Cablers Snare Peabodys, Beacons


This spring, the cable industry will not only receive a large chunk of the Peabody Awards, but the ceremony itself.

A week that started with plenty of cable operators and programmers rewarded with Beacon Awards from the Cable Television Public Affairs Association ended with A&E Network securing a deal to televise this year's Peabody program. A&E's agreement is a first for the annual media honors, one of the most coveted in the industry.

A&E will tape the May 18 ceremony in New York. A spokesman said the network would run the coverage during June in a late Sunday afternoon time period, probably 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

9 out of 31

As for this year's honorees, nine of the 31 programs cited are from cable, with seven networks lauded. Home Box Office was cable's only multiple award winner, honored for Six Feet Under, Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam
and The Gathering Storm.

Showtime will get a Peabody for Bang Bang You're Dead, its critically acclaimed original film on gun violence in schools.

Cable News Network earned one for Terror on Tape, correspondent Nic Robertson's report on how Al Qaeda instructs its operatives in terrorism. He and fellow reporter Rym Brahimi were recently expelled from Baghdad by the Iraqi government.

Turner Network Television and Court TV picked up honors for made-for-movie efforts: the former for Door to Door
and the latter for The Interrogation of Michael Crowe.

ESPN's The Complete Angler, a tone poem about fly fishing, and BBC America's drama Almost Strangers
also won awards.

Barbara Walters will host the Peabody Awards event, produced by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, and co-sponsored by Multichannel News
parent Reed Business Information.

Beacon bounty

In Washington last Tuesday night, Comcast Corp. and some of its systems earned 14 Beacon Awards, the best result for any cable company in the running. Time Warner Cable and its systems picked up 11 honors, while Cox Communications Inc. garnered nine Beacons.

Among programmers, MTV: Music Television and Court TV earned five awards each, while A&E Network tallied four. Another four-trophy performance was turned in by AT&T Broadband systems now in the Comcast fold.

C-SPAN received two awards, notably the annual Golden Beacon Award — CTPAA's highest honor — for its Presidential Timeline Giveaway project.

The winner roster also included Charter Communications Inc., Lifetime Television, Cablevision Systems Corp. and Oxygen Media.

Earlier, CTPAA gave special Beacons to Cox's New England systems for their joint "Celebrating Champions" campaign (ESPN Good Sports Award); MTV's "Fight for Your Rights: Protect Yourself project" (Joel A. Berger Award); and Court TV CEO Henry Schleiff and Insight Communications Corp. CEO Michael Willner (President's Award).

CTPAA gives out Beacon Awards each year for outstanding achievement in community outreach, government and public relations ventures.