This year’s Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards will be televised for the first time in 25 years by WYCC PBS Chicago.
WYCC plans to cover the November 1 award ceremony with a two-hour live special and additional content streaming online. “We’re looking for this to actually be a very large, beautiful production, rivaling that of a national production,” said Paul Buckner, general manager at WYCC.
According to Buckner, the station is working with the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the group that presents the annual regional Emmys, to find a host, presenters and live performers. The station plans to announce the host and performers Sept. 23, the same day that nominees will be announced.
NATAS has been looking for ways to televise the ceremony for years, relying on students for some recent productions. Buckner said the station wanted to lend NATAS its experience with large-scale productions by producing the telecast.
The station will make the live broadcast available to other public TV stations in the region, and Buckner says that stations have expressed interest in simulcasting the show, including those in Milwaukee; Madison and Green Bay, Wis.; and South Bend, Ind.
WYCC has experience with large-scale productions, Buckner says, but the Emmys production “ups the ante.”
“We want to make it a very celebratory thing for our industry,” he said. “We’re celebrating the best in TV production, so we should give the show the best in TV production.”