Peabody Awards Transform to ‘Gala,’ With Red Carpet, ‘GMA,’ and Fred Armisen

By Mark Joyella 

The venerable, 73-year-old Peabody Awards announced Thursday they have “reimagined” the awards ceremony for 2015–moving the venue to Cipriani Wall Street, and taking the midday luncheon and transforming it to an evening gala complete with red carpet.

The Peabody Awards have also drafted “Saturday Night Live” veteran and “Portlandia” star Fred Armisen as host. “We are thrilled to have Fred Armisen lead the Peabodys into a new venue and a new era,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Jones, director of the Peabody Awards program at the University of Georgia. “Armisen is not just a comedian but an inspired citizen whose singular take on life and politics exemplifies the Peabody mission to honor stories that matter.”

The Peabody Awards are also tapping into the entertainment power of morning TV, announcing winners from entertainment live on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday, April 16.

“Announcing our entertainment winners on ‘GMA’ is an important milestone for the Peabodys,” said Jones. “Our goal is to invigorate and inspire citizens through the transformative power of television and electronic media to tell stories that transform and inspire us in our everyday lives. Reaching the large, diverse ‘GMA’ audience helps us accomplish that goal.”