The Broadcasters Foundation was formed to look after their own – all of those men and women who had good careers but perhaps not financially spectacular results. Last year the Broadcasters Foundation distributed close to $300,000. in monthly grants in 27 different states to those plight had been confidentially brought to their attention. Under the leadership of Ward Quaal, Ed McLaughlin and Phil Lombardo and president Gordon Hastings.
Thursday night’s dinner was a kind of thank you and it was loaded with media and broadcast people including Jean and Dan Rather whose departure from CBS will be completed in November. Mr. Rather’s contract paid him $12 million a year.
Also at the dinner: Cindy Adams, Bob and Barbara Taylor Bradford, Ambassador Ogden Reid, Matilda and Mario Cuomo, their daughter Maria Cuomo Cole, Frederic Fekkai, Arthur Hill Diedrick, Ruby Dee, Ann (Mrs. Wellington) Mara, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Jeanine Pirro, Tony Malara, Robert Zimmerman, Lee Elman, Nick Verbitsky, Ralph Guild and the Maccioni family, Egidiana, Francesca and Stella, Sirio, and Mauro.
I was at the same table as the Bradfords. Bob was telling me that Barbara’s latest “The Ravenscar Dynasty” has had such pre-publication reception all over the world (it has an October pub date) that it may be bigger than “A Woman of Substance.”
Barbara has sold more than 75,000,000 books worldwide and turns out a book a year. Bob was telling me about her work routine. She’s at her keyboard in her well-appointed office in her beautifully appointed co-op at six in the morning.
She stops for breakfast about eight. She goes back to work, stops for lunch and finishes up about four in the afternoon. She does most of her own research because she loves research. As she gets into the process, she is rarely far from her desk. It’s a picture of a great storyteller compelled to write, and a glamorous one at that.
It was a night of affection for the art of broadcasting, a celebration of all the men and women made it their lives. In a way it was a night in honor of Mr. O’Shaughnessy who may now be a seasoned executive and broacasting raconteur but really is still The Kid getting started in the golden age. He’ll keep the banners waving for us.