For the first time in a decade, the Peabody Awards has a TV home. Pivot, Participant Media’s TV network targeting millennials, has signed a deal to telecast the University of Georgia’s George Foster Peabody Awards through 2016, which marks the Peabody’s 75th anniversary. Broadcasting the awards, which honor excellence in TV, radio and webcasting, is challenging since winners traditionally are announced well in advance of the trophy ceremony. This year’s winners, for instance, will be announced April 2, but the medallions will be dispensed May 19 at a luncheon ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria. The 2014 Peabody Awards special, the two parties announced, will “blend highlights from the presentation ceremony with exclusive interviews with featured award winners. A date for that telecast was not announced.
The Peabody Awards, administered by UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, don’t have the kind of categories we’ve come to know and love at other trophy award ceremonies, though there are some general groupings. Recent winners have included such TV programs as Dr. Who, Girls, Louie, Game Change, Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, Switched At Birth, Southland, Homeland, Game Of Thrones, Parks And Recreation, Jeopardy!, as well as an award to a New Britain, CN TV station’s breaking-news coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, ABC News’s coverage of Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts’ bone marrow transplant, Smithsonian Channel’s MLK The Assassination Tapes, Americans Masters’ Elia Kazan docu, ESPN’s 30 For 30, The Colbert Report’s segments on Super PAC funding of political campaigns, and an episode of PBS’ Sherlock.
Pivot calls itself “TV for The New Greatest Generation.” The Peabody Awards calls itself the oldest award in electronic media, having first been presented in 1941. Past ceremony hosts have included Walter Cronkite and Jon Stewart; expect The Pivot Years to run more toward the latter than the former, host-wise. The awards are determined by a 16-member panel of academics, TV critics, industry practitioners and pundits of culture and arts.