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The Paley Center for Media to Honor Participant Media and Founder Jeff Skoll at Los Angeles Annual Gala: Salute to Excellence on December 13

Beverly Hills, Calif., October 26, 2011 – The Paley Center for Media will honor Participant Media and its Founder Jeff Skoll at its annual gala event “Salute to Excellence,” Tuesday, December 13 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, it was announced today by Paley Center for Media President and CEO Pat Mitchell.  Participant Media, whose most recent film projects include “The Help” and “Contagion,” is being honored for its unique use of media to accelerate social change. Participant’s films are often accompanied by innovative social action and advocacy campaigns designed to give a voice to issues that resonate in the films, and to inspire individuals to take action. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Paley Center’s ongoing educational efforts to increase the public’s understanding of media and its growing significance in our lives through its various public and industry programs, exhibitions and media preservation initiatives. “Jeff Skoll founded Participant Media with the belief that a story well told has the power to inspire and compel social change,” Mitchell said.  “It’s a privilege to honor the creativity and leadership that Jeff Skoll and Participant Media bring to the media landscape.” Since its founding in 2004,  Participant has released 36 films including “Good Night, Good Luck” “North Country,” “Syriana,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “The Kite Runner,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Visitor,” ‘The Soloist,” “The Cove,” “Waiting for Superman” and “Food, Inc.”   In 2007, Participant launched  TakePart.com to create an online community linking pro-social content with action and ongoing engagement.   Participant has made social media and education outreach an integral part of their action campaigns, joining with The Paley Center on several events including “The Informant!,”  “Good Night and Good Luck”, “Countdown to Zero” and most recently, “PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times.” Skoll was the first full-time employee and first President of eBay, where he developed the company’s inaugural business plan and led its successful initial public offering. After pioneering the creation of the eBay Foundation, Skoll founded the Skoll Foundation in 1999 and it quickly became the world’s largest foundation for social entrepreneurship. Its flagship program, the Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship, currently supports 85 leading social entrepreneurs whose extraordinary work serves the neediest populations in over 100 countries. The Skoll Foundation also co-produces the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. In 2003, Skoll founded the Skoll Global Threats Fund.  Its initial focus is on five global issues that, if unchecked, could bring the world to its knees: climate change, water scarcity, pandemics, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict. Past Paley Center for Media gala honorees include Frank Bennack, Jr., Al Michaels, Mary Hart, Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Steven Bochco, Kevin S. Bright, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, Jerry Bruckheimer, Carol Burnett, James Burrows, Sid Caesar, Marcy Carsey, Peter Chernin, David Crane, Ted Danson, Dick Ebersol, the cast and writers of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Kelsey Grammer, Merv Griffin, John S. Hendricks, Marta Kauffman, David E. Kelley, Leslie Moonves, Mary Tyler Moore, Jack Paar, Dan Rather, Sumner Redstone, Carl Reiner, the cast and writers of “Saturday Night Live,” Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Martin Sheen, Showtime Networks Inc., “The Simpsons,” Sony Corporation, Sir Howard Stringer, Barbara Walters, John Wells, Dick Wolf, Bob Wright and Jeff Zucker.   About The Paley Center for Media: The Paley Center for Media, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. For more information, please visitwww.paleycenter.org About Participant Media   Participant Media (participantmedia.com) is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO and Ricky Strauss as President. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help and Contagion.