2017 Fourth Estate Award Honoring Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon
October 4, 2017 6:30 PM
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Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon accept 2017 National Press Club Fourth Estate Award at October 4 Gala
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, award-winning sports journalists and co-hosts of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, will receive the National Press Club’s most esteemed prize, the Fourth Estate Award, at a Press Club gala in their honor on October 4, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Kornheiser and Wilbon are the 45th recipients of the award and the first joint recipients. The award recognizes journalists who have made significant contributions to the field.
“Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser through their lifetime individual and joint accomplishments as journalists have been able through the prism of sports, unify people of all walks of life bringing clarity, debate, humor, depth and wisdom to the table across print, radio and television platforms,” said National Press Club president Jeff Ballou. “They have also spent a lifetime mentoring colleagues and engaged in countless philanthropic endeavors. The National Press Club's Fourth Estate Award is about a well-rounded body of lifetime achievement. Mike and Tony have undoubtedly accomplished as much.”
The Fourth Estate Award is the top honor bestowed on a journalist by the National Press Club Board of Governors. Previous winners include Wolf Blitzer, Gwen Ifill, Charlie Rose, Andrea Mitchell, Bob Woodward, Jim Lehrer, Walter Cronkite, Christiane Amanpour and David Broder. The gala dinner is a fundraiser for the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s nonprofit affiliate, which advocates for press freedom worldwide, provides professional development and training services to the journalism community and scholarships to aspiring journalists.
Former Washington Post sports colleagues Kornheiser and Wilbon have co-hosted the popular ESPN television show Pardon the Interruption since 2001. Their fast-paced, humorous daily discussions on the latest in sports news makes it one of cable television’s most-watched studio shows. Pardon the Interruption has twice won Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Daily Studio Show.
“The team of ESPN’s ‘Pardon The Interruption,’ led by Mike and Tony have epitomized innovation. Their format, pacing and content have been replicated throughout the television industry on every level, and will have a lasting impact on the profession,” observed Ballou.
Tony Kornheiser started his career in journalism with Newsday, then began writing for the New York Times in 1976. He moved to the Washington Post in 1979 and by 1984 was a Post sports columnist as well as a humor columnist in the newspaper’s Style section. He later turned his thoughts on presidential politics, his teenagers, and the behavior of his dog, into three well received books. Kornheiser launched his radio career with the Tony Kornheiser Show in 1992 on Washington, DC’s WTEM-AM. The show was nationally distributed on ESPN Radio as well as airing on ESPN 980 (WTEM-AM) and Washington Post Radio. Currently it also can be heard in podcast form, available at www.tonykornheisershow.com. Kornheiser’s work with ESPN began with the broadcast show The Sports Reporters in the 1990s; he then headed his eponymous show on ESPN Radio from 1998 to 2004. He became only the third person who was not a former player to be a commentator on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, from 2006-2008. Kornheiser earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Harpur College (now Binghamton University) in 1970. Binghamton awarded him an honorary doctorate in May 2017.
Michael Wilbon began his career in journalism as an intern for two summers with the Washington Post, taking a full position in 1980 as a sports reporter, and then becoming a columnist from 1990 to 2010. He edited two New York Times best-seller books with NBA All-Star and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. Wilbon was a regular panelist on WRC-TV-4’s “Redskins Report” and “Full Court Press” with host George Michael for more than 10 years. His radio work has included appearing weekly on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago, with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN Radio, and with Kornheiser on ESPN 980 in Washington, DC. An NBA studio analyst for KIA NBA Countdown on ABC and ESPN since 2006, Wilbon writes regularly on NBA news and information programming across all ESPN platforms. Wilbon graduated from Northwestern University in 1980. He serves on the school’s Board of Trustees and was inducted into the inaugural class of the Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement.
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