Though I hope this message finds you and your family well, I have to ask a simple question…
What does our beloved Fresh Air have in common with The Simpsons, 60 Minutes and Sesame Street?
Today Fresh Air joins these iconic shows as winners of Peabody’s Institutional Award! The second Peabody for Terry, Danny and the team, the Institutional Award recognizes Fresh Air for “its rich conversation for over 35 years, becoming the indispensable place for listeners to engage with many of the most beloved artists who have shaped society over the last century.”
As you know, Terry began hosting Fresh Air in 1975 with NPR beginning to distribute the show nationally in 1987. She has since conducted over 13,000 interviews with a wide array of celebrities, artists, politicians, showrunners, musicians, and writers. Fresh Air is now broadcast on over 650 radio stations. Beyond the two Peabody’s (first one in 1993), the show has garnered Terry numerous awards, including the 2007 Literarian Award, presented at the 2007 National Book Awards ceremony; and a National Humanities Medal, presented by President Obama in 2016. Terry has also either played herself or been name checked on many top shows like The Simpsons, This is Us, Saturday Night Live and How I Met Your Mother and has been a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Watch as Stephen Colbert presents this Peabody to Terry, Danny and team HERE.
We at WHYY couldn’t be more thrilled for the Fresh Air team and we agree (as I’m sure you do) that Fresh Air’s body of work has and will continue to have a huge impact on both the media landscape and the public imagination. One must only listen to a few interviews from the archive to drive home this point.
Peabody Executive Director Jeffrey Jones put it perfectly:
“[Gross] routinely displays genuine interest in what makes artists great, not just as creators, but also as individuals whose personal history and humanity inspire the art itself. With her distinctive style and insightful interviews, Gross and her longtime co-executive producer Danny Miller have made Fresh Air one of the top audio programs in the world.”
So please join me in congratulating Terry and the Fresh Air team! Thank them for offering us insight into the people changing the world and capturing the hearts and minds of millions! And for sure, we take another second to recognize those millions of listeners who cherish this iconic program.
And supporting them from “behind the mic,” our thanks go as well to members of WHYY’s Advancement, PI/PR, Marketin and Digital teams as well as to NPR and NPM. Indeed, it takes a village! And a special shout out to Kyra McGrath and Art Ellis who have been key to Fresh Air’s well-earned successes for several decades.
In lieu of an in-person celebration, WHYY has made a donation in honor of Fresh Air to the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. The very least we can do in honor of our wonderful Fresh Air colleagues.
You have my very best regards,