Athens, Ga. – Brian Williams, the award-winning anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” will be the host of the 67th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards ceremony on Monday, June 16, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.
“Brian Williams is a broadcast journalist who exemplifies on a daily basis the single criterion that defines the Peabody Award-excellence,” said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia. “We are delighted that he will serve as our host and master of ceremonies for the 67th Peabody Awards presentation.”
The winners of the Peabody Awards for original broadcast, cablecast and Webcast programs presented in 2007 will be announced via Webcast and satellite on Wednesday, April 2 from the University of Georgia.
Brian Williams succeeded Tom Brokaw in December 2004, becoming only the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of “NBC Nightly News.” In his first two years on the job, he became the most highly decorated evening-news anchor of the modern era. He has received six Edward R. Murrow Awards, seven Emmy Awards, the duPont-Columbia University Award and the industry’s highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award.
Most were presented for his work in New Orleans while covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Vanity Fair called his Katrina reporting “Murrow-worthy,” and The New York Times said his work was “a defining moment as a network reporter and anchor.” In 2006, Time named Williams one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
Williams is a former NBC News chief White House correspondent, and former anchor and managing editor of “The News With Brian Williams” on MSNBC and CNBC. His extensive world travels include two years with the president on board Air Force One, and he has covered numerous nominating conventions and presidential campaigns and elections. He was the first NBC News correspondent to reach Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and was part of a U.S. Army helicopter mission that was forced down by enemy fire south of Najaf. He nonetheless has returned to Iraq several times.
Williams is a native of Middletown, New Jersey, where he spent many years as a volunteer firefighter, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. He attended Catholic University and George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C. He is a former White House intern, and has been awarded seven honorary degrees.
Williams is a frequent guest on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and has often appeared with David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. He has written for The New York Times, Time, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. After he was guest host of “Saturday Night Live” last November, Entertainment Weekly said his name belonged alongside the satirical revue’s all-time greats. He is married to Jane Stoddard Williams, and the couple has a daughter in college and a son in high school. Williams was named “Father of the Year” in 1996 by the National Father’s Day Committee.
The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The Peabody Awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, Webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 16-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. Selection is made by the Board following review by special screening committees of University of Georgia faculty, students and staff. For more information regarding the Peabody Awards program, the Peabody Awards Collection, and the Peabody Center for Media and Society see www.peabody.uga.edu.
The UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication administers the Peabody Awards, as it has since the program’s inception in 1940. Established in 1915, the Grady College provides seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu.