Academy of Television Arts & Sciences elected a series of firsts Wednesday night, starting with newly elected chairman John Shaffner, who reps the first production designer to hold that top position.
Also, Acad has elected its first officer from the world of new media: Brian Seth Hurst, who was appointed second vice chair of the org.
Election, conducted by the TV Acad’s board of governors, lacked the fireworks of past contests for the org’s top volunteer positions. Shaffner ran unopposed, which means he didn’t have to actively campaign or give a speech. The leader previously served in the No. 2 position, vice chair, and simply moved up in the ranks.
Shaffner, a principal of production design firm Shaffner Stewart, replaces Dick Askin, who was first elected chairman in 2003 and reupped in 2005. Newly elected officers take over in January.
Shaffner has won six Emmys for his work, which includes “Friends” and “The Drew Carey Show” as well as specials such as the Primetime Emmy Awards, the ESPYs, Miss Universe and the Super Bowl halftime show.
The chairman-elect has worked his way up Acad’s ranks; before vice chair, he served as second vice chair, as a governor and as a governor’s appointee to the executive committee.
Meanwhile, Nancy Bradley Wiard, a daytime programming governor and recent chair of the Primetime Awards committee, was elected vice chair of the org. Wiard serves as a producer for TV One.
In the second vice chair spot, Hurst was most recently a governor in the interactive media peer group. By day, he’s CEO of the Opportunity Management Co.
Elected to a second term as secretary was Sheila Manning, a casting exec who’s a member of the commercial peer group.
Also back for a second go-round is treasurer Donna Kanter, a producer (The Kanter Co.) and member of the writers peer group; as well as L.A.-area vice chair Hal Eisner, a reporter for News Corp.’s KCOP and KTTV, and a member of the Los Angeles peer group.