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Paul Simon, Dick Enberg and Jim Lehrer to Be Honored at WFUV’s Spring Gala


At WFUV-FM’s Spring Gala ’09, which will be held on May 6 at the Puck Building in SoHo, music icon Paul Simon will be honored, as will legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg and renowned PBS newscaster Jim Lehrer. Simon will receive the WFUV Sound & Vision Award; Enberg will be presented with the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting; and Lehrer will receive the Charles Osgood Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism. As a special bonus, Simon will perform for the anticipated 400 attendees.

“Paul is one of the most influential artists to ever pass through the WFUV studios,” said Rita Houston, WFUV’s legendary music director. “But it’s not just that he’s written so many timeless songs or that he embodies the musical diversity of the station. It’s his relentless quest to keep growing creatively.”

In lasting tribute to legendary broadcasters Charles Osgood and Vin Scully, both of whom started their careers at WFUV, WFUV created two annual Lifetime Achievement Awards in their names. Enberg and Lehrer were nominated by well-known colleagues in their respective fields, many of whom also started their careers at WFUV.

The gala will raise much-needed funds for WFUV — one of the three major public radio stations serving the New York City market. Funds will enable the station, located at Fordham University in The Bronx, to continue to provide unique music, news, and sports services, and train the next generation of journalistic talent.

Spring Gala ‘09 will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails, followed at 8 p.m. by dinner, entertainment, and a terrific live auction that includes Adventures in Rock VIP Vacation Package to Dublin to hear U2; US Open Golf and Tennis VIP packages; and autographed rock memorabilia. Of course, there’s much, much more. The gala will be held at the Puck Building, 295 Lafayette St. (at Houston Street) in lower Manhattan on May 6. Individual tickets are $1,000 and $2,500; tables are $10,000, $25,000,  $50,000 and $75,000. For further information about the event or to purchase tickets, please email [email protected] or call 212 245-6570 ext. 18.

Public radio listeners are accustomed to hearing pledge drives on the hour – a small price to pay for non-commercial news that’s not sensationalized, and musical genres that have continuous appeal. But in the current climate, more established stations like WFUV are turning to another source of funding: the Gala. Last year, WFUV’s first gala raised $700,000 – rivaling its sister stations. WFUV’S galas are attracting the big names.

“This public radio station is in fact here to provide a public service,” says Ralph Jennings, general manager of WFUV. “We serve a community of musically and intellectually curious listeners who support what we do because it enhances their quality of life. And as technology continues to evolve, we’re committed to offering more ways for them to enjoy our unique content.”

WFUV is a 50,000-watt, noncommercial, member-supported radio station, licensed to Fordham University for nearly 60 years, serving approximately 300,000 weekly listeners in the New York area and thousands more worldwide on the Web.  Professionally run by a full-time staff of 28 broadcast veterans with the help of student interns, WFUV has pioneered a unique format of musical variety, news and cultural programming, while providing unparalleled professional experience to Fordham students, who have gained invaluable experience working in the most competitive media market in the world.

WFUV has built a large, devoted following in the New York City area, and around the world, for its award-winning weekday format of adult album alternative music [a mix of adult rock, singer-songwriters, roots and other music], news from NPR, and a culturally diverse weekend lineup. The station has garnered over 50 prestigious awards in the past two years for news direction, public affairs programming, sports coverage, news documentaries, news reporting, and individual achievement. Over the past 60 years, WFUV has fostered many outstanding broadcast journalists, who return to give of their time, talent, and support.

As an affiliate of National Public Radio and Public Radio International, WFUV carries programs such as The Thistle and Shamrock, World Café, Mountain Stage and American Routes. WFUV has partnered with NPR to podcast “WFUV’s Take Five,” a daily series of five-minute conversations and performances with many of today’s finest singer-songwriters and bands, recorded in the WFUV studios.  At the same time, WFUV is itself a national programming producer, supplying specials such as “The Downtown Messiah,” “It Was 40 Years Ago Today” (marking the Beatles’ arrival in New York), “Start Making Sense” (a literacy documentary), and “Democracy on the Block” (spotlighting grassroots activism) to public radio stations around the country.


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