Carson Daly: E.J. Flynn/AP
Gary Susman
April 07, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Carson Daly has been working at MTV since 1997; maybe that’s a lifetime by MTV standards. Which helps explain why the 31-year-old ”TRL” host will receive a lifetime achievement award at the ”TRL Awards,” which MTV will broadcast live on April 13. He’s the second winner of the honor; last year, the lifetime achievement prize went to ”Making the Band” impresario Sean ”P. Diddy” Combs. (Somewhere above Times Square, Kurt Loder is grumbling, ”What am I, chopped liver?”)

Daly’s award comes at a time when he’s cut back on his MTV duties as he moonlights elsewhere, notably, as NBC’s post-Conan late-late-night host. There’s no indication from MTV, however, that the prize is the equivalent of a gold watch for the no-longer-twentysomething host. Explaining the decision to give him the award, MTV senior vice president for production Tony DiSanto said in a statement: ”Carson Daly is synonymous with ‘TRL’… he was there with us from the very beginning, and helped us define and shape it into MTV?s daily flagship show. ‘TRL’ wouldn?t have happened without him, so when the time came to decide who gets this year?s Lifetime Achievement award, the decision was clear.” He added: ”Carson?s contributions to television, music, and youth culture are second to none? and yes, Carson does pay me to say these things.”

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