Oct. 24, 2012. George Beasley, chairman, CEO and founder of Beasley Broadcast Group, was honored Oct. 18 at the Library of American Broadcasting’s 10th annual Giants of Broadcasting event. Beasley was one of 10 distinguished honorees. This event celebrates distinguished leadership or performance in television and radio. This year’s ceremony was hosted at the Starlight Roof of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Other 2012 honorees were Norman Lear, the eminent writer-producer responsible for 1970s hit TV shows such as “All in the Family”; Ted Turner, founder of the cable network CNN, the first 24-hour cable news channel; Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau; the late Andy Rooney, radio and television writer known for his weekly broadcast “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” on the CBS program “60 Minutes”; Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, creators and anchors of “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report”; Sir Howard Stringer, chairman of Sony Corporation; the late “Soul Train” creator and producer Don Cornelius; and the late Dinah Shore, singer, actress and television personality.
Beasley earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees in business education from Appalachian State University in 1958 and 1959.
Beasley built his first radio station, WPYB-AM, in Benson, in 1961 while serving as an assistant principal at a Virginia high school about two hours away. He sold the station five years later to buy the larger WFMC-AM in Goldsboro, N.C., the first of several “trade-up” transactions during his career. Beasley broke into the major markets in 1976 with his purchase of WDMT-FM Cleveland, Ohio. In 1989, Beasley’s acquisition of KRTH-AM-FM Los Angeles marked his entry into the nation’s top-10 markets. Beasley Broadcast now owns 42 radio stations in 11 markets. He is in the Hall of Fame of both the North Carolina and Nevada broadcasters associations.
Beasley and his wife, Ann, have supported Appalachian scholarships, athletics and the Department of Communication. The Beasley Media Complex, set to open in 2013, bears his name.
About the Library of American Broadcasting
Located at the University of Maryland, the library is entering its 41st year serving as the national information resource for the radio and television industries and the academic communities that rely upon it for depth and expertise. Its collections of historic documents, professional papers, oral and video histories, books and photographs are among the nation’s most extensive.
The library has been honoring leaders in the broadcasting industry annually since 2003. Its list of honorees now exceeds 149. Previous honorees include industry founders Guglielmo Marconi, David Sarnoff of RCA and NBC, William S. Paley and Frank Stanton of CBS, Leonard Goldenson of ABC, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Philo Farnsworth, H. V. Kaltenborn, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Arthur Godfrey, Paul Harvey, Charlie Rose, Ken Burns, Johnny Carson, Katie Couric, Brian Williams, Christiane Amanpour, Lowry Mays and Tim Russert.