by Jay Ankeney ~ April 25, 2006
NAB DAILY NEWS
Television personality Regis Philbin was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame before 3,000 attendees of NAB2006 at Monday's NAB Television All Industry Luncheon. Philbin, host of "Live with Regis and Kelly" has spent over 15,000 hours in front of the camera over his 40 year career in broadcasting.
Before the presentation, Jack Valenti, former MPAA president and CEO, reminded the audience of the
importance of the First Amendment to protect the viewing public from the FCC's attempts to regulate the content of television by recalling an old Texas prayer. "Dear Lord, let me seek the truth," Valenti said, "but spare me the company of those who have found it."
During the luncheon, Hispanic broadcasting pioneers Emilio Nicolas Sr. and the late Raoul A. Cortez also received NAB's "Spirit of Broadcasting" award. Their entrepreneurial initiative and creativity opened new doors for the broadcasting industry, eventually leading to the formation of the multinational media giant Univision.
"I am deeply grateful for accepting this award on behalf of my former partners," Nicolas said. "May God bless you, and preserve our unique and truly necessary broadcasting industry. And may he continue to bless America and the immigrants who keep it great."
Then, while introducing Philbin, David K. Rehr, NAB president and CEO, said "If ever there was an inductee that needed no introduction, it has to be this year's honoree. For nearly 50 years, Regis Philbin has been on the air somewhere. But more often than not, he has been on the air everywhere."
After a video retrospective of Philbin's career narrated by Jerry Seinfeld, Philbin recalled when he was hired in 1964 by Westinghouse to replace Steve Allen on his late night show, people asked him "What is your talent?" and he didn't know how to answer them. It was several years later when he was the sidekick on Joey Bishop's late night show, Bishop gave him the answer. "I'll tell you what your talent is. You are a great listener." Philbin said he was delighted.
Throughout his career, Philbin's "host chat" style of engaging his audience has made millions want to listen to him, too. In 2001, his unique personality won him two Daytime Emmy Awards for both "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Live with Regis."
Philbin expressed his appreciation to the audience for the recognition he had received.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me the latest member of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame," Philbin said. "It means everything to me, and I will always cherish this honor."
© 2006 NAB