Television journalist Barbara Walters, one of the media world’s preeminent on-air interviewers and talk-show hosts, will be the recipient of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s second lifetime achievement honors at an awards dinner on Tuesday, May 12 at The Times Center in New York. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is scheduled to present the award. ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas will serve as emcee.
The CUNY J-School’s second annual Awards for Excellence in Journalism will also recognize alumni from the Class of 2008: Fritzie Andrade, who works for The New York Times video unit; Joshua Cinelli, a freelancer; and Dana Oliver of the AOL.com style section. Another 2008 graduate, Bloomberg News stocks-team reporter Cristina Alesci, will receive the first Frederic Wiegold Award, named for a senior editor at Bloomberg Markets magazine who passed away last year.
Walters’ career began more than four decades ago as a writer for NBC’s Today Show. She went on to become the program’s first female co-host and to interview numerous world leaders and celebrities, including every U.S. president and first lady since Richard Nixon. Walters joined ABC News in 1976 and co-hosted the news magazine show 20/20 for 25 years. She remains an active contributor to the network through her prime time specials and work as co-executive producer and co-host of the popular daytime talk show, The View. She is also the author of a best-selling autobiography, Audition: A Memoir.
The awards gala helps the CUNY J-School raise money for student scholarships. Co-chairs for the event are Leonard A. Lauder, chairman of The Estee Lauder Companies; Donald B. Marron, chairman & CEO of Lightyear Capital; Peter G. Peterson, founder and chairman of Peter G. Peterson Foundation; Steven Rattner, managing principal of Quadrangle Group; David Westin, president of ABC News; and Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman and publisher of the New York Daily News and US News & World Report.
The media sponsors include Bloomberg News, Dow Jones & Co., Hearst Corp., The McGraw-Hill Companies, News Corp., The New York Observer, The New York Times, and Time, Inc.
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