At a ceremony in New York City earlier this month, veteran radio host and pianist John Tesh was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. But now, Tesh has returned his award.
Tesh was apparently bothered by the ceremony’s treatment of his wife and Intelligence For Your Life radio show co-host, Connie Sellecca, the Flying High actress, producer and former model. Sellecca introduced Tesh onstage, but the end of her speech was cut off, despite the fact that the awards were not televised.
In a statement shared with Billboard, Susy Schultz, executive director of the Museum of Broadcast Communications, which administers the Radio Hall of Fame, apologized for what she termed a “horrible mistake.” She added that she has been in contact with Tesh and Sellecca, and thanked them for “loaning” the award back to the museum.
“What happened the night of the Radio Hall of Fame to Connie Sellecca was a horrible mistake and I could not apologize more,” Schultz said. “Hers is a strong and important voice that should not be silenced. She is a woman with a successful multi-faceted career and a keen business sense who has navigated the worlds of acting, modeling, television, producing and digital broadcasting.
“She is also a role model on how to juggle and weave together work, faith and family,” Schultz continues. “Both John and Connie have contributed so much to the broadcast world. It was a joy to have them in New York at the celebration — right where they belong, a power couple among the luminaries of the industry. We’ve been in contact. And John and Connie have both said this award means so much to John. So, we were happy that they graciously loaned us John’s statue to display here at the museum in the Radio Hall of Fame.”
The spat was first reported by Chicago media journalist Robert Feder. Billboard has reached out to a representative for Tesh for comment.
Tesh’s Emmy-winning, more than 25-year career in broadcast media includes 12 years as an investigative journalist for the CBS TV Network and a 10-year run as anchor on Entertainment Tonight. He was honored at the Radio Hall ceremony alongside fellow 2019 inductees Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Harry Harrison, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Ryan Seacrest and others.