Peabody Appoints Doug Herzog, Cynthia López, Orwa Nyrabia, Russ Schriefer, Cynthia Tucker, Mark Whitaker, and Andrea Wishom to its Board of Jurors and Names Wonya Lucas to Lead the Board
ATHENS, GA (January 18, 2024) – Peabody today announced that its annual ceremony, the Peabody Awards, will be held in Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Sunday, June 9, 2024. The announcement marks Peabody’s first in-person ceremony since 2019 and the first time ever in its 84-year history that the Awards will take place in Los Angeles. Peabody also announced that it has appointed Doug Herzog, Cynthia López, Orwa Nyrabia, Russ Schriefer, Cynthia Tucker, Mark Whitaker, and Andrea Wishom to its Board of Jurors. Wonya Lucas has been named as the next chair of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors.
“For the first time in the history of Peabody, we’re thrilled to recognize the most compelling stories of the year at a joyful and inspiring ceremony in Los Angeles,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody. “By including more talent and honoring the winners in a city that deeply admires the power of stories, we are confident that we will add some tangible excitement to our ceremony. We’re also thrilled to add Doug, Cynthia, Orwa, Russ, Cynthia, Mark, and Andrea – media and storytelling veterans with a wide range of experiences and perspectives – to our stellar Board of Jurors.”
The Peabody Board of Jurors is made up of media industry professionals, media scholars, critics and journalists, appointed by the program’s executive director to a renewable three-year term of service.
After five years as a member of the Board of Jurors, this marks the first year that Lucas will serve as chair of the prestigious program’s judging body.
“After having the privilege of serving on the Board of Jurors, I’m honored to chair this extraordinary group,” said Wonya Lucas. “Between the incredible stories told this past year and the excellent additions to our Board, I know this will be a fantastic year for the Peabody Awards.”
Respected for its integrity and revered for its standards of excellence, the Peabody is an honor like no other. 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, immersive and interactive media, and public service programming. The annual Peabody winners are a collection of stories that powerfully reflect the pressing social issues and the vibrant emerging voices of our day. The program is based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
Nominees for the 84th Peabody Awards will be announced in April with the winners announced in May. All nominees must receive a unanimous vote by the Peabody Board of Jurors. The awards ceremony will be produced by Bob Bain Productions. For more information, visit peabodyawards.com.
About the Jurors
Doug Herzog was formerly the President of Viacom’s Music Entertainment Group where he oversaw Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, TVLand and Logo. Herzog left the company in January 2017. Herzog is widely recognized in the industry for leading and building some of cable television’s most successful network brands, as well as launching long-running hits that permeated the cultural zeitgeist. Under his leadership, Viacom became home to some of television’s most acclaimed and enduring franchises, including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, South Park, The Real World, UFC, Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, Hot in Cleveland, Workaholics, and Younger.
Cynthia López is CEO of New York Women in Film & Television. An award-winning media strategist, and former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, López implemented strategies to support film and TV production throughout the five boroughs. She joined the City of New York from American Documentary | POV, where she had worked since 2000, eventually becoming executive vice president and co-executive producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series. During López’s tenure at the POV series she championed diversifying the national PBS schedule through the CPB funded Diverse Voices Program, which provided major funding for this creative program that included mentorship and financial support for diverse filmmakers that had not been featured on a national broadcast.
Orwa Nyrabia is a leading figure in the world of documentary film and art. He is a festival director and an award-winning film producer. Since 2018, he has been the Artistic Director of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world’s largest documentary film and new media festival. During his tenure at IDFA, Nyrabia successfully led the organization’s efforts towards wider international representation and gender parity, and his restructuring of the organization’s offer inspired many other festivals and organizations around the world. Before IDFA, being one half of a filmmaking duo with partner Diana El Jeiroudi, Nyrabia co-founded Syria’s first independent film festival, DOX BOX, and was a producer with credits that include Republic of Silence (D. El Jeiroudi, Venice 2021), Notturno (GF. Rosi, Venice 2020), Silvered Water (O. Mohammad and W. Bedirxan, Cannes 2014), Return to Homs (T. Derki, IDFA 2013) and Dolls, A Woman from Damascus (D. El Jeiroudi, IDFA 2007) a.o.
