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December 04, 2013

From the Chairman

Hayma Washington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

At a moment when a record amount of television is being produced — scripted and unscripted, long-form and short- form — it’s no surprise that this year’s for-your-consideration season has been busier than ever.

In addition to the DVDs arriving in the homes of Emmy voters and the many videos posted on the Academy’s online viewing platform, programmers are hosting events at our Saban Media Center and at various other venues on both coasts, as part of their awards campaigns. It’s an exciting time, and the excitement will continue to build as we draw closer to the start of first-round voting, on June 12.

As an Emmy winner myself, I take great pride in our prestigious competition and its status as the highest standard of excellence in the field I love so much. But as Academy chairman, I am equally proud of the many other ways our organization serves the television industry as a whole and all who work in it.

Among the most popular of our membership benefits are the mixers, panels, seminars and other special events that we present throughout the year, some with a focus on professional development, some devoted to education, others to entertainment. Most of these are held in Los Angeles, but as our membership continues to grow in other parts of the country (and, increasingly, the world — we now have members in more than 25 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe), we have sought to expand our events to other cities.

Most recently, on May 4, I had the pleasure of attending “A Conversation with Tyler Perry,” a fantastic evening at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. In addition to his more than 20 films, Tyler has created several successful television programs, including the TBS comedies Meet the Browns and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne; the OWN series Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, If Loving You Is Wrong, Love Thy Neighbor and The Haves and the Have Nots; and TLC’s first scripted program, Too Close to Home.

Between his ever-growing empire — which also includes 330-acre Tyler Perry Studios — and shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead, Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse, Fox’s 24: Legacy, BET’s The Quad and Netflix’s Stranger Things, Atlanta is a thriving production hub.

It was a treat to hear the multi-talented Tyler discuss his remarkable life and career with our host for the evening, award-winning journalist Tamron Hall, and it was wonderful to meet so many gifted professionals who fuel their passion for television in that great city. Though this was our first event in Atlanta, it surely will not be the last.

We trust this will be the first step in cultivating more relationships in the region, and we encourage those who have not done so already to become Academy members.

With similar outreach in mind, our president and COO, Maury McIntyre, will travel to Austin, Texas, in early June to moderate a panel at the ATX Television Festival, where we are hosting an industry and media lounge. In addition, a record 10 FYC events were held in New York City this year, significantly increasing Emmy-related activities for our East Coast members. And in the fall, we will participate in the New York Television Festival.

We love taking our show on the road, and we look forward to meeting more of our members — and gaining new ones — along the way. I leave you with a quick reminder amid the flurry of FYC activity: first-round voting for the 69th Emmy Awards begins June 12 and ends June 26. Be sure to cast your ballots!

Hayma Washington
Chairman and CEO Television Academy

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