Thursday, September 17, 2009

Emmy Fallout

Earlier on OMW, we dutifully posted a link to the list of this year's local Emmy Awards winners, with little comment - aside from a brief mention of the win for "Best Nostalgia Program" involving local radio personality and OMW reader Mike Olszewski ("Radio Daze").

That's our normal procedure with awards lists.

We don't go through the list, tab "winners and losers", make any further comment about the stations or groups involved, etc. Awards are very subjective, and we usually don't insert comments about who won, who lost or who should have won or lost.

But we should go a little further here.

For one, though we mentioned the presence of Indiana stations - the Lower Great Lakes NATAS chapter goes all the way to Indianapolis - we didn't note how broad their presence was on the list this year.

And aside from "Radio Daze's" Harvard 131 Films, we didn't note anything else about independent producers not directly associated with local TV stations.

That's where producer/director Mark Wade Stone of Storytellers Media Group comes in.
Quoting his blog, where he's not upset with us, but with the local newspaper:

In (Julie Washington's) 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.

Mark's group won two Emmys in the recent competition, and this may be the first time anyone who didn't sort through the list - or who wasn't there at this past weekend's event - has heard of it.

Quoting Mark's blog again:

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.

As we did privately with Mark, we'll defend Ms. Washington a little, here.

Her main beat in regards to local media puts her mostly in the realm of local TV stations. It's pretty easy - when your regular work mostly involves the big over-air commercial and public stations - to focus upon those stations. She talks about local film production, but not necessarily connected to over-air media.

It's the same problem we have here, though we're not the largest newspaper of record in Northeast Ohio. We spend most of our time covering the broadcast media (very, very occasionally we foray into print), and that's our chosen beat - and has been since August 2005.

We spent time talking about "Radio Daze" for a number of reasons. First, its subject is core to what we talk about here - radio, in particular, the heady days of Cleveland FM radio competition. Second, book author and documentary writer/producer Mike Olszewski is a long-time local radio personality - and a regular reader here.

But we salute the "Storytellers" Emmy wins, and others by independent producers...and think SOMEONE should at least mention them.

And Mark (a regular OMW reader himself, by the way) makes a very good point about what we called the "Indiana Invasion".

Cleveland is a much larger TV market than Indianapolis, even with its recent fall to 18th place. Are they producing "better TV" over there, or is it just a side effect of the process?

We only note that when local stations do earn Emmy Awards, they relentlessly promote them both on air and off air, so the stations at very least consider the awards somewhat important to crow about.

Here are links to awards publicity by NBC affiliate WKYC/3, courtesy of our blogging counterpart Frank Macek's Director's Cut blog, and by ABC affiliate WEWS/5.

The WKYC list includes three awards won by SportsTime Ohio, which is operated out of the WKYC Digital Broadcast Center at 13th and Lakeside. The WEWS list includes awards by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.

We'll link to any other lists provided by stations or production companies, if we find them.

Here at your Mighty Blog of Fun(tm), we salute ALL the winners, from everywhere...

1 comment:

andrew727 said...

Maybe the big problem here is not enough inventive or original programming is produced here beyond the morning block of news, however, WJW TV 8 has and is doing enough of live and local - whereas the other three network affiliated stations count more on their respective networks to fill the space. As to public broadcasting, WVIZ TV 25 really does a good job with PBS programming, as well past efforts produced by Bob Becker and his wife (I used to work with Bob at WERE AM 1300 in its ’Newsradio’ days) on the rich historical aspects of Northeast, Ohio, it seems most of its programming is ’canned’, or related to membership drives. Or ‘sit-down’ interview shows by Fegler. I really think there are more ’independent’ filmmakers in local colleges and affiliated theater arts who should be encouraged and featured on the main or at least sub-channels of WVIZ TV 25. Maybe WVIZ could devote time to some of the local improv groups, plays (think Beck Center, Lakewood Little Theater, Cleveland Public Theater) and college plays like those produced at Baldwin-Wallace College. There are a lot of opportunities to produce Emmy-winning television programming here that if done right, can pull an audience. Rather than thinking ‘local’ quality, we should be concentrating on ‘network’ quality, only doing it in Northeast Ohio. Hopefully, WVIZ will pick-up Mike O’s Radio Daze and give it good promotion before its broadcast. Yep, and if Mike ‘O’ is reading this, I’m sure he’s screaming, “BOGGS!!!” Oh well, had to inject a little humor in this!-)

- Andrew, -