November 14, 2019

From the Chairman

Frank Scherma, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

As this issue of emmy was nearing completion — shortly after the annual upfront presentations — the media trades were buzzing with reports of renewals, cancellations, new shows, potential schedule battles, advertising spends — in other words, the usual.

But the usual is not what it used to be. The world of streaming is now an integral part of the upfronts. As AVOD (advertising- based video on demand) becomes more prevalent, this will be the new usual, at least for now. And after a year and a half in which very little has been “usual,” this is a welcome development.

Due to Covid-19 precautions, the industry attended the upfronts virtually, for the second year in a row. But this time around, there was a palpable sense of optimism, spurred by the steady increase in production in recent months.

Also, the week before the upfronts came the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control that vaccinated people may forgo masks in most settings — an important milestone not only for our industry, but for our country, as we move forward.

When Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, it would be wonderful if television professionals were able to return to the familiar rhythms of our pre-pandemic routines. The truth is, many things will be the same, but others will be different. We will still produce great programming, but some of the ways we do it will necessarily change. For safety, for efficiency — for the better.

Positive change is coming to the Television Academy as well, through our ongoing work with the diversity, equity and inclusion consulting firm ReadySet. We thank everyone who took the time to participate in the DEI survey of our membership, leadership and staff. ReadySet is now starting to conduct interviews and focus groups as the next step in their process.

At the completion of their work, we will implement an action plan to create a more diverse and inclusive culture and to provide opportunities for underrepresented groups within the Academy and in the industry at large.

Diversity and inclusion are, of course, priorities as we prepare for the 73rd Emmy Awards, which will air live on CBS on Sunday, September 19. Our annual celebration of excellence in television is still in the planning stages, but we will be sharing details regularly along the way.

In the meantime, don’t forget that voting for the nominations round of this year’s competition begins June 17 and ends June 28. Your voice is important, so be sure to cast your ballots before the deadline..

Frank Scherma

Chairman and CEO, Television Academy

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