Meredith Vieira is a BFOM: a “Big Fan of Matrix.” The Today show anchor not only emceed this year’s Matrix Awards, honoring extraordinary achievements by women in the communications industry, she is also a past winner.

“This is a room full of such accomplished women, it’s a little mind-boggling,” Vieira told TVNewser before the ceremony today. “What this organization does is inspire.”

In her remarks, Vieira named four women who’ve inspired in their own way this past year: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Tina Fey and Rachel Maddow.

17 scholarship winners, the next generation of women media leaders, took the stage to declare they were “the next…” Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and mediabistro.com’s own Laurel Touby were all named.

Brown, the CNN anchor currently on maternity leave, won the Matrix award for broadcasting. NBC’s Brian Williams presented the award joking with the crowd, “I’m the next Wolf Blitzer.”

Williams talked about how Brown broke his heart when she pulled up stakes for CNN, where she’s been since 2007. “I’m grateful for what [Jon Klein] has created at CNN,” said Brown, noting her competition’s, “extreme partisanship, and in some cases flat-out lunacy.”

Before the event we talked to Brown about her award, when she’s returning to CNN and the current cable news landscape:

Donny Deutsch had a “next” joke as well. Click continued to find out who he compared himself to…

Read more