Freedom Forum Honors C-SPAN Founder

Feb 17, 2005  •  Post A Comment

C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb will receive the Freedom Forum’s 2004 Al Neuharth Free Spirit of the Year Award, it was announced Thursday. The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, said the award is given annually to one individual who “has stirred the public’s hearts and souls by demonstrating the human capacity to dream, dare and do.”

Mr. Lamb, who will receive the award at a March 23 ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, announced his intention to donate the accompanying $100,000 stipend to education-related charities.

“Brian is a bold visionary,” Freedom Forum Chairman, CEO and President Charles L. Overby said. “His calm demeanor and objective interviewing style belie the free spirit that has made C-SPAN a trailblazer.”

Mr. Lamb, a career broadcast journalist, approached cable industry executives in 1977 with the proposal for a news channel that would offer complete coverage of Congress, an idea that became Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, or C-SPAN. In 1979, the network was made available to 3.5 million households in the United States. Today C-SPAN employs 260 individuals and has expanded to include two sister networks.

The Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award is named after the Freedom Forums founder. Previous winners include Barbara Bush, Chuck Yeager, Aung San Suu Kyi, Terry Anderson and Thurgood Marshall.