Monday, January 15

Local News Director Had It With Emmy Snobs

A feud has erupted between WTAE-TV’s news director and the leadership at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (The Emmys). Channel 4’s News director Bob Longo shot off a letter resigning his position from the regional Emmy chapter’s board of directors claiming the chapter functions as a club for Philadelphia-area television stations snubbing other markets in region. The Post-Gazette has published statements from both sides of this controversy providing blow by blow accounts of the dispute.

"From my vantage point in Pittsburgh, the 'regional' chapter appears to be nothing more than a Philadelphia TV social club," Bob Longo wrote.

"Events, funds, and awards are controlled by and centered on Philadelphia. Other markets within the region, including Pittsburgh, are given token attention and, in my opinion, are ignored. The bias is palpable. When it comes time for awards, entries are encouraged openly, but once in, those awards, and the funds they generate, are put to use running a Philadelphia chapter and annual party."

Longo went on to announce WTAE-TV will no longer participate in the Emmys. He also suggested it’s time for officials from the National Emmy’s to investigate how Philadelphia has captured the regional chapter.

“If time and energy permits, I will petition the national organization to seriously look at establishing a truly regional NATAS chapter that more honestly represents Pittsburgh,” Longo wrote.

Regional Emmy Board President Paul Gluck in Philadelphia has responded with a

written statement claiming Longo never expressed these concerns while he served on the Emmy board.

"We are mystified by his inaccurate perceptions of how our Chapter works, and we would have appreciated the opportunity to have an honest and thoughtful dialogue with him, rather than respond in this public platform that he has chosen," Gluck wrote. "This organization's leadership and administrative staff have made a commitment to engage and include all of our members in Chapter initiatives, and to characterize this organization as a 'Philadelphia TV social club' insults all the volunteers who have given countless hours to supporting the Chapter."

I sense Long's criticism is long overdue. I recall my days at WPXI where management there maintained a steadfast rule of not participating in the Emmy’s. I always thought it was outrageous the regional Emmy’s required a $100 entry fee and the money did seem to come out in a lavish party for the winners. I do not belong to a regional chapter. I have a faculty membership in the national organization in Hollywood where I have more fulfilling resources and benefits as a broadcaster and instructor. I don't see any value in the regional chapter as it does appear to be geared to stroking the media elite in Philly and schools they're invited to as guest speakers in Eastern PA.


Lenslinger said...

Emmy Awards - silly mantle trinkets. I want no part of an award I have to pay to nominate myself for. Always seemed like a scam to me...

Kirstan Gides :) said...

I never realized it was like that. That seems to take away from something that is supposed to be such an honor. Good luck with getting on the National Committee :)