Paley Center eyes 2012 plan

Org planning kudofest to rival Emmys

As the biz prepares for Sunday’s Emmy Awards, a clutch of industry execs is quietly moving forward on planning the Paley Center for Media’s rival kudofest.

The committee assembled by the Paley Center to explore the org’s awards options is said to be targeting a 2012 launch. The event is likely to be held in Gotham in conjunction with the mid-May upfronts, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the plans. Paley execs have declined comment on the ambitious venture since the awards planning committee was formed in March (Daily Variety, March 4).

The committee of about 20 execs — chaired by Sony Pictures TV prexy Steve Mosko, Fox Networks Group CEO Tony Vinciquerra and Lippin Group chief Dick Lippin — is in the process of hammering out the details of the award categories and the voting system for determining winners. Those are crucial elements, naturally, and the Paley Center is looking to capitalize on the frustration among some in the biz with aspects of the Emmy Awards’ categorization and voting process to make the Paley kudos an attractive alternative. There’s also an understanding that some form of voting by the general public would be incorporated in an effort to help open up the playing field to popcorn fare.

The May timing of the event would put the Paleys ahead of the Emmys on the kudos calendar, and it would allow networks and studios to be cost-effective in planning for upfronts and a televised awards fete at the same time.

Paley organizers have been approached by several major nets and advertisers about participating in the inaugural show. At present the committee is focused on finishing an detailed presentation that can be taken to prospective partners to initiate negotiations on license fees and sponsorship elements.

An announcement of the 2012 launch date for the kudos is expected in the near future.

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