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Emmy Award for Irish Businessman

June 1, 2005
The Irish Voice
By Georgina Brennan

Irish American telecom and media investor David McCourt, 48, was awarded an Emmy at the 33rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony for his role as producer of the critically acclaimed Reading Rainbow children's series.

McCourt, who maintains a residence in Co. Clare, is involved in many leading Irish American organizations and was named to the annual Irish America magazine Top 100 Business People listing.

The show was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Series and beat off stiff competition from Sesame Street and other children's favourites. “It's always nice to be recognized for something that you care about and this show meant a lot,” said McCourt.

Reading Rainbow ranks among the longest running and best-loved children's TV shows in the history of public television in the U.S. Designed to inspire children's imaginations, the show is a fast-paced daily half-hour magazine style series encouraging a love of reading in children and building lasting connections between children and books.

“The woman who came up with the idea, Twila Leggitt, had a genius idea that I have been happy to be a part of,” McCourt told the Irish Voice.

“I love to read. I wish I had been a better reader as a child. My parents were both readers. My mother at 90 will still try to find a place to sit down to read,” he added.

McCourt said he is now looking to Ireland to create a similar literacy series encouraging children to read.

“ Ireland is a great place to work and is full of creative people, so we are looking into a series there. Winning an Emmy certainly gives you the freedom to look at ideas like that,” he said.

McCourt is the chairman and CEO of Granahan McCourt Capital.

Along with his well known telecom investments, McCourt has been an active investor in television and media for many years and takes a keen interest in their future, both in the U.S. and in Ireland.

McCourt recently joined the North American Board of the Smurfit School of Business at UCD. The Smurfit School North American Board is chaired by Jim Quinn, President, Tiffany and Company, who heads a 30 member board of influential Irish-American business and political figures.

McCourt is an Irish citizen who visits his home in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare frequently.

For over 25 years, McCourt has been an investor, entrepreneur, and business leader across the telecommunications and media industries.

McCourt started investing in media companies back in 1983 in the Caribbean where he built and owned the first independent television station on the island of Grenada and began producing a variety of family programming for the Caribbean market. In Boston, he built the first competitive phone company in the U.S.


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