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July 31, 2010

NBC4 Tops Los Angeles Area Emmys

Longtime on-air host Steve Edwards receives Governors Award for his decades of contributions to Southland television.

NBC4 led the winners at the 62nd Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards with six golden statuettes. In addition to the bestowal of awards in more than forty categories, the ceremony, held at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre on the grounds of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences evening, included a presentation of the Governors Award to longtime on-air host Steve Edwards, as well as memorial tributes to renowned local broadcasting figures Jaime Escalante, Paul Johnson, Rory Markas and John Wooden. Presenters for the evening, which was streamed via live webcast at the Television Academy’s official site, www.emmys.com, included dozens of local anchors, reporters and producers. In the highly competitive regularly scheduled newscast categories, NBC4’s Channel 4 News at 11 p.m.. was named outstanding regularly scheduled evening newscast from 7:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. NBC4 also took the award for outstanding regularly scheduled newscast from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m for its Channel 4 News at 5 p.m. broadcast. Outstanding regularly scheduled daily morning newscast from 4:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. went to KTLA5 for the KTLA 5 Morning News. The award for outstanding hard news reporting resulted in a memorable acceptance speech by NBC4 reporter Ana Garcia, who shared the honor with producer Fred Mamoun. “We’ve been nominated 15 times and we have never won,” she said with a laugh, “so you have to understand how meaningful this is!” Chuck Henry of NBC4 took the award for outstanding news feature reporting outstanding investigative reporting went to KTLA 5 News at 10 for the segment titled “Fool’s Gold,” which revealed inconsistencies in the prices paid to consumers for jewelry and other gold items by businesses that offer to buy them. Winning the award for outstanding news writer for the fourth consecutive year was Mary Elizabeth Harris of NBC4. Outstanding non-news writer was captured by John Larson of the KCET series SoCal Connected. The Emmy for outstanding feature segment also aired on SoCal Connected. The honored segment, “The Year of Living Dangerously,” chronicled 16-year-old Zac Sunderland’s attempt to sail around the world alone. Television Academy chairman and CEO John Shaffner introduced Governors Award recipient Edwards, who spoke amusingly and movingly about his long and distinguished career, which spans more than four decades. “People often describe their careers as a journey,” he said. “Mine hasn’t been a journey, it’s been a trip — a trip with many stops.” Among those stops have been many in Los Angeles, including KCBS-TV’s The Steve Edwards Show (1978-81) and 2 on the Town (1978-84), KABC-TV’s 3:30 (1984) and A.M. Los Angeles (1984-91). And since 1995 he has informed and entertained Angelenos as co-host of FOX11’s Good Day L.A. Numerous presenters throughout the evening paid personal tribute to Edwards for his inspiration, guidance and, in the case of longtime reporter Hal Eisner, for hiring him as a radio reporter 40 years ago in Houston, Texas. As he reached the end of his remarks, Edwards, reflecting on his boyhood in the Bronx, said, “I would put on my clothes, go down to the playground and play hard — and that’s what I do today.” In addition to the bestowal of awards, this year’s Los Angeles Area Emmys marked the debut of an internship program established in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District initiative known as WEE — for Work, Experience, Education. The relationship provided an opportunity for this year’s Los Angeles Emmys to serve as a career training “lab” for 12 local high school students and recent graduates. The interns, who were assigned to six departments — directing, lighting, video, audio, script, and talent relations — shadowed the technical and creative crew for three days as they prepped, set-up and produced the live show. Joetta Di Bella, the Television Academy’s Los Angeles Area Vice Chair introduced the program, as well as the students who participated: Claudia Aparicio, Maria Balenton, Cody Banks, Serena Cabrera, Christopher Chesler, George Diaz, Markis Garcia, Meklit Gebre-Mariam, Steven Hernandez, Chloe Reyes, Tommy Sugimoto and Lizeth Zardeneta. As Di Bella put it, “They will always be able to say, ‘My first show was the Emmys.’ How cool is that?” Also on hand at the event was Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who announced that the Television Academy’s Los Angeles Area branch has been invited to judge the High School Student Media Festival of Los Angeles, to be held this fall. Also partnering in this new event will be the Television Academy Foundation. 

Following NBC4 in the award rankings were KCET and KTLA5 with five Emmys each; CBS2, FOX SPORTS WEST/PRIME TICKET, KCAL9 and KTTV-TV with four each; CBS2/KCAL9 with three statuettes; and ABC7, BTV6, CITYTV OF SANTA MONICA, EDUCABLE CHANNEL 95, KLCS, KMEX, KMEX/KFTR, KOCE, LA36 and NBC4/KVEA all taking home one. See a complete list of winners here.

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