PEABODY AWARDS DIRECTOR
Barry Sherman was the Director of the George Foster Peabody Awards program at the University of Georgia from 1991 until his untimely death in 2000. He is credited with taking the competition, which draws more than one thousand entries each year, to a new level of prominence.
Sherman joined UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1981 after teaching journalism history at Western Michigan University and Penn State University. A scholar of broadcast history, he was drawn to UGA by the opportunity to use the Peabody Archives for research. He immediately became involved in the Peabody Awards program and was named associate director in 1984, holding that post until he succeeded longtime awards director Worth McDougald in 1991. He said he regarded the directorship “as a sacred trust…there is no more highly regarded or more important program in the broadcasting and cable industries.”
At UGA, Sherman taught a graduate course in media management, an undergraduate introductory course in telecommunications, authored Telecommunications Management: Broadcasting/Cable and The New Technologies, and co-authored three editions of Broadcasting/Cable and Beyond: An Introduction to Modern Electronic Media.
Sherman was chairman of the Telecommunications department and was also the founding director of the Dowden Center for Telecommunication Studies from 1988 to 1997, when he was named the Lambdin Kay Chair for the Peabodys. He was twice recognized as outstanding teacher at UGA and was named the Frank Stanton Fellow in 1995 for his “outstanding contribution to electronic media education” by the International Radio and Television Society Foundation. In 1996 he was invited to testify before the Library of Congress on the importance of historical preservation of television and video materials.
During his tenure as director for the Peabody Awards he arranged popular exhibitions of material from the Peabody archives at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York, the Louis Wolfson II Media History Center in Miami, the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication honors his memory with The Barry Sherman Teaching Award that recognizes excellence and innovation in the teaching of media management and economics. Sherman’s family established a fund in his memory to help students on the Peabody judging committees to attend the awards ceremony in New York.