L.A. Area Emmys Governors Award to KCAL's Susan Stratton
Emmy® Award winner Susan Stratton, a trailblazer for women in the television industry and a veteran KCAL Los Angeles producer-director, has been selected as this year’s Governors Award recipient for the Los Angeles Area Emmys. Honor will be bestowed upon Stratton at the L.A. Area Emmys ceremony on August 11 in Los Angeles.
Noho Arts District, CA – Emmy® Award winner Susan Stratton, a trailblazer for women in the television industry and a veteran KCAL producer/director, has been selected as this year’s Governors Award recipient for the Los Angeles Area Emmy® Awards The announcement was made today by Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman Bruce Rosenblum.
The Los Angeles Area Emmys Governors Award is the most esteemed honor given to an individual, company or organization for outstanding achievement in the arts, sciences, or management of television, consistently over a period of years, or in recognition of an outstanding singular achievement or contribution. The Award will be presented at the Los Angeles Area Emmys ceremony on Saturday, August 11th at the Television Academy's Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre.
“Long before I began working in the television business, I knew Susan's name having heard the legendary Chick Hearn frequently praise her during his Lakers broadcasts," said Television Academy Chairman Bruce Rosenblum. "Susan's producing excellence, professionalism and incredible contributions over her years of service to both KCAL and the Southern California sports community have been both numerous and exemplary and make her a very deserving recipient of this year's Governors Award."
For 27 years after KCAL first signed a deal to broadcast the Los Angeles Lakers, Susan Stratton was the woman in charge of bringing the telecast into the homes of Southern California. She broke down barriers in the industry by being the first woman television producer and director for a professional sports franchise in the United States. As a result of her amazing work with KCAL, Stratton was honored with the Women in Film Crystal Award in 1989 along with induction into the Southern California Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
A graduate of Penn State University, Stratton began her career as a producer and director for WMAL’s “Total Information News” in Washington D.C. She had always been an avid sports fan and was excited when given the opportunity to serve as the film editor for the Washington Redskin’s Quarterback “Sonny Jurgensen Show.” It was at WMAL that she met her husband, Dick, and the two moved to Los Angeles.
Stratton was hired at KHJ-TV, and in 1977 the station was approached by Laker’s owner Jack Kent Cooke to broadcast the team’s road games. Stratton immediately volunteered to become the producer and director for these telecasts even though at the time women were not playing a role in sports broadcasting.
In her first few years in charge, Stratton was faced with prejudice and chauvinism, but met it head on. With courage and a tremendous work ethic, she was the only woman to walk into the remote truck, and put all of her effort into bringing the Lakers to the television audience through the most exciting broadcast possible. Stratton was a natural leader who set the bar for local sports coverage.
During her work with the Lakers, Stratton made an important, lifelong friendship with legendary announcer Chick Hearn as they traveled across the country televising the games. It was Stratton’s hard work as a producer that helped Hearn achieve the incredible record of 3,338 consecutive broadcasts.
The Governors Award has been bestowed upon many individuals, companies and organizations that have made a positive impact in the Los Angeles community. Past recipients include Christine Devine and “Wednesday’s Child,” Bill Stout, Hal Fishman, Johnny Grant, KCET, Ted Meyers, Bill Welch, Vin Scully, Jerry Dunphy, Larry McCormick, George Putnam, Gene Autry, KTLA, KMEX, Jess Marlow, Kelly Lange, Joel Tator, Chick Hearn, Pete Noyes, Dr. George Fischbeck, KMEX Univision, Bob Eubanks, Stan Freberg, Telemundo’s KVEA, and Steve Edwards.
For more information about the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards please visit www.emmys.com/laaemmys.