My congratulations to the Lower Great Lakes chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for last night’s Emmy™ event. It was the fastest paced, most enjoyable of the seven I’ve attended. The Intercontinental Hotel, in the center of Cleveland Clinic’s new city of 35,000 on the east side of town, is a helluva classy joint. No vain attempts at humor during the awards – the little moments that passed for funny were unplanned – and no wasted time. Almost like TV professionals were putting on a live show.
Which they were.
(Full disclosure: my partner in Storytellers, Gary Manke, is president of the LGL chapter – this post in no way represents his feelings. I think.)
Many fewer congratulations to Julie Washington. In her Plain Dealer report on the event she emphasized the nostalgic nature of the chapter’s 40th anniversary. But, typical of the PeeDee, they missed the actual lede: smaller market Indianapolis arrived here yesterday to crush, in merciless fashion, the larger market Cleveland stations in virtually every category.
Not sure if ‘creamed’ or ‘slaughtered’ are better words, so I’ll stick with ‘crushed.’ Either way it wasn’t pretty.
And, as is also typical of Cleveland’s paper of record, the story focused on only the commercial and public stations. Our own ensemble – Storytellers Media Group – garnered two Emmys: one for best Arts/Entertainment Program (Doris O’Donnell’s Cleveland – Rosie the Reporter), and another for Music Composition by the inimitable Carl Michel (which the presenters pronounced as “Mitchell.” Feh.) But this rather exemplary performance by a small company like Storytellers is deemed unworthy of mention. Of the large media outlets logrolled in the article, WOIO earned no more than we did, while Fox Sports Ohio and our ol’ alma mater station, WVIZ, earned only half (and that one by my former cutter and all ’round buddy, Nancy Tatulinski). WKYC, a Cleveland flagship station if there ever was one, earned a mere four awards to our two. The article failed to mention the truckloads of awards schlepped home to Indy and other points west
But who’s counting?
So – it’s not like Storytellers eked by with an award for Best Story on Hamster Adoption or something; it was an award for best Arts/Entertainment Program across the entire three-state chapter. Perhaps Julie is unimpressed with people who don’t own TV transmitters.
More to the point: does it appear that a struggling MSM print entity is lookin’ out for struggling MSM broadcast entities? To me, yeah. It does local media no good, the argument could go, to remind us all in a stodgily mediocre newspaper what a thoroughly mediocre job C-Town stations largely are doing, if Emmy™ awards are any standard at all. The out of state stations earned everything they got. Mere mention of these facts might stand as anathema to mediocrity, and we couldn’t tolerate that.
Are we hurt and pouty that Storytellers is ignored? Not this year. We’ve grown accustomed to it – Ms. Washington did precisely the same thing last year, when the exact, same series won in the exact, same category.