2014 Honoree for Awards Celebration

The Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts has announced a new and distinguished honoree to be recognized at its 12th annual luncheon and ceremony in New York’s Gotham Hall on October 16, 2014. She is Virginia Forwood Pate Wetter, who will be celebrated as a veteran of small town radio and one of an elite group of women who pioneered in the management ranks of what had long been almost exclusively a man’s world, as well as for her service to the industry in general.

The announcement of her election to the prestigious honors event rounds out a roster that already includes the noted talk and game show host Regis Philbin, such eminent entrepreneurs as David Barrett of Hearst Television, Peter Smyth of Greater Media and Pablo Raul Alarcon Sr. and Raul Alarcon Jr. of the Spanish Broadcasting System, the veteran all-network programming history of Fred Silverman, journalists Chuck Scarborough of WNBC-TV New York and Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill of the PBS NewsHour, and one of television’s and radio’s most important figures from the past, Sylvester L. (Pat) Weaver Jr. of NBC, whose influence continues to this day. That award is to be accepted by Sigourney Weaver, a noted actor in her own right, who will give a remembrance of her father.

Mrs. Wetter began her professional career in radio – as well as an early association in cable TV — as chairman and CEO of the Chesapeake Broadcasting Corporation, the parent of stations WASA (AM) – and later WHDG (FM) – in Havre de Grace, Maryland, which in 1948 had launched the first radio station between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware. She assumed that post without previous experience upon the death of her first husband, Jason Pate, in 1960, and embarked upon a career and an association with the medium that —at 95 — continues to this day. She was one of the first broadcasters to recognize the oncoming of cable, and secured an early franchise later sold to Comcast Inc.

Virginia Wetter was the first woman elected to the Radio Board of the National Association of Broadcasters (having earlier served as a member of its Radio Code Board), the first woman president of the Maryland-DC-Delaware Broadcasters Association, national president of American Women in Radio & Television, and among other associations was a director of the Broadcast Pioneers Library, predecessor to the Library of American Broadcasting which sponsors the Giants event. Among her honors are the AWRT Directors Award and its Radio Leadership Award, the American Broadcast Pioneer Award of the Broadcasters Association of America, the Alumni Medallion bestowed by the College of William & Mary (its highest recognition to a graduate) and an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from that institution. Her local and state affiliations and service are legion.

The Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts awards program was created in 2003 by the Library of American Broadcasting to identify and recognize distinguished excellence and performance in radio, conventional television, cable TV, the internet and prospectively the social media, as well as those in associated fields. It is an extension of the library’s role – now fulfilled by the University of Maryland at College Park — as the principal chronicler of broadcast history and traditions as well as witness to the continuing innovation and evolution of electronic media. Its honor roll comprises an historic “A-list” of individuals and programs that with the addition of 2014 honorees will number 182.

Reservations for seats, tables and program journal ads for the Gotham Hall event may be arranged through Jessica Wolin at 212-685-4233 or [email protected]. The full story of the Giants – recommended by many – may be found at giantsofbroadcasting.com.