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
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
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.