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December 04, 2013

From the Chairman

Hayma Washington, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Have you been to the Saban Media Center yet? If you’re a member of the Television Academy or the wider entertainment industry, it’s likely you have. Since it opened in June on our campus in L.A.’s NoHo Arts District, interest in Academy events and programs has surged. The offerings at the center — which houses the state-of-the-art Wolf Theatre and the offices of our Foundation — are in extremely high demand, reflecting the excitement among our members and the industry.

As expected, with this new energy, new needs have emerged: to further expand our programming and partner opportunities, we are looking to augment the technology in the Saban Media Center to allow us to more efficiently produce and deliver content to members, the industry and the public. By enhancing our connectivity, content can be shared immediately and our center will become a true hub for the television industry.

To that end, the Academy is embarking on the next phase of its New Destination Campaign, which met with vigorous support when it was launched in 2014. Now, the Capstone Phase of the campaign will raise crucial funds for these expanded technology and programming needs. If you would like to participate or learn more, please contact Karla Loor Kitchel at

While we look ahead to the Academy’s future, we are also busy with the day-to-day, which at this time of year means getting ready for the Emmys. Entries for the 69th Emmys are already being accepted at, and the viewing platform for members opens April 10. (Not a member and you’d like to vote in this year’s competition? There’s still time; go to

As you may have heard, Stephen Colbert — whose fearless passion for live television is on display every weeknight on CBS — will host our live CBS telecast on September 17 from L.A.’s Microsoft Theater. The Creative Arts Emmys will be held September 9 and 10; a condensed version will once again air on FXX, on September 16.

While the Emmy Awards are the most visible activity of the Academy, much more goes on behind the scenes. And guiding us in our charge is our executive committee, which consists of our elected officers, the chair of our Foundation, four members of our board of governors and four persons appointed by the chairman — namely, me.

I was very pleased to recently announce that these distinguished members of our industry have agreed to join the committee: Susanne Daniels, the global head of original content for YouTube; Mark Gordon, an award-winning producer of film and television (Grey’s Anatomy, Ray Donovan, Quantico…); Richard Weitz, a partner at William Morris Endeavor (WME) and co-head of its scripted television department; and Carmi Zlotnik, the president of programming at Starz.

I’m grateful to these executives for joining me and my fellow Academy leaders in our work promoting excellence and inclusiveness in our industry. By the way, one outstanding example of both of those qualities is the focus of the cover story in this issue of emmy: ABC’s Speechless, the first broadcast-network comedy to feature an actor with a disability in a major recurring role. Bravo to Micah Fowler, who plays J.J.; to Minnie Driver, who plays his mom; to showrunner Scott Silveri and to the entire cast and crew!

Hayma Washington
Chairman and CEO Television Academy

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