Monday, March 05, 2018

The Golden Mike Awards

The Golden Mic Awards are not Google-friendly, the search results are really disambiguation-city. Today one set of Golden Mic awards are given out at the Latin Music Awards in 2015, and another unrelated set of Golden Mics are awarded by MediaCorp in Singapore. The Broadcasters Foundation of America (BOFA) awards their Golden Mics to industry leaders at at annual gala as well. RTNA gave out Golden Mike awards just last year. The New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters (NHAB) did golden mic awards starting in at least 1993 and through about 2010.  The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) did the same in the early 1990s.   McCalls Magazine was the first publication to use the term, and they started decades ago. I'm surprised they don't get a license fee for use of the name.

The earliest Golden Mic awards were actually "Mike" awards given out by McCall's Magazine starting in 1951, in cooperation with the American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT). All the modern Golden Mics are popularity contests. But McCalls Golden Mike awards had nothing to do with ratings. They granted their awards only to women, and based exclusively on civic engagement, community service, charity, health and safety. Their judges were commissioners of education, presidents of women's clubs, senators, publishers with a refreshing lack of guys from the marketing department. For the 11th annual awards McCalls published this great quote:
"Mccalls is proud to honor the achievements of Mrs Stevenson and her fellow winners, who are actively proving that mediocrity, vapidity, and dull daily dialing are not inevitable on the broadcast  channels of our nation."
The last year the awards were given out by McCalls was in 1965.  I have a 1959 issue of Broadcasting magazine that lists the 8th annual winners. I list those below with those if the first awards in 1951.
  • Patti Cavin - WRC Washington, DC
  • Ellen Stoutenberg - WIP Philadelphia, PA
  • Susie Strother - WJLB Detroit, MI
  • Mercer Livermore - WKKO Cocoa, FL
  • Marge Miner - KFEQ-TV St. Joseph,  MO
  • Sophie Altman - WRC-TV Washington, DC
The winners in 1962 were as follows:
  • Rachel Waples Stevenson - WTTW Chicago, IL
  • Joyce Marron - KGGM-TV, KABC-TV, KNME-TV Los Angeles, CA
  • Valena Minor Williams - WABQ Cleveland, OH
  • Nancy Clark - KTVB-TV Boise, ID
  • Kitty Broman - WWLP Springfield, MA
With thanks to the Library of the University of Maryland who posted a list from the very first Golden Mike awards in 1951. Those winners were as follows:
  • Elizabeth E. Marshall - WBEZ & WIND, Chicago, IL
  • Kit Fox - WLW Cincinnati, OH
  • Mary St. Clara - WKBB Dubuque, IA
  • Edythe J. Messerand - WOR New York, NY
  • Bee Baxter - KSOO Sioux Falls, SD
  • Helen Faith Keane - WABD-TV New York, NY
  • Dorothy Gordon - WQXR New York, NY
I have begun a list of all the awardees, this includes all of the above and all my partial information for other years. Click HERE for more.

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