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San Diego Emmy Awards
By Ronny T. Baylor

I have produced the Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards for the San Diego NATAS Chapter for 14 years. This yearís show, held in the Grand Ballroom of the prestigious U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, was among the best that we have done.

The Master of Ceremonies this year was English Actor John Anthony Blake. Robert Stack called him "The funniest, wittiest and smartest MC that Iíve seen in years." This was certainly the case for this years EMMY Awards on June 15th. Blake had the audience rolling in the aisles. Along with Blake, we showcased three different entertainers. The show was kicked off with The Steps of Praise. This 25 person group came bursting through the ballroom doors to open the show and got the audience rocking on their feet. The group has many television appearances under their belt including the Jay Leno Show.

Khara Rice made a special guest appearance with one of her famous songs as she started on stage and came out into the audience. Aubrey Sharfman and Jilla Webb teamed up during another entertainment moment. Sharfman accompanied on piano while Webb used her dynamic vocal ability to energize the audience.

One of the things the Pacific Southwest Chapter is so proud of is the Scholarship Program. In eight years, we have been able to raise the money given to scholarships from $4,000 to $24,000. The main reason for this is due to the President of the Chapter, Esther Jane Paul. "The Emmy is the most prestigious award a television professional can receive, recognizing outstanding achievement in regional television." We try to return part of this by helping outstanding students with their education in the television field. While other organizations are cutting back, we are moving forward with our Scholarship program.

Like all shows, the Emmy show takes months to plan. Besides the Pacific Southwest Board of Directors which numbers 25, there were 13 people on the planning committee and it took 44 people on the production team to make the Emmyís shine this year. You know itís a successful show when everyone stays till the end, and this year was no exception. The show was fast moving, well written and produced with something for everyone.

We tried something new this year and scheduled an intermission midway through the show to serve a buffet dessert. I thought we would lose a few people at this stage however, I was happy to see everyone return to their seats when master of ceremonies Blake came out on stage. We had a "Live" Announcer who sat below the stage with an "On the Air" sign which was illuminated each time he spoke. The presenters were at the microphones when he finished their introductions cutting down on "dead air."

We had a floor director at the bottom of the steps to make sure someone was ready to speak when we came out of tape. He also informed the truck of the correct person speaking for CG purposes. We had 59 television categories broken into 22 award groups using 9 groups of presenters. The show really moved. The production truck was provided by Adelphia Cable from Sherman Oaks. Production Manager, Larry Jones and his group of 5 engineers certainly have their act together.

We have used this group for many years and they have certainly added to the production of the show. A total of 92 Emmys were given out during the course of the evening. We received many accolades for the quality and speed of the show. After the event, a VHS tape is produced which is made available to whoever would like it. We also have a professional still photographer to capture all the highlights of the evening. We have tried many venues in the past and have always included dinner with the event. It was an evening filled with excitement and elegance AND the show held the audience till the end.

Ron Baylor is currently an Executive Producer of Operations for Clear Channel Television. He has held many television news positions including Executive Producer of Special Projects, Producer, Assignment Desk, News Photographer and Editor. He has worked for the major television networks and at stations in the Los Angeles, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas areas. Besides producing the Emmy Awards for the past 14 years, Ron has been a member of the Board of Governors of the Pacific Southwest Chapter. Ron has also been honored with a number of awards such as Emmy, Golden Mic, and Press Club Awards. He plans to return to the Los Angeles television market in the near future.