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Academy
December 04, 2013

From the Chairman

Hayma Washington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
 

The renowned author and critic Marshall McLuhan categorized television as a “cool” medium.

As he explained in his landmark 1964 book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man:

“There is a basic principle that distinguishes a hot medium like radio from a cool one like the telephone, or a hot medium like the movie from a cool one like TV. A hot medium is one that extends one single sense in ‘high definition.’ High definition is the state of being well-filled with data…. Hot media are low in participation, and cool media are high in participation or completion by the audience…. The hot form excludes, and the cool one includes.”

More than 50 years later, this description still resonates — and in ways beyond the scope of McLuhan’s thesis. With more and better programming than ever, more ways to watch than ever and unprecedented cultural influence, I think we can all agree that television is pretty cool . And television definitely includes . In fact, in recent years, our industry has grown more inclusive on both sides of the camera.

In other words — and to paraphrase a writer from an era well before TV, Walt Whitman — television is large, it contains multitudes.

Also large, and getting larger, is the Television Academy membership. This spring, we reached a new milestone when we surpassed 25,000 members for the first time. That’s an increase of almost 30 percent over the past five years.

No doubt some of this growth is a reflection of the expansion in programming mentioned above. But the steady rise in membership also speaks to the high regard those who work in our industry have for the Academy as an organization — and, of course, for the Emmy Awards.

Speaking of the Emmys, an increase in members means an increase in voters, as well. With a record number of voters, the pursuit of an Emmy nomination or win is more competitive today than ever, thus burnishing an already prestigious honor.

We take great pride in the fact that our membership continues to expand, and in the value that the Academy provides to television professionals throughout the year, not just during Emmy season. However, since this is Emmy season, I would be remiss if I did not remind you to complete and submit your ballot by the June 25 deadline. That would be very cool, indeed.

Hayma Washington
Chairman and CEO Television Academy


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