WNYC Radio’s The Brian Lehrer Show Wins Peabody Award

Press contact: Jennifer Houlihan / WNYC Associate Director, Publicity (212) 669-7748 / jhoulihan@wnyc.org


(April 2, 2008, New York, NY) – WNYC Radio’s The Brian Lehrer Show has been recognized with a George Foster Peabody Award for broadcast excellence in 2007. It was one of just two locally-produced radio programs to be awarded this distinctive honor this year.

Peabody judges said of the show: “Lehrer’s talk show is a wide open yet shrewdly managed forum in which every sort of political, social and cultural issue is considered and where New Yorkers, in all their diversity, can get to know each other.”

The Brian Lehrer Show is New York City’s popular daily news and talk call-in program. The show serves as a town square for New York and beyond, with newsmakers and agenda-setters, journalists and listeners conversing at length on the local, national and international news and cultural and social trends of the day. Guests range from political figures such as Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama, to cultural icons Bill T. Jones and David Byrne, to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, gossip columnist Michael Musto, and New York City middle school students, taxi drivers, and local neighborhood bloggers.

Segments from the show submitted to the Peabody Committee centered on the theme “Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides.” Topics included conversations on gentrification and the black middle class; a recurring series of eye-level reports from Baghdad by Time Baghdad bureau chief, Bobby Ghosh; efforts to find a middle ground in the Middle East; “Democracy’s Living Room,” the show’s listener call-in segments on the politics of citizenship; a debate on branding the Bronx with the tagline, “Yes the Bronx”; and the program’s innovative crowdsourcing initiative, a form of citizen journalism that asks listeners to report on a single issue from their own perspective and then analyzes the overall results.

It’s more important than ever that we use media to bring people together, to provoke intelligent conversations and understanding,” said Laura Walker, President and CEO of WNYC Radio. “Brian Lehrer and his team represent the best of public media, working each day to engage issues and people head-on in a quest for stronger community.”

The Brian Lehrer Show airs weekdays from 10am-noon on 93.9 FM and AM 820, and is available for on-demand streaming and downloading at www.wnyc.org.

This is the fourth Peabody Award WNYC has garnered in four years. PRI’s Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen and On the Media, co-hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, won in 2005. Radio Rookies, the station’s youth journalism program, won in 2006.

The winners of the 67th Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Peabody Award is among the most prestigious awards for broadcasting and cable excellence, and given solely on merit rather than within designated categories. The awards will be presented in June at a luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.

WNYC Radio is New York's premier public radio station, comprising WNYC 93.9 FM and WNYC AM 820. As America's most listened-to public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC FM and AM extend New York City's cultural riches to the entire country and air the best national offerings from affiliate networks National Public Radio and Public Radio International. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. For more information, visit www.wnyc.org.