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Archived Weekly Features
This View by Nancy LeMay
Nancy LeMay is a five-time Emmy winning broadcast designer who has worked both in New York and LA, in network and local. She is a teacher and a painter as well. You can reach her through her website, and by email at

New Venue, New Winners, New Day

The LA Area Emmy Awards returned this year to the home of the Emmys; having moved from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium to the Academy headquarters on Lankershim. The Leonard Goldenson Theater provided smaller and more intimate awards ceremony, and brought everyone closer to the remarkable events of the evening.

It’s often risky to go to Emmy Night with any expectations. A nominee who might need to deliver an acceptance speech should be ready, of course- but everyone else should be prepared only for thought-provoking surprises. And in that area, nobody was disappointed on Saturday night.

Spanish language television in Los Angeles has clearly come of age, and we attended its birthday celebration at the Emmys. KMEX and KVEA gathered awards for LA Local Color, Crime and Social Issues, Live Special Events coverage, serious and light news, and Investigative Reporting. Graceful acceptance speeches, which were delivered by a number of the winners in both Spanish and English, reminded us of the amazingly diverse community we all serve.

There was also a significant showing by public access and cable stations, including a nomination for Burbank TV and wins by LACityView, KLCS, City TV and AT&T Hollywood. Often we assume that the ‘smaller shops’ are at such a disadvantage that they can’t compete with network O&O’s or stations that have the shared resources of the duopolies . Not so: AT&T beat KTLA and KNBC by simply putting good and important information on TV.

And the Governor’s Awards gave us a chance to honor two of LA TV’s most enduring personalities- Chick Hearn and Pete Noyes. All the stats about Chick are so well known, although as broadcasters we like to contemplate his streak of 3,338 consecutive games called, starting in November 1965 and running to December 2001. Pete Noyes has worked in nearly every newsroom in LA, but remembers his years at KNXT’s ‘Big News’ as the best of his career. Few in LA news would argue that- the Big News was legend enough for me to be aware of it in New York as I was growing up.

And I think there was one other moment that only LA could provide- music composed by the late Jerry Dunphy. "From the Desert to the Sea" was, we found out, not only his signature broadcast greeting, but also the title to a poetic song describing this amazing city that we live in.

This has been an especially challenging year in a business that is stimulating to be in precisely because it is so challenging. The joy and privilege of going to the Emmys comes, in part, from winning, yes. But we also are ourselves a small community of professionals who serve millions by doing what we do as well as we can possibly manage to do it. The evening is great because it renews our bond with one another and our city…whether or not we drive home afterward with the lovely gold statuette.