NATPE announces Tartikoff Legacy Award winners


Dick Ebersol, Mary Hart, Regis Philbin and Gerhard Zeiler will receive NATPE||Content First’s 8th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award. Named in honor of one of television’s greatest programmers, the award was created to recognize a select group of television professionals who exhibit extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating television programming.

The four will be honored Tuesday, January 25 during the NATPE 2011 Market & Conference in Miami.

“We believe that Dick, Mary, Regis and Gerhard have remarkably shaped the global television industry on both business and pop cultural levels, and truly embody the spirit of the Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award,” said NATPE President & CEO Rick Feldman. Feldman. “Both NATPE and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz are delighted to honor the recipients’ storied careers through this special celebration.”

A prolific producer and executive, Dick Ebersol is currently the Chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, and in the past three decades has produced eight of the top 10 most-watched television events in US history. Responsible for award-winning sports, entertainment and news productions, Ebersol negotiated an unprecedented number of Summer and Winter Olympics broadcasting rights deals for NBC, establishing NBC as “America’s Olympic Network.”

Not only a powerhouse sports broadcasting executive, Ebersol also conceived and created “Saturday Night Live” with Lorne Michaels. He was awarded the Olympic Order in 1992 by the International Olympic Committee and is a part of the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Mary Hart is the host of the No. 1 syndicated entertainment newsmagazine show in the world, “Entertainment Tonight.” For the past 29 seasons, Hart has interviewed some of the most distinguished personalities in entertainment while providing compelling coverage of global events and major news. She was the only journalist granted access to Quincy Jones’ all-star recording session for “We are the World,” and the only entertainment journalist who interviewed all presidential and vice-presidential candidates during the 2008 presidential campaign.

She is a member of Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is also actively involved in several philanthropic organizations dedicated to children. Earlier this year Hart announced that the 2010-2011 season will be her last as host of ET.

Regis Philbin is an Emmy Award-winning broadcasting industry icon.  Since first stepping in front of the camera more than 40 years ago, he has ambitiously tackled talk shows, game shows, the literary world and even the music industry.  Philbin is best known for his many years as co-host of the nationally-syndicated morning program “LIVE! with Regis and Kelly.” He later took his daytime success to primetime as host of ABC’s ratings juggernaut “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” 

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored Philbin with a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Talk Show Host for “LIVE,” and another Emmy award as Outstanding Game Show Host for “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”  He has been inducted to the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame, and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Daytime Emmys.   He also holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Hours on Camera.”

Gerhard Zeiler is CEO of the European television and radio network RTL Group and member of the Bertelsmann AG Executive Board. He is the first international recipient of the Award. During his tenure RTL Group has impressively grown to have shareholdings in 45 television channels and 32 radio stations in 11 countries, becoming Europe’s leading family of entertainment channels. Nearly 200 million people tune into RTL networks every day. 

Under Zeiler’s leadership, RTL Group has become actively involved in worldwide content production through its production arm, Fremantle Media. The company currently produces more than 300 programs and 10,000 hours of programming yearly in 57 countries including film and series. Zeiler was named Media Personality of the Year at MIPCOM in 2004.