NBC newsman Brian Williams said Wednesday that he's not sure Walter Cronkite would have succeeded in the age of cable news, blogs and Twitter.
"I am convinced that had he come along today, I don't think he would have cracked through. I think there's too much noise, too much to cut through for a modest man from Missouri," Williams told an audience in Phoenix. "But God and history combined to give him to us right when we needed him."
Williams spoke at a luncheon where he was given the Cronkite Award from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. The ceremony included videotaped congratulatory messages from Jon Stewart and fellow New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen .
This year marks the first award ceremony since Cronkite's passing. The longtime CBS news anchor died in July after a long illness.
Each year, the Cronkite School recognizes a notable media figure for excellence in journalism. Past recipients have included Tom Brokaw, Katharine Graham and Ted Turner .
Charges dropped in Perez Hilton case
Black Eyed Peas manager Liborio Molina apologized to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton as part of an agreement allowing assault charges against him to be dropped, lawyers said Wednesday.
Molina allegedly punched Hilton from behind outside a Toronto nightclub after the openly gay blogger called Black Eyed Peas leader will.i.am a word that slurs homosexuals.
Following the hearing, Molina's lawyer Mark Sandler read the written apology outside court.
"I apologize for what I did on June 22 of 2009, even though you engaged in highly offensive comments ... I acknowledge that these kinds of issues should not be resolved through a physical response," the apology read.
Hilton told the Associated Press in an e-mail he was happy Molina had accepted responsibility for his actions.
Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, claims he got into an argument with band members Fergie and will.i.am inside the nightclub and was punched outside by Molina.
Richie hospitalized with pneumonia
Nicole Richie has been admitted to a Los Angeles hospital and is being treated for pneumonia. Her representative says she's doing well.
Publicist Nicole Perna said Wednesday that the 28-year-old actress checked herself into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Richie was in a Los Angeles courtroom earlier this week after asking for a restraining order against two celebrity photographers. A judge granted that request.
Richie gave birth to a son, Sparrow James Midnight Madden, in September. She and her partner, rocker Joel Madden , have a daughter, Harlow, who turns 2 in January.
Another year older
Today's birthdays: Actress-comedian Kaye Ballard , 84... actress Estelle Parsons , 82... TV personality Richard Dawson , 77... comedian Dick Smothers , 71... singer Norman Greenbaum , 67... Vice President Joe Biden , 67... actress Veronica Hamel , 66... singer-guitarist Joe Walsh , 62... actress Bo Derek , 53... actress Sean Young , 50... pianist Jim Brickman , 48... rock musician Jared Followill (Kings of Leon), 23... actor Cody Linley , 20.