At Thursday’s LA Press Club’s 4th Annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards, The Hollywood Reporter walked off with four first place trophies, including best entertainment publication.
There was a tie for Entertainment Journalist of the Year. Tara Wallis-Finestone, senior producer for NBC4-LA, and Dylan Howard, senior executive editor of RadarOnline, each took home a $500 check. The award was sponsored by Alexandra and Sidney Sheldon. Alexandra is the widow of the late best-selling novelist, screen and TV writer.
Media outlets that had first place winners in three categories included Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, KPCC and RadarOnline.
Comedian and civil rights icon Dick Gregory lauded Hugh M. Hefner, who accepted the Los Angeles Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award as “Champion of the First Amendment.”
Hefner booked Gregory at his Chicago Playboy Club in 1961, the first black comic to play in a white club. Gregory said Hefner made it possible for America to “hear the voices of Moms Mabley, Richard Pryor, Red Foxx and Eddie Murphy.”
Hefner shared his special evening with his son Cooper and girlfriend Anna Sophia Berglund….In a subsequent post on his Twitter.com page, the veteran publisher wrote, “The LA Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement dinner proved to be a really special, quite emotional evening for me. The [award] had even more meaning because family & friends were there to share the night.
“Dick Gregory’s personal tribute was the real highlight of the evening for me. He flew across the country to be here.”
The awards gala was held at the Biltmore Bowl. More than 200 attended the dinner, including Laker owner Dr. Jerry Buss and Berry Gordy who founded Motown records.