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ESPN Execs to Receive Paley Prize for Innovation and Excellence

The Paley Center for Media will celebrate ESPN’s 35th anniversary by honoring the sports network at its annual spring benefit dinner on May 28 in New York.

ESPN executive chairman George Bodenheimer and prexy John Skipper will also be presented with the Paley Prize for Innovation and Excellence for their achievements in media and global impact.

Anchors Bob Ley and Chris Berman will serve as the evening’s emcees while prominent ESPN on-air personalities will host a retrospective look at each decade in ESPN’s history. The eighties will be hosted by John Saunders while Keith Olbermann and Stuart Scott will cover the nineties, “Mike & Mike” hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg will take on the 2000s and Linda Cohn will present the current decade.

“SportsNation” host Michelle Beadle will provide commentary during the event by interacting with the sports and media luminaries in attendance.

“Thirty-five years ago, ESPN debuted with little fanfare; today, it is the worldwide leader in sports broadcasting, with a fan-centric approach that aims to fuel our passion for the teams we love and provide access to coverage, stats, and information anytime, anywhere,”  Pat Mitchell, president and CEO of The Paley Center for Media, said in a statement. “The remarkable domestic and international growth of the ESPN footprint during Bodenheimer and Skipper’s tenure reflects their ability to identify emerging media platforms and use them to better serve passionate sports fans around the globe.”

The Paley Center’s chief marketing officer Maureen Reidy, added, “This year’s Paley Center benefit dinner also serves as the official launch of an exciting Paley Center sports industry initiative that will include dynamic new partnerships with sports industry leaders and institutions as well as an incredible lineup of public events, programs, and screenings of major sporting events that will roll out this summer, fall, and into 2015. With all-star athletes, League Commissioners, ESPN personalities, and the leading media and sports industry executives expected to attend, the gala has quickly become the can’t-miss event of the spring and will certainly be a night to remember.”

“Good Morning America” co-anchor and former ESPN sportscaster Robin Roberts is expected to participate in the event, along with star athletes and other sports industry leaders.

The Paley Center also plans to unveil several new sports-related archive acquisitions in the coming months.

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