Athens, Ga. – Diane Sawyer, the award-winning anchor of ABC World News, will be the host of the 69th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards ceremony on Monday, May 17, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City.
Sawyer will be the first media personality—news or entertainment—to emcee a second Peabody ceremony, having presided over the 56th annual awards in 1996. She shared in the Peabody Award bestowed upon “Rush to Read,” a 1994 investigative report presented by ABC News Prime Time Live.
“Diane Sawyer has worked in every facet of broadcast journalism,” said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia. “Now, as anchor of ABC’s World News, all her prior experience is brought to bear on the most significant events of our time in the most professional manner. We are delighted that for the second time she will serve as our host and master of ceremonies for the 69th Peabody Awards presentation.”
In addition to helming ABC’s flagship evening news broadcast, Sawyer is the network’s principal anchor for breaking news, election coverage and special events. She has traveled the globe delivering in-depth and breaking news reports and has conducted interviews with almost every major newsmaker of our time. Her primetime documentaries have won critical acclaim for shedding light on difficult and previously under-reported topics.
Sawyer’s numerous awards for reporting also include duPonts, Emmys, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, and the USC Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award. In 1997, she was inducted into the Television Academy of Hall of Fame.
A native of Glasgow, Ken. and raised in Louisville, Sawyer received a bachelor of arts degree from Wellesley College and completed a semester of law school before embarking on a career in broadcasting.
The Peabody Board will begin five days of face-to-face deliberations at the University of Georgia on Wednesday, March 24. The winners of the awards for original broadcast, cablecast and Webcast programs presented in 2009 will be announced via Webcast and satellite on Wednesday, March 31.
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 UGA 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 offers undergraduate majors in advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to WNEG-TV, the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu or follow Grady on Twitter at twitter.com/ugagrady.