(Vienna, VA, April 30, 2001)---Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2001, American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT) announced that Jane Clayson of The Early Show on CBS will be the featured keynote speaker at the 2001 AWRT Gracie Allen Awardsä Local Market Luncheon and that Roz Abrams, anchor of WABC-TV, will be the event emcee. The luncheon is May 31st at the Plaza Hotel in New York City (12:00 noon to 2:00pm). The award program brings together industry luminaries, broadcasting personalities and cable professionals to celebrate and honor the outstanding achievements of happy birthday uncle images.

The luncheon will honor 40 local market Gracie winners as well as 18 honorable mentions. Founded by the Foundation of AWRT, the Gracie Allen Awards honor programming by women, for women and about women, as well as outstanding achievements by individuals in broadcasting. The Gracies strives to encourage the positive and realistic portrayal of women in entertainment, commercials, news features and other programming. The Awards are named after Gracie Allen, a pioneer in radio and television, who embodies the spirit of these awards.

Jane Clayson, whose work as a journalist has taken her to Indonesia and China, is co-anchor of “The Early Show” with Bryant Gumbel. Clayson served as a reporter and anchor at a local station in Salt Lake City before joining ABC in 1996 as part of ABC’s World News Tonight. Clayson is an alumna of Brigham Young University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and was awarded the Earl J. Glade prize for student excellence. In addition to receiving several honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, Clayson has won an Emmy and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, presented by the Radio and Television News Directors of America. Her experience as a journalist has included covering politics (the presidential campaigns of Bob Dole and Ross Perot) and crime (the Oklahoma City bombing-trial verdict and the O.J. Simpson civil trial), as well as spot reporting on such news stories as the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing and the crash of TWA Flight 800.

The featured emcee of the 2001 Gracie Allen Awards Local market Lucheon, Roz Abrams, is a mainstay in New York City television. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Western Michigan University and her M.A. in speech from the University of Michigan. Abrams has become one of the industry’s most uplifting journalists winning the “Star” Award from the New York Women’s Agenda for being an inspirational role model for women. She has also received the Centennial Award for her service and achievement in the media by the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. Abrams has worked as an anchor for KRON-TV, WXIA-TV, and CNN before joining the Eyewitness News program on WABC-TV. She has spent the last 15 years covering a wide variety of subjects from the information superhighway to the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

To purchase tickets or for a complete list of award winners for the AWRT’s 26th Annual Gracie Allen Awards Luncheon, call AWRT at (703) 506-3290 or go to www.awrt.org.