ESPN anchor Chris Berman, Philippe Cousteau of Discovery Channel/Animal Planet and RLTV‘s Florence Henderson highlighted the inaugural event celebrating standout cable content and people, but luncheon attendees at the National Press Club also got a surprise appearance by FCC commish Deborah Taylor-Tate. As Berman was inducted into the industry Hall of Fame along with WWE boss Vince McMahon and HBO Doc Films pres Sheila Nevins, he reflected on ESPN’s humble beginnings. "We had 6 dishes to start… and four we ate off of," quipped Berman, pointing to early NFL programming as ESPN’s true springboard to global success and quite possibly cable’s ticket into millions of homes. Taylor-Tate honored RLTV host Florence Henderson for her public outreach work on the upcoming DTV transition, an initiative for which Henderson has reached out to seniors in 32 cities. So what has the extensive itinerary taught her? She told CableFAX of a lingering disconnect between transition information and the 55+ set, and said the demo is attuned to cable "more than people expect." But listen up, said Henderson: seniors, comprising a fast-growing demo that "probably has the most money," remain underserved by cable programmers and advertisers. Other HOF inductees include: E!‘s "True Hollywood Story," CNN‘s "Larry King Live," FX‘s "The Shield" and HBO‘s "The Sopranos." Showtime ent chief Robert Greenblatt was named the year’s top programming exec.

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