20 Years of GLAAD: Media Awards Make the Rounds

Jan 30, 2006  •  Post A Comment

By Lee Alan Hill

Special to TelevisionWeek

One of GLAAD’s most visible efforts each year is its Media Awards, presented in print, TV, film, radio, theater and Internet categories in ceremonies staggered throughout the spring and held in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and, in 2006 for the first time, Miami.

This year’s 17th Annual GLAAD Media Awards will again be televised on Logo. The show, scheduled to run April 15 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), will be a composite of the New York event, set for March 27 at the Marriott Marquis, and the Los Angeles ceremony, to be held April 8 at the Kodak Theatre. The awards show will also be televised April 16 at 11 p.m. on Logo’s Viacom sister channel VH1.

Before Logo televised the awards for the first time last year they were seen on TV only through clips on news and entertainment shows.

“The Media Awards are very important to us,” said Jason Burlingame, the New York-based director of special events for GLAAD. “Most people in media are aware of them, and they add incalculable credibility to GLAAD because those who attend can see they are not rinky-dinky, but a serious event-a serious event with a great deal of humor, to be sure, as well as memorable emotional moments.”

Starting in 1990, when New York held the first event, the branches bestowed the awards. The first ceremony was held in a private dining room at the Time Life Building in Manhattan. The first Los Angeles-area awards were held the next year at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The awards went national in 1995, and five years ago they were expanded to include a ceremony in San Francisco, where this year’s event takes place June 10 at the San Francisco Marriott.

Miami was added for 2006, largely because GLAAD has reached out to the Spanish-language media. The Miami event will be held May 25 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

“GLAAD has put extra emphasis on that city because it is the mecca of Spanish-language media,” said Mónica Taher, people of color media director for GLAAD. “It is extremely important to bring the awards to the city in which we work with these media professionals.”