PBS won a leading seven news and documentary Emmy Awards last week in a New York presentation that was highlighted by a tribute to 60 Minutes and its executive producer Don Hewitt.
The news Emmys, the domain of the National Television Academy (it's trying to stop calling itself the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences), were spread around by the major broadcast networks: CBS won five, not counting the Lifetime Achievement awards to Hewitt and 60 Minutes correspondents and producers; ABC and NBC won three each; as did NBC sibling MSNBC. Discovery Channel also won three.
CNN, CNBC, HBO, Sundance, TLC won one award each. Fox News Channel doesn't enter the Emmy competition, though its local station WNYW(TV) did, but didn't win. All the awards were for programs that aired in 2002.
Though there was a spate of one-year anniversary news programs about the 9/11 terror attacks, only three of the Emmys went to programs related to the tragedy.
ABC News President David Westin awarded Hewitt and 60 Minutes' past and present correspondents and producers the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second time the award has ever been given. The first time, last year, honored Roone Arledge, the legendary president of ABC News, who passed away months later.
Hewitt leaves 60 Minutes next June but, last February, signed a decade-long contract to grab another title, executive producer, CBS News. That contract would expire when he's 90.
"It's not all that tough to be tapped for a 'lifetime' award when you've been lucky enough to spend more than half your lifetime in the company of a Walter Cronkite ... an Edward R. Murrow ... an Eric Sevareid ... a Charles Collingwood," said Hewitt.
"Can anyone here think of anything better—at any age—than running a broadcast like 60 Minutes, getting an honor like this, and being married to Marilyn Berger? I told you I was lucky!"
News hosts and presenters included PBS's Bill Moyers, ABC's George Stephanopoulos and ABC News President David Westin. CNN's Paula Zahn was a no show. Former NBC News host Jane Pauley, dressed in a polka-dotted gown, joked that her husband, Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau said "my outfit looked like something the 'Gladiator' might have worn under his armor."
The tribute to Hewitt and the 60 Minutes correspondents included a film montage of Hewitt's early days, and tributes from executives who couldn't be there. Mel Karmazin, Viacom's president and chief operating officer, obviously joking, told Hewitt, "You really are a pain in the ass."
Below is a list of the winners:
- Coverage of a breaking news story in a regular newscast: CBS Evening News for "Snipers Caught."
- Coverage of a continuing news story in a regular newscast: CNBC's The News for "Jerusalem ER."
- Feature story in a regular newscast: ABC's Good Morning America for "Miracle Anti-Stuttering Device."
- Investigative journalism in a regular newscast: CBS Evening News for "Red Cross Under Fire."
- Coverage of a breaking news story in a newsmagazine: ABC's Nightline for "Rescue: Tragedy on Mount Hood."
- Coverage of a continuing story in a newsmagazine: CBS's 60 Minutes II
for "The Church on Trial."
- Feature story in a newsmagazine: CBS's 60 Minutes for "A New Lease on Life."
- Investigative journalism in a newsmagazine: Dateline NBC for "Slaves to Fashion."
- Coverage of a current news story (long form): ABC's Nightline for "Heart of Darkness."
- Investigative journalism (long form): PBS's Frontline for "An Ordinary Crime."
- Informational programming (long form): HBO's America Undercover Sundays for "Telling Nicholas."
- Historical programming (long form): PBS's Nova for "Galileo's Battle for the Heavens" and Nova for "Shackleton's Voyage of Endurance."
- Interview: Dateline NBC and Tom Brokaw for "America Remembers: 9/11 Controllers."
- Cultural and artistic programming (long form): PBS's Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film.
- Science, technology and nature programming: PBS for The Secret Life of the Brain.
- Story in a regular newscast: CNN Presents for "Enemy Within" and NBC's Today for "Lanier Phillips: The Gift."
- Newsmagazine report: CBS's 60 Minutes II for "The Lost Boys."
- Documentary: PBS's Nova for "Why the Towers Fell."
- Writing: Serge Schmemann for Discovery Channel's Mortal Enemies.
- Directing: David Allen and Anna Fitch for TLC's Living with Bugs.
Research: Levan Adami, Supriya Awasthi, Kate Blewett, Clarinda, Cuppage, John Maier, Jed Rothstein, Hasan Serefli, Deborah Shipley and Brian Woods for Discovery Channel's Kids Behind Bars.
- Cinematography: Curt Apduhan for Sundance Channel's Amargosa.
- Editing: Beth Gallagher of PBS's The Living Edens for "Big Sur: California's Wild Coast."
- Graphic and artistic design: The Saline Project: Adam Toht,
Jacob Guttormsson and Jesse Roff for Discovery Channel's Mortal Enemies
- Music and sound: Composers Chris Biondo and Lenny Williams for MSNBC's National Geographic Explorer: Hornets From Hell and composers Chris Mangum and David Cottrell for MSNBC's National Geographic Explorer: Stalking Leopards.
- Lighting direction and scenic design: Andrew Anderson and Tim Liversedge for MSNBC's National Geographic Explorer: Owls: Silent Hunters.
- Regional news story, spot news: WFXT-TV Dedham, Mass., Fox 25 News at 10 for "Marine MASH Unit."
- Regional news story, investigative reporting: WTTG(TV) Washington, Fox 5 News at 10 for "Buried Secrets."