NBC4 Tops L.A. Area Emmys Govs Award to Tournament of Roses
NBC4 led the winners at the 61st Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards with eight 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 the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, as well as memorial tributes to renowned local broadcasting figures George Putnam, Gil Stratton and Lloyd Thaxton.
Presenters for the evening, which was streamed via live webcast at the Television Academy’s official site, www.emmys.tv, 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 newscast in the 0-35 minute format. NBC4 also took the award for outstanding regularly scheduled newscast in the over-35-minute format for its Channel 4 News at 5 P.M. broadcast. For the second year in a row, outstanding regularly scheduled daytime newscast went to KTLA5 for the KTLA Morning Show.
Among those accepting the latter honor was co-anchor Michaela Pereira, who, like many of those who appeared on stage throughout the ceremony, acknowledged the challenges that so many stations have endured during our difficult economic times. Expressing support for everyone in the local news community, regardless of their affiliation, Pereira said, “We may be competitors, but we are colleagues.”
Late in the show, when the award for outstanding live special event programming went to the Tournament of Roses Parade, the victory capped a memorable evening for the Tournament, which earlier in the evening received the prestigious Governors Award for its decades of contributions to Los Angeles television.
Accepting the award, Tournament executive Jeffrey L. Throop described the annual Tournament of Roses Parade as not just America’s New Year’s party, but the world’s — and pointed out that in addition to a million curbside spectators along the parade route in Pasadena, the event is seen by a national television audience in the U.S. and in 215 countries throughout the world.
Following the Governors Award, the lights dimmed for video tributes to Putnam, Stratton and Thaxton. Tribute was also paid to former foster child Jared Thomas.
Winner of three Emmy Awards and six California Associated Press Television and Radio Association awards, Putnam anchored the evening news for L.A. stations KTLA, KTTV and KCOP from the 1950s through 1970s. A fixture on local television, he was known for his booming delivery, trademark sign-offs and impassioned political commentaries.
A longtime presence in Southern California as a sports anchor on KNXT (now KCBS), began his career as a radio, theater and film actor and Pacific Coast League umpire, His signature opening line, “Time to call ’em as I see ’em,” became familiar to generations of Southern Californians during his sixteen-year tenure on The Big News, which delivered large ratings as the region’s first hour-long news program.
Ohio native Thaxton made his name in sunny California with the popular music shows Lloyd Thaxton’s Record Shop and The Lloyd Thaxton Show, which in the 1960s introduced the Southland to the biggest names in pop, rock and R&B music. In the 1970s he was at KNBC, directing and producing the public-affairs programs Consumer Byline and Fight Back! with David Horowitz.
Thomas, a young man who was adopted through the efforts of FOX11’s “Wednesday’s Child” initiative, attended last year’s Los Angeles Area Emmys ceremony as the guest of FOX11 anchor Christine Devine. Sadly, he died in June of this year at age seventeen from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Another notable passing, highlighted in the evening’s program book, was Charles Runyon, who became a Los Angeles television star in the 1950s and ’60s as Chucko the Birthday Clown. On KABC from 1955 to 1963 and on KTTV from 1963 to 1964, Runyon’s Chucko the Clown was a familiar sight to a generation of young Southern California viewers. His live, hour-long show included cartoons, special guests and games with his studio audience, comprised of two children celebrating their birthdays and their young friends.
Among the other awards, producer Gerri Shaftel Constant had the good fortune to take home three Emmys: for outstanding medical news story — single report (which she shared with reporter Christine Devine, editor Mark Tickell and camera operator Julio Duran); outstanding medical news story — multi-report (which she shared with Devine and Tickell); and news feature reporting (which she shared with Devine).
Other highlights of the evening included the award for outstanding investigative reporting. The honor went to Channel 4 News at 11 P.M. for “Contaminated Water,” which exposed the existence of unsafe levels of lead in drinking fountains at Los Angeles Unified School District schools.
Their work on “Contaminated Water” helped reporter Joel Grover, producer Matt Goldberg and their team to win the Emmy for outstanding hard news reporting for the third consecutive year.
Also for the third consecutive year, outstanding sports reporting went to producer-anchor Curt Sandoval and producer Dae Ho Suk of ABC7. And it was three years running as well in the category of outstanding news writer, which was won yet again by Mary Harris of NBC4. Outstanding non-news writer was captured by Marcos Villatoro of KCET.
Following NBC4 in the award rankings were KTTV-TV with seven Emmys; KCET with six; LA CITYVIEW35 with four statuettes; KCBS2/KCAL9 and FSN PRIME TICKET with three each; FSN WEST/PRIME TICKET, KCAL9, KMEX, KTLA5 and KVEA with two each; and ABC7, BHTV-10, EDUCABLE CHANNEL 95, KLCS and LA36 each took home one.
For a complete list of winners, click here.