Emmy Academies Settling Differences

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The clashing groups that run the two sets of Emmy Awards -- national and local -- are working to resolve their differences, but that does not include even proposing to merge the two groups.

The Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences are working to end friction that stretches back three decades, most tangibly by ending an arbitration proceeding over a proposed Latin Emmy awards.

"This is such a monumental step," said Dick Askin, chairman of ATAS and president of Tribune Entertainment. "We’re erasing, hopefully, 30 years of antagonism."

ATAS controls the more glamorous Emmy Awards for national prime time shows, while NATAS controls news and sports Emmys. The two sides have been clashing for years. In a new shift, NATAS’s international division will move over to become a unit of ATAS, while the West Coast group’s local Los Angeles chapter will become part of the NATAS.

Dennis Swanson, chairman of NATAS and head of Viacom’s TV stations group, called the move "A huge step forward," noting that the battling groups have the same goal, "to find better and more effective ways to reward excellence in this industry."

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