Tuesday, March 27, 2007

When the Drama at the Daytime Emmys Isn't On-Screen...

Michael Schneider of Variety reports on a West Coast vs. East Coast Daytime Emmy battle that is producing drama enough to rival the best of the soaps the awards are set to honor:

“Yet another battle is brewing in the West Coast vs. East Coast TV Academy smackdown.

The New York-based National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences (NATAS), which runs the Daytime Emmys, has announced that it will pay for only one statuette per category winner this year, meaning that those who share a victory would have to shell out $350 apiece for their own statuettes.

But the West Coast-based Academy of TV Arts & Sciences (ATAS) -- even though it doesn't administer the Daytime Emmys -- plans to dig into its own pockets and reimburse any West Coast winners who are asked to pay for their statuette.

NATAS [president] Peter Price [said that] with nonprofits…facing increased financial woes, the group could no longer pay for so many statuettes.

‘We're a nonprofit, and our trustees mandate that we produce a breakeven budget. To do that, we have to pull in our horns on some luxuries we used to do. If ATAS feels that they have the deep pockets to do it, then that's wonderful.’

In a letter sent over the weekend to ATAS members who are also Daytime Emmy nominees, the West Coast group took issue with NATAS' belt-tightening.

‘The Los Angeles-based Television Academy wants you to know that, as a matter of principle, we do not agree with this decision and do not believe that any Emmy winner should have to pay for their award,’ the letter read.

ATAS recommends that winners who must pay for their Daytime Emmy statue go ahead and send the money to NATAS; ATAS will then arrange to reimburse the winner.

The two TV academies had worked more closely in recent years on the Daytime Emmys, but ATAS has been less involved this year. Unlike in past years, NATAS did not consult ATAS on the nomination process; also, ATAS will not produce or pay for this year's nontelevised Daytime Emmy Creative Arts Awards, which had been covered by the West Coast [organization] in past years.

ATAS and NATAS have battled off and on since the TV Academy split into two separate orgs in 1977.”

Read the full article here.

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