Russ Schriefer is a leading American political and corporate strategist, media consultant, and the Founding Partner of Strategic Partners & Media. With senior roles advising eight presidential campaigns, his groundbreaking advertising prompted one veteran columnist to praise his work as the “most powerful, focused, and skillfully executed political ad campaign I have ever witnessed.” Schriefer offers strategic counsel, coaching, and crisis messaging to elected leaders, global CEOs, and Fortune 500 companies. He has played a pivotal role in producing three Republican National Conventions, curating the agenda, creating legacy films, and developing prime-time narratives. Russ is passionate about live theater and actively contributes as the board vice chair at the Tony Award-winning Signature Theater.
Cynthia Tucker is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist. Her weekly column, which appears in newspapers around the country, focuses on political and cultural issues, including income inequality, social justice and reform of the public education system. Tucker has spent most of her career in newspapers, working as a reporter and editor. For seventeen years, she served as editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, overseeing the newspaper’s editorial policies on everything from local elections to foreign affairs. She also worked as a Washington-based political columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After leaving the newspaper, she spent three years as a visiting professor at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, where she was also a Charlayne Hunter-Gault writer-in-residence. Tucker is currently journalist-in-residence at the University of South Alabama.
Mark Whitaker is the former managing editor of CNN Worldwide, Washington bureau chief for NBC News, and Editor of Newsweek, where he rose to become the first African American leader of a national newsweekly. He is now an author and Emmy Award-winning Contributing Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. Whitaker’s books include the critically acclaimed memoir, My Long Trip Home; Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance, about the historic legacy of Black Pittsburgh; and Saying It Loud: 1966-The Year Black Power Challenged the Civil Rights Movement.
Andrea Wishom is President of Skywalker Holdings, LLC, where her responsibilities include the financial, philanthropic, and strategic priorities of a diversified family office. An award-winning media executive, Andrea joined Skywalker from Harpo Productions where she spent over two decades launching, developing and producing some of the most successful programming in television history for The Oprah Winfrey Show, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. As Executive Vice President she played a key role in leading OWN to become a top 30 network within its first year and the #1 Cable Network among African American Women. As Executive Producer of Super Soul Sunday, she won a GLAAD award. Wishom is the lead independent director of Pinterest , and serves as a director for Tory Burch, LLC. She previously served on the board of Nextdoor Holdings, Inc.
The Peabody Board of Jurors is made up of media industry professionals, media scholars, critics and journalists, appointed by the program’s executive director to a renewable three-year term of service. Along with the new additions, the Board also includes:
- Wonya Lucas, Chair; Corporate Board Director and Former CEO, Hallmark Media
- Lorraine Ali, TV Critic, Los Angeles Times
- Manuel Betancourt, Contributing Editor, Film Quarterly; Film & TV Critic, Culture Writer
- Hannah Giorgis, Cultural Critic and Staff Writer, The Atlantic
- Dana A. Heller, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Eastern Michigan University
- Michael Isip, President & CEO, KQED
- Aswin Punathambekar, professor, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania and director, Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication
- Nicholas Quah, Podcast Critic, Vulture
- Kent Rees, industry-leading content and marketing strategist
- Mark Ruffin, Program Director of Real Jazz, SiriusXM Satellite Radio
- Bonnie Turner, veteran film and television writer and producer
Nominees for the 84th Peabody Awards will be announced in April with the winners announced in May. All nominees must receive a unanimous vote by the Peabody Board of Jurors. The awards ceremony will be produced by Bob Bain Productions.
About Peabody Awards
Respected for its integrity and revered for its standards of excellence, the Peabody is an honor like no other for television, podcast/radio, immersive and interactive 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. 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. The Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and are still based in Athens today. For more information, visit peabodyawards.com to sign up for our newsletter.
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