After an independent review of its procedures and rules, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is promising big changes to the Daytime Emmys in 2019 and beyond. “Representatives of several shows in the daytime community raised concerns with how the 45th Daytime Emmys were managed and with some of the broader policies and procedures of our academy,” Adam Sharp, interim President of NATAS, tells Digest. “Recognizing that the preeminence of the Emmy as a symbol of excellence is dependent on the faith and confidence of those in the community, we saw a need to make sure that each of those concerns were all thoroughly and properly addressed. We moved quickly to task an independent firm to look into our operations and to do so with no limitations on what they looked into, who they questioned, they had full access to our email system, and to really leave no stone unturned in seeking answers to some of these questions and providing recommendations for how best to move forward.” The firm delivered its findings and recommendations to NATAS in early November. “There were certainly areas of the report that, in noting errors and mistakes that were made, were painful to read, but necessary to read and to be responsive to,” Sharp says. “I think the report was exceedingly fair and the criticism it makes is where criticism was due. We do need to do much better as an organization and I think the steps we’re putting in place to substantially adopt these recommendations put us on the path toward that.” The changes will include updates and clarifications to the Daytime Emmy submission rulebook; the hiring of additional staff to manage submissions and voting; and a redistribution of executive duties. Explains Sharp, “David Michaels, who is our senior vice president of daytime and the executive producer of the shows for the last several years, he will focus his energies most thoroughly on the production of the event itself and then Brent Stanton, the executive director of the Daytime Emmys on our team will take more independent leadership and oversight of the competition.” In the end, Sharp says, “We are hopeful and optimistic that all members of the daytime community will have the confidence and faith in our process to compete next year. It is somewhat unprecedented for an organization like ours to conduct such a deep introspection into how our awards process works. We are being responsive to every single recommendation in that report. Through this process we’ve had productive conversations with some of the dramas. Several of them were interviewed in the course of the investigation and we hope that by involving them in the process and by being responsive to their concerns that they will join us for the 2019 competition and the show.”
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