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Peabody Awards Fast Facts


CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the Peabody Awards. The Peabody Awards are presented every spring in recognition of achievements in broadcasting across multiple platforms including radio, television, streaming network programs and websites.


June 21-24, 2021 – The 81st Peabody Awards are announced during a multi-day virtual celebration.

June 10, 2020 – The Peabody Awards are announced. The awards ceremony is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In lieu of the event, originally scheduled to take place June 18, many recipients recorded acceptance speeches.

The awards are administered by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia.

The awards are named after George Foster Peabody, a major benefactor of the University of Georgia.

Award submissions are designated as documentary, entertainment, news, children’s, educational and public service, but there are no categories for the awards themselves.

The entries are from the year before the date of the actual awards.

The winners are chosen after review and face-to-face deliberations by the Peabody Board of Jurors, a “distinguished” 18-member panel of TV critics, industry heavyweights and other arts and culture experts.

There is no set number of awards given out every year.


1938 – The National Association of Broadcasters forms a committee to create awards for radio similar to the Pulitzer Prizes for print materials.

1939-1940 – Committee member and manager of WSB-Radio in Atlanta, Lambdin Kay asks the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism to sponsor the awards.

March 29, 1941 – The first Peabody Awards ceremony takes place at the Commodore Hotel in New York – the awards are for radio broadcasts from 1940.

1948 – Television programs are included for the first time.

1981 – Cable television is added.

August 23, 2000 – The award presentation ceremony is aired on television for the first time. A record-setting 36 awards are presented for programs broadcast in 1999.

2001 – Webcast entries are accepted.

April 7, 2015 – The creation of a 24-member advisory board is announced. The board, “will provide guidance and support to the Peabody program’s future initiatives.”

George Foster Peabody

July 27, 1852-March 4, 1938

Birth Place: Columbus, Georgia; grew up in Brooklyn, New York

Banker and philanthropist.

Introduced President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the restorative waters of his Warm Springs, Georgia, resort.

CNN Peabody Awards

1983 – For Significant News and Information Programming
1987 – Coverage of the Stock Market Crash
1989 – Coverage of China
1990 – Coverage of the Persian Gulf War
1991 – Coverage of the Soviet Coup
1992 – Larry King Live Election Coverage
1998 – CNN Productions, Atlanta, and Jeremy Isaacs Productions, “Cold War”
2000 – CNN Productions, Atlanta, Insight Television, and Channel 4 International, London, “CNN Perspectives: Cry Freetown”
2001 – CNN Presents: Beneath the Veil and Unholy War
2002 – Terror on Tape
2005 – Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
2007 – CNN Presents: God’s Warriors
2008 – Coverage of 2008 Presidential Primary Campaigns and Debates
2010 – Coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill
2011 – Coverage of the Arab Spring, CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, and Fareed Zakaria GPS
2012 – Coverage Inside Syria and Homs
2013 – Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
2014 – Coverage of Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls and Investigative Reports: Crisis at the VA
2016 – Coverage in Iraq and Syria
2018 – Coverage of Fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria
2019 – Apollo 11 and The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America

Three personal Peabody Awards have been received with regard to CNN

1993 – Christiane Amanpour
1997 – Ted Turner
1998 – Christiane Amanpour

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