WASHINGTON —The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the winner of the 2014 Paul White Award, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement and service to the profession of electronic journalism: Dick Ebersol, former longtime chairman of NBC Sports.
“For more than four decades, Dick Ebersol has represented the best of broadcasting,” said Mike Cavender, Executive Director of RTDNA. “His mark on television is as memorable as it is indelible.”
“Dick Ebersol redefined how the Olympic Games and athletes’ personal stories could be presented to audiences,” said Chris Carl, Chairman of RTDNA. “From news to sports to entertainment, we’re proud to recognize his accomplishments.”
The award will be presented on Friday, Sept. 5 at 4:30 p.m. CT at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 national convention, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. The ceremony will be followed by a reception.
Ebersol first stepped into the world of Olympic coverage in 1967 as television’s first Olympic researcher for Roone Arledge at ABC Sports. He joined NBC in 1974 as director of Weekend Late Night Programming, hiring Lorne Michaels and creating "Saturday Night Live." He developed other late-night programming for the network through his independent production company and served for a time as senior vice president of NBC News.
Ebersol became president of NBC Sports in 1989, leading up to coverage of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. During his tenure, the network secured contracts to broadcast baseball’s World Series, the NBA Finals and several Super Bowls, as well as a still-unbroken string of Summer and Winter Olympic Games from 2000 through the present day. He left NBC Sports in 2011.
In 1996, Ebersol was named “The most powerful man in sports” by The Sporting News. He was awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee for his work to advance the Olympic Movement. He is a member of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. He has won a George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy Award for lifetime achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
RTDNA established the Paul White Award in 1956 to honor the broadcast news pioneer who served as the first news director at CBS. The award recognizes an individual’s lifetime contribution to electronic journalism. Past Paul White recipients include Chris Wallace, Linda Ellerbee, Steve Kroft, Christiane Amanpour, Charles Gibson, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Bob Schieffer, Ted Koppel, Pauline Frederick and Edward R. Murrow.