June, 2023

Press Release, The Gracies

Women in Media Honored at the 48th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon, Celebrating Remarkable Achievements and Powerful Storytelling

Elizabeth Vargas of NewsNation Hosted
and Curb Records Recording Artist Harper Grace Performed
at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City

PHOTOS AND CLIPS: CLICK HERE *Credit: Getty Images for AWM (Alliance for Women in Media Foundation)

June 20, 2023 (New York City) – The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) presented the 48th Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City on June 20. Host Elizabeth Vargas, anchor of “Elizabeth Vargas Reports” on NewsNation, led the program alongside presenters Judi Franco, Co-host #1 rated “Dennis & Judi” midday show on Townsquare’s New Jersey 101.5; Sara Haines, Co-Host, ABC’s The View; Maxwell of Z100 in New York hosting “The Maxwell & Crystal Show” an iHeartMedia station; Shima Oliaee, CEO and founder ofShirazad Productions; andBrigitte Quinn, creator, host and Managing Editor of Audacy affiliate Newsline on NYC’s WCBS 880.

The Gracie Awards were presented to honorees which were previously announced (full list of honorees here) in recognition of individual achievement and outstanding programming by, for and about women in local and student television, radio and digital media.

Highlights from the show included:

  • AWMF Board Chair and Chief Communications Officer, Hallmark Media, Annie Howell opened the Luncheon by acknowledging “The east coast stop of the bi-coastal awards, is what many people call the heart of the Gracies. It is the celebration of local and student winners and honoring those telling stories that impact each of us in our communities.”
  • Host, Elizabeth Vargas, of NewsNation, said: We all know, the connection to our local communities happens through local television and radio…breaking news, keeping us informed, uplifting moments and understanding how we are all interconnected happens with those of you in this room… appreciate the storytellers in your life, at the local level and nationally.”
  • Presenter, Judi Franco, Co-host of “Dennis and Judi” on Townsquare’s New Jersey 101.5,acknowledged that “Even though the media industry has changed so much, radio is still a living, breathing, invincible force that will always just ….be there for us.”
  • Gracies Co-Chair, President McVay Media Consulting, introduced Curb Records recording artist and singer/songwriter Harper Grace. McVay described Grace as having “picked herself up after being jeered on a national television following her brave performance of the National Anthem at a sporting event…she’s an American Idol alum and written a song that will be an anthem for every person who needs encouragement.”  Grace performed “Sparkle” and “Oh Say Can You See.”
  • ABC’s The View, referenced the AWM Foundation filling an important need in the industry to give scholarships and offering programming focused on women in the industry and noted surprising Fatima Moien with her Gracie Award and scholarship live on The View in March.
  • Presenter, Shima Oliaee, CEO and founder of Shirazad Productions said: “Coming up as a young woman in the entertainment and media world, I was required to write and produce and stay behind the scenes. What I came to learn over time is that it is crucial to have women seen and heard and listened to, especially in media.”
  • Presenter, Brigitte Quinn, creator, host and Managing Editor of Audacy affiliate Newsline on NYC’s WCBS 880, said: “Public radio programming or non-commercial local radio programming shares a mission to inform, increase understanding of the world, enrich the experience of everyday life and inspire…I can certainly appreciate the important work these honorees are doing!”
  • Presenter, Maxwell, of the world famous Z100 in New Yorkhosting “The Maxwell & Crystal Show”, said: “I appreciate an organization that celebrates brilliant women in media as we all know they are making the world go round.”

The National Gracie Award honorees were recognized at the Gracies Gala, May 23, at The Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Again, a full list of recipients may be found on the Alliance for Women in Media website.

About The Gracie Awards

The Gracie Awards is the largest fundraiser of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation which advances women in media through educational programs and scholarships. The Gracie Awards honors exemplary programming and individual talent created by, for and about women. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has created partnerships and joint initiatives with the Emma Bowen Foundation, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), NCTA – The Internet & Television Association and other organizations that are philosophically aligned with the mission of the Foundation. For more information about The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation and the Gracie Awards please visit and follow on Twitter (@AllWomeninMedia), (#TheGracies), Instagram (@allwomeninmedia), Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Sponsors of the Gracies Luncheon include ABC, Audacy, Bonneville, Beasley Media Group, Graham Media Group, Katz Media Group, NCTA-The Internet and Television Association

Fishers Finery, Futuri, Gray Television, Hofstra University, iHeartMedia, News 12, TEGNA, and Townsquare Media, Inc.


Media Contact:
Jenny Ditto