] Brokaw is a liberal Democrat. But they didn’t let that get in the way of their questions, their reporting. They didn’t get their ego out in front of the story. I have enormous respect for people who do that.”

He also gives an indication to his role in the mainstream media as a whole. “The day we all start doing the same thing and running over the same cliff like all those cows in a Roy Rogers movie, it’s over,” he says. “So as long as the cows are heading in one direction, you’ll see me standing in the doorway saying, ‘Hey, wait a minute, over here.'”

Click continued for highlights from the profiles of NBC’s Matt Lauer and CBS’ 60 Minutes, also inductees tomorrow night…

• Allison Romano writes about Lauer through the lens of many who have worked with him, from Today EP Jim Bell to NBC Chairman Jeff Zucker to co-anchor Meredith Vieira.

“Matt asks the right questions at the right time, and he makes news,” says Bell. “The two biggest stories of our time right now are politics and the economy, and no one does those interviews better than Matt.”

And with the long list of those he has worked with, it is Bryant Gumbel, the person he succeeded, as someone he “credits part of his success to,” because of Gumbel’s work ethic. “Whether it was a cooking segment or the president, I was going to do my homework,” Lauer says. “That became my mantra.”

• B&C’s Robert Edelstein describes 60 Minutes as an “anomaly.” The program, the longest-running primetime show on television, has had just two EP’s during its 40 year run, and its format doesn’t “jibe with today’s media environment, where sound bites have trumped reasoned reporting.”

But, as Edelstein writes, “This past March, the show did clock 17 million streams on Yahoo through a deal with the portal that is now being renewed.”

Current EP Jeff Fager says, “I like to think we’re as current as we can possibly be. We’re on our toes; we’re ready to jump on stories that are part of this week’s world.”