Our Story

WHY PEABODY MATTERS

Respected for its integrity and revered for its standards of excellence, the Peabody is an honor like no other for television, podcast/radio, and streaming media. Chosen each year by a diverse Board of Jurors through unanimous vote, Peabody Awards are given in the categories of entertainment, documentary, news, podcast/radio, arts, children’s and youth, and public service programming. Beginning in 2023, Peabody will expand its mission, awarding interactive and immersive projects including in the fields of virtual reality, augmented reality, interactive documentary and journalism, social video, and co-creation.

The annual Peabody winners are a collection of stories that powerfully reflect the pressing social issues and the vibrant emerging voices of our day. From major productions to local journalism, the Peabody Awards shine a light on the Stories That Matter and are a testament to the power of art and reportage in the push for truth, social justice, and equity.

As we continue to struggle for progress amid polarizing division, the power of media narratives is paramount. The Peabody Awards elevate stories that defend the public interest, encourage empathy with others, and teach us to expand our understanding of the world around us.

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MEET THE DIRECTOR

Jeffrey P. Jones, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the George Foster Peabody Awards at the University of Georgia, and Lambdin Kay Chair for the Peabodys in the Department of Entertainment & Media Studies. Jones became only the fifth director of the Peabody Awards in 2013. Prior to that, he was Director of the Institute of Humanities at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. in Radio-TV-Film from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Masters and Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Auburn University.

Under Jones’s leadership, television specials of the awards ceremony were broadcast nationally on Pivot, PBS, and Fusion. He established the first-ever Boards of Directors (representing media on both East and West Coasts) comprised of top-level media entertainment industry executives, as well as journalists, documentarians, radio/podcasters, public media, and foundation executives. In partnership with Facebook, he created the Peabody Futures of Media Award in 2015 to recognize digital storytelling excellence in formats such as video games, virtual reality, interactive documentaries, data journalism, and more. In 2020, Peabody created a new and separate Board of Jurors to begin formally awarding Peabody Awards to Interactive and Immersive Media, launching the initiative with a set of “legacy” award winners in 2022 for groundbreaking and iconic works from previous decades.

During the Covid Pandemic of 2020-22, Peabody moved its annual celebration of winners online, utilizing social media for a much broader awareness of winning stories. In 2021, the program also launched its weekly newsletter of viewing recommendations. In 2023, the annual awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles for the first time in the program’s 83-year history.

Professor Jones is the author and editor of six books, including “Entertaining Politics: Satiric Television and Civic Engagement,” “Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era,” and “The Essential HBO Reader.” Most recently, co-edited with Ethan Thompson and Lucas Hatlan, is “Television History, the Peabody Archives, and Cultural Memory” through the University of Georgia Press. His research and teaching focuses on popular politics, or the ways in which politics are engaged through popular culture. He hails from Auburn, Alabama, has one son, and is a semi-professional drummer.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Bruce M. Ramer (Chair)

    Partner, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown

  • Lorrie Bartlett

    Co-Head of Talent, ICM Partners

  • Casey Bloys

    Chief Content Officer, HBO and HBO Max

  • Emerson Coleman

    Senior Vice President, Programming, Hearst Television

  • Susanne Daniels

    Global Head of Original Content, YouTube

  • Channing Dungey

    Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Television Group

  • Craig Erwich

    President, ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals, Hulu

  • Cliff Gilbert-Lurie

    Senior Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP

  • Alix Jaffe

    Executive Vice President of Television, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group

  • Tilane Jones

    President, ARRAY Alliance

  • Roma Khanna

    Executive Chair, HiddenLight Productions

  • Charles D. King

    Founder & CEO, MACRO Television Studios

  • David Kramer

    President, United Talent Agency

  • Steve Lafferty

    Head of Television and Managing Partner, Creative Artists Agency

  • Kristie Macosko Krieger

    Film and Television Producer, Amblin Partners

  • David Nevins

    Chief Creative Officer, CBS and Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks, ViacomCBS

  • Andy Patman

    Partner and Head of Television Content, A3 Artists Agency

  • Rick Rosen

    Head of Television, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

  • Jennifer Salke

    Head, Amazon Studios

  • Josh Sapan

    CEO, AMC

  • Ted Sarandos

    Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Content Officer, Netflix

  • David Stapf

    President, CBS Studios

  • Zack Van Amburg

    Head of Worldwide Video, Apple

  • John Huey (Chair)

    Chair, East Coast Peabody Board of Directors

  • Philip Balboni

    Founder, CEO and Co-Executive Editor, DailyChatter

  • Nancy Barnes

    Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director, NPR

  • Katie Couric

    Founder, Katie Couric Media

  • Maria Cuomo Cole

    Founder, Cuomo Cole Productions

  • Nancy Dubuc

    CEO, Vice Media

  • Jessica Herrera-Flanigan

    Vice President, Policy & Philanthropy, Americas, Twitter

  • Dave Isay

    Founder and President, STORYCORPS

  • Paula Kerger

    President and CEO, PBS

  • Chris McCarthy

    President, Entertainment & Youth Brands, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, Viacom

