WEDNESDAY 9:30 PM UPDATE: Nikki Finke spoke to Warner Bros TV’s Bruce Rosenblum right after the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Board Of Governors elected him the new Chairman/CEO for a 2-year term. Rosenblum had been opposed by Nancy Bradley Wiard, a veteran TV Academy officer currently in her second term as first vice chair:
“Nancy had many more years of experience and was very familiar to all of the governors and knew the workings of the Academy. I think I gave them a nice alternative choice. I don’t look upon this new position as a lot of headaches. I see it as an opportunity to work with all the governors to bring a renewed sense of vitality to the organization. I’m hoping to bring a broader perspective to the Academy and make it more relevant than just the Emmys. It can’t just be about members getting an Emmy vote. There are opportunities for more philanthropic work through the foundation. And stronger diversity initiatives. And the Academy has to be more relevant to members. I hope with my fellow officers to diligantly work through the political dysfunction and get newer members more actively involved in the Academy. The issues surrounding the Emmys themselves will be dealt with by the Board of Governors and the Committee Chairmen. This wrestling with how to handle the Emmys dates back two decades. There are no easy answers.” Finally, asked if that thorn in Warner Bros TV’s side Charlie Sheen will be presenting at the Emmys anytime soon during his tenure, Rosenblum replied, ‘Oh Nikki, you crack me up.’
8:45PM: What a surprise given how eclectic and unpredictable its voters can be and the discord and infighting inside the organization itself. But the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has voted Warner Bros Television Group president Bruce Rosenblum as its next chairman/CEO. ATAS hands out the annual Emmys awards. Rosenblum, who holds the title of Office of the President, Warner Bros Entertainment (along with Jeff Robinov and Kevin Tsujihara) was essentially recruited to run in the election to replace current chair John Shaffner, the Emmy-winning art director. Rosenblum was opposed by Nancy Bradley Wiard, a veteran ATAS officer currently in her second term as first vice chair. Rosenblum’s entry was a significant development both inside and outside the Academy because the position hasn’t had a big name since former Walt Disney Studios president Rich Frank last served in the mid-1990s. As a candidate Rosenblum was controversial since his Warner Bros TV employs a lot of the industry and representing the TV Academy could be construed as a conflict. Also, some were perplexed as to why Rosenblum the new gig’s various headaches. But others felt Rosenblum could return the TV Academy’s stature. But Wiard argued that her years of service and insider knowledge of ATAS was a plus.
Here is what Rosenblum said at the Academy dinner:
I am truly honored to be speaking with you tonight. I first became acquainted with the Academy when I was a lawyer at Dixon Dern’s firm in the early 1980s, and 30 years later, much of our industry remains the same. But, so much has changed. Technology is moving our industry forward at an incredible pace. Netflix, Hulu and Google have permanently changed our landscape. At this moment in time, it is vital that our Academy evolve and move forward as well.
But for me, our role as an Academy is not just about business. It’s about passion, the talent represented in all of our peer groups, and the incredible process of story telling. My passion for television started when I was young. I remember sneaking onto the lot at CBS to watch The Carol Burnett Show. Today, I don’t need to sneak onto the lot. But I get the same emotional high when I visit the sets of our shows. My passion for television has never dulled, and from a quality standpoint, I believe we are in a golden age of television.
As an Academy, we should be very proud of the Emmy’s, but we need to remain relevant with all members beyond just September. We need to increase our brand awareness, our visibility and our stature. We need to prepare for the Academy’s future through initiatives such as: increased professional development events, increased revenue opportunities, including digital and strategic partner sponsorships, a renewed focus on diversity initiatives, increased financial support for the philanthropic efforts of the Foundation, a campaign to limit runaway production, a big-time “Future of Television Summit” sponsored by the Academy and highlighting digital opportunities for our members.
I have 25 years of experience at the leading television studio. I have direct experience with how our industry is changing. It is what I deal with every day. My experiences as a Board Chair at other organizations has shown me that success in this role can only come from listening, collaborating and building consensus. Leadership requires more than tenure – leadership is about vision for the future - leadership is strengthened by hands-on, day-to-day experience, influence, and relationships.
After speaking with most of you during the past few months, I am encouraged by the passion in this room to embrace the future, not retain the status quo. And, there is passion in this room to move beyond the politics that have sometimes limited the effectiveness of this organization. This should not be an election about maintaining business as usual – it is time for us to evolve and embrace a vision for the future. A vision where we can do better.
I enjoyed volunteering on the Executive Committee while Dick Askin was Chair. I would be honored to have your support tonight, and I look forward to volunteering with all of you once again. Thank you
See the other ATAS elected officers:
Additional officers elected tonight include:
Kevin Hamburger, outgoing Treasurer and Senior Supervising Producer of The Talk
Second Vice Chair:
Frank Scherma, current Governor Commercials Peer Group, current Creative Arts Awards Show Committee Vice Chair, President @radical.media
Marcelino Ford, incumbent Secretary, current Bylaws Committee Vice Chair, General Manager of Interactive Content and Advanced Advertising Development for Intel’s Media Group
Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg, current Governor Production Executives, current Primetime Awards Committee Co-Chair
Los Angeles Area Vice Chair:
Joetta Di Bella, incumbent Los Angeles Area Vice Chair
Recently elected Governors announced tonight include:
Ruth Adelman – Sound Editors Peer Group
Allison Binder – Professional Representatives Peer Group
Daniel Birman – Nonfiction Programming Peer Group
Scott Boyd – Picture Editors Peer Group
Judy Crown – Makeup Artists / Hairstylists Peer Group
Kirk Ellis – Writers Peer Group
Ian Fraser – Music Peer Group
Lucia Gervino – Production Executives Peer Group
Stephen A. Jones – Electronic Production Peer Group
Ellen Kahn – Title Design Peer Group
Steven Kent – Producers Peer Group
David Kleeman – Children’s Programming Peer Group
Mark Kirkland – Animation Peer Group
Sharon Lieblein – Casting Directors Peer Group
Sheila Manning – Commercials Peer Group
Lee Miller – Directors Peer Group
Anthony Molinari – Stunts Peer Group
Frank Morrone – Sound Peer Group
Matthew J. Olsen – Daytime Programming Peer Group
Russ Patrick – Public Relations Peer Group
Betsey Potter – Costume Design & Supervision Peer Group
Lori Schwartz – Interactive Media Peer Group
Mark Scott Spatny – Special Visual Effects Peer Group
Rob Swartz – Television Executives Peer Group
Greg Taylor – Los Angeles Area Peer Group
James Yarnell – Art Directors / Set Decorators Peer Group
Kenneth Zunder – Cinematographers Peer Group
Please note there will be a run-off election for the Governor of the Performers Peer Group between Bob Bergen and Peter Kwong.