Host Giselle Fernández speaks during the 74th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards at the Television Academy.
Michaela Pereira of Fox 11 presents the Emmy to winners in several categories during the 74th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards at the Television Academy Plaza.
Gayle Anderson accepts the Governors Award.
"It's been a hell of a news cycle!" Giselle Fernández of Spectrum News 1 told her colleagues at the 74th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. "I think you'd all agree."
They did. To nodding heads, the anchor — and the evening's host — continued: "And it just hasn't stopped. For many of us in the business, this has been an unprecedented freight train of headlines that reflect the many changes we're experiencing in American political and cultural life. It's not been easy....
"I'm sure you hear it all the time, as I do. You have viewers who say, 'I have to turn off the news — I can't take it anymore,' for their mental health. And boy, do we understand that. The news has been painful. But [turning it off], that's something we can't do."
Far from running from difficult news and social issues, this past year Los Angeles broadcasters embraced uncomfortable topics. Their work was honored at the July 23 ceremony, held at Television Academy headquarters in L.A.'s NoHo Arts District. Winning efforts spotlighted such issues as the uptick in violence against Asian Americans, the climate crisis and an investigation of L.A. District Attorney George Gascón.
Other programs focused on resilience. Whether it was a U.S. Army war veteran and triple-amputee helping others accomplish goals they never thought possible, children in L.A. County foster care yearning for a home or prison inmates training therapy dogs, the ability to persevere and thrive in challenging circumstances was a recurring theme.
For the sixth consecutive year, KCET was the big winner at the awards, which honor the best in locally produced programming in the categories of live and breaking news coverage, crime and social issues, culture and history, the arts, human interest, sports and the environment. The public television station won six statuettes, followed by ABC7 and NBC4 with five apiece; KTLA5, KTTV and Spectrum News 1 with four each, and KMEX and Spectrum SportsNet LA with three each.
Of the three regularly scheduled daily newscast categories, NBC4's Today in LA won for morning, KVEA's Noticiero Telemundo 52 a las 6:00 p.m. won for daytime and KTLA5 News at 11:00 p.m. won for evening.
This year's Governors Award recipient was Gayle Anderson, who has been a reporter for the KTLA5 Morning News since 1993, covering everything from fires and earthquakes to the Rose Parade pre-show. She has won sixteen Emmys for that live coverage and other projects.
"It takes a team to do this," Anderson said in acceptance. "This [award] doesn't so much belong to me — it belongs to KTLA."
She noted a Southern expression that news director Jason Ball had taught her: "You need to sweep your own porch. [That means] focus on what you need to be doing and stop worrying about everybody else. So, I thank KTLA — everybody who is there now, who's worked there before and will work there in the future — for their patience, because I can get a little carried away. It takes a team, the people you don't see: the photographers, directors, assistant directors, writers, producers, news directors, assistant news directors. I can't do what [I do] without them... and the KTLA management staff."
Anderson insisted that her photographer, Bob Keet, join her and say a few words. She also acknowledged the people they cover, who rearrange their schedules to be available in the early morning hours. "It's amazing to me!" she said.
"Thank you all," she concluded. "Thank you to the Academy. This is really a surprise."
In another satisfying turn of events, a perennial television favorite garnered Emmy recognition seven months after her death: a tribute to Betty White won for entertainment news story. The report, "Remembering Betty White, Hollywood's Golden Girl" was produced for ABC7 by George Pennacchio and Cheryl Diano.
Christie Lyn Lugo Leigh and Stephanie Hampton are the Television Academy's Los Angeles Area peer group governors. Bob Bain was executive producer of the ceremony.
View a replay of the ceremony here.
A complete press release and list of winners are available here.