Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

Georgia School of Journalism, is the permanent head of the affair.


How do they choose the people on the committee?


Well, Drury more or less picked the original group, and since then the existing committee votes on new members and the chairman. When I joined, the chairman was Ted Weeks, editor of The Atlantic Monthly. He started his career with me at Liveright's. How paths cross! Ted had been chairman for several years, and thought it was time for a change so two years later I became chairman and remained chairman until just last month--when I resigned for a very good reason.

First of all, all the time that I was chairman, “What's My Line?" which certainly should have gotten a Peabody award for the best game show, never got one because I wouldn't allow it. It wouldn't have looked right. Then, when I became a director of RCA, the conflict of interest became more evident. NBC is part of RCA, of course. I had wanted to resign the minute that I joined the RCA board, but they said, “We know that you aren't going to let that influence you.” But when my impartiality was questioned in a story in Variety, I quit immediately. I was on that board for twelve years, ten of which I was chairman.

The fun of it every year was the big Peabody luncheon where we would give awards to everybody from Mrs. Lyndon Johnson down and up. The entire radio and television

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help