Ebersol honored with Paul White Award

September 5, 2014 07:00

By Maggie Smolka, RTDNA News
From Sunday Night Football to Friday Night Videos and Saturday Night Live, not to mention countless broadcasts of the Olympic Games, Dick Ebersol has broadcast the images that define our time to many viewers.
His success in the industry has earned him RTDNA’s highest honor, the Paul White Award, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement and service to electronic journalism. Receiving the award at Excellence in Journalism 2014 in Nashville, Ebersol said there is one thing in particular making his long and successful career. “I can’t stress - no matter how talented people may think I am - luck, good fortune, good people, again and again is the key to having a long, good career.”
Ebersol kicked off his career in 1967 as television’s first Olympic researcher for Roone Arledge at ABC Sports.  He then joined NBC in 1974 as Director of Late Night Programming, hiring Lorne Michaels and creating Saturday Night Live. 
That was just the start of his NBC career.  He went on to become the President of NBC sports for 20 years. During that time he managed to help the network secure contracts to broadcast baseball’s World Series, the NBA Finals, and several Super Bowls, as well as the Summer and Winter Olympic Games from 2000 to the present. 
“I have had the great privilege and absolute joy of spending 45 years, and probably being one of the very tiny handful to do this, have major roles in all three key areas of media; entertainment, news, and sports,” said Ebersol during his acceptance speech. He went on to express his admiration for local journalists, who bring the news to people from well before sunrise to late at night.
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.

The Paul White Award isn’t Ebersol’s first honor.  He has also received a Peabody Award for NBC’s coverage of Beijing’s opening ceremony, more than a dozen Emmys, and in 1996 was named “The most powerful man in sports” by The Sporting News.

Read an archived version of a live blog from the ceremony here.
See video from the ceremony here.