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PBS tops news noms

Fox News opts out of Emmy consideration

NEW YORK — PBS took home the most 2002 news and docu Emmy noms Monday, while Fox News Channel was the only major news org noticeably — and intentionally — absent from the lengthy list.

After repeatedly submitting materials over the years but receiving no nominations, Fox News notified the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences last fall that it was dropping its participation. Fox News, which has become the No. 1 cable news net, is criticized in some media circles for being too conservative.

“We’ve submitted news pieces year after year, and when we didn’t get nominated for any of the work we produced during our country’s most prolific crisis … we knew it was time to end our participation in the news Emmys,” Fox News Channel veep of news operations Sharri Berg told Daily Variety Monday.

“We took the proactive approach. We don’t recognize NATAS as the judges of our journalistic accomplishment.

Sitting out

Acad prexy Peter O. Price said he met with Fox News topper Roger Ailes last fall to discuss the matter, and Ailes relayed the same sentiment. “He said, ‘We are doing fine and we don’t need recognition from the Academy to justify what we do.’ That’s a perfectly legitimate position to take. People are not obliged to enter their work.”

Price denied the Acad is biased against Fox News. He also said the 24/7 news net, unlike other networks, submitted only a small handful of news pieces; most nets submit dozens. He also pointed out that Fox News is relatively young, having launched in 1996.

NATAS nominations, and eventual winners, are determined by a board made up mostly of news professionals.

Getting things right

Per a request by Fox News, NATAS on Monday had to clarify that it was a Fox-owned station in Gotham, WNYW, and not Fox News Channel that garnered a nom on the list.

The nominations were bestowed for news progs and docs that aired last year. The 24th annual kudos will be handed out Sept. 3 in Gotham. Outgoing CBS “60 Minutes” producer Don Hewitt and other show execs will be presented with a lifetime achievement award.

PBS received 31 mentions for programs including its signature shows “Nova” and “Bill Moyer Reports.” CBS earned 19 noms, while ABC and NBC were tied at 18.

Also on the list of the top 10 nominees were MSNBC (12 of the 13 went to “National Geographic Explorer,” which produces a regular seg for the cable news net), CNN, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Cinemax and HBO.

CNN picked up six noms. CNBC’s “The Evening News With Brian Williams” received one.

‘Rather’ hefty lead

Among network evening newscasts, “CBS Evening News With Dan Rather” received the most, walking away with six mentions. “NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw” received three, “ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings” one.

Network newsmagazines made a strong showing, with “Dateline” accounting for 11 of NBC’s 18 noms. At CBS, “60 Minutes II” received six, beating the four going to “60 Minutes.”

ABC’s “Nightline” received six of the 18 nominations awarded the Alphabet overall.

“We received nearly 1,500 entries, one of the largest numbers ever,” NATAS vice chair for news and documentaries Bill Small said. “The number and range of entries demonstrate that quality journalism is alive and well on U.S. television.”

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