  • Pat Mitchell

    CEO and Producer; Founder, TEDWomen & Chair, Sundance Institute board

  • Courteney Monroe

    President of Content, National Geographic Global Networks

  • Sheila Nevins

    Head, MTV Documentary Films, MTV Studios

  • Michele Norris-Johnson

    Founding Director, The Race Card Project; Columnist, The Washington Post & Former NPR Host

  • Soledad O’Brien

    Chief Executive Officer, Soledad O'Brien Productions

  • Malika Saada Saar

    Senior Counsel, Civil and Human Rights, Google

  • Connor Schell

    Producer; Co-creator of 30 for 30 ESPN series

  • Regina K. Scully

    Founder and CEO, Artemis Rising Foundation

  • Kashif Shaikh

    Co-Founder and Executive Director, Pillars Fund

  • Neal Shapiro

    President and CEO, WNET New York Public Media

  • Marcia Smith

    President, Firelight Media

BOARD OF JURORS

  • John Seigenthaler Headshot

    John Seigenthaler (Chair)

  • Lorraine Ali Headshot

    Lorraine Ali

  • Dr. Manuel Betancourt Headshot

    Dr. Manuel Betancourt

  • Marcy Carsey Headshot

    Marcy Carsey

  • Vanessa K. De Luca Headshot

    Vanessa K. De Luca

  • Hannah Giorgis Headshot

    Hannah Giorgis

  • Dr. Herman Gray Headshot

    Dr. Herman Gray

  • Dr. Dana A. Heller Headshot

    Dr. Dana A. Heller

  • Kathy Im Headshot

    Kathy Im

  • Michael Isip Headshot

    Michael Isip

  • Carrie Lozano Headshot

    Carrie Lozano

  • Wonya Lucas Headshot

    Wonya Lucas

  • Mike Monello Headshot

    Mike Monello

  • Dr. Aswin Punathambekar Headshot

    Dr. Aswin Punathambekar

  • Nicholas Quah Headshot

    Nicholas Quah

  • Kent Rees Headshot

    Kent Rees

  • Mark Ruffin Headshot

    Mark Ruffin

  • Bonnie Turner Headshot

    Bonnie Turner

INTERACTIVE BOARD

  • Diana Williams Headshot

    Diana Williams (Chair)

  • Lars Bastholm Headshot

    Lars Bastholm

  • Jay Bushman Headshot

    Jay Bushman

  • Dr. Aymar Jean Christian Headshot

    Dr. Aymar Jean Christian

  • Katerina Cizek Headshot

    Katerina Cizek

  • Gabriel J.X. Dance Headshot

    Gabriel J.X. Dance

  • Yasmin Elayat Headshot

    Yasmin Elayat

  • Navid Khonsari Headshot

    Navid Khonsari

  • Opeyemi Olukemi Headshot

    Opeyemi Olukemi

  • Dan Pacheco Headshot

    Dan Pacheco

  • Adrienne Shaw Headshot

    Adrienne Shaw

  • Kamal Sinclair Headshot

    Kamal Sinclair

  • Dr. Benjamin Stokes Headshot

    Dr. Benjamin Stokes (ex officio)

  • Sara Thacher Headshot

    Sara Thacher

  • Lance Weiler Headshot

    Lance Weiler

HISTORY OF THE AWARDS

As radio rose in popularity in the late 1930s, The National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to establish a prestigious award similar to the Pulitzer Prize for excellence in broadcasting. Lambdin Kay, manager of WSB Radio in Atlanta, asked John Drewry, dean of the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism, to sponsor the awards, upon the recommendation of Lessie Smithgall, a graduate who worked at the station.

The first awards were issued in 1941 for excellence in radio programming broadcast in the previous year of 1940.

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George Foster Peabody (1852-1938), a Georgia native, was a successful investment banker, and as of 1906, a social activist. Peabody was a supporter of women’s suffrage, free trade, and black education in the American South. Contrary to popular belief, the Peabody Awards were not established through an endowment or provisions in Peabody’s will, but named after him posthumously in recognition of his contributions to the University of Georgia at large. The Peabody Award medallion was commissioned by his family and designed by sculptor Evelyn Beatrice Longman. Peabody is sometimes confused for George Peabody (1795-1869), who was also a banker and philanthropist.

  • John Drewry
  • Worth McDougald
  • Barry Sherman
  • Horace Newcomb

Serving on the Peabody Board of Jurors offers the rare opportunity to help set the highest standards for the media industries.

Over the last 77 years, jurors have included such luminaries as Alfred A. Knopf, Bennett Cerf, John Daly, Newton Minnow, Liz Carpenter, Barbara Jordan, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

As part of the third largest audiovisual archive in the United States, the Peabody Awards Collection consists of over 90,000 titles, with radio programs dating from 1940 and television from 1948. The Collection contains radio transcription discs, audiotape, 16mm kinescopes and prints, 2″ video reels, video cassettes, and objects associated with past award entrants. Many of the programs in the collection may be only surviving copies of the work, especially in the case of local radio and television broadcasting. The Collection is managed by the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries.

Press kits, scripts, and correspondence submitted with the entries are housed in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

OUR STAFF

Lynh Tran

Associate Director for Strategy & Operations

Maggie Stephens

Awards Coordinator

Christine Drayer

Chief Marketing Officer

Laurie Anglin

Administrative Specialist