Prexy turns around N.Y. org
The New York Chapter of the TV Academy has harvested more than 1,300 Emmy Award submissions this year, a record number and a tribute to the success of Maury Povich’s guidance as chapter president.
Povich said that, after being elected president in 2001, he inherited an organization that was perched on the edge of bankruptcy, the result of poor management by the previous administration led by the late president John Cannon.
“The first thing we did was hire an outside auditor to get some specifics on the extent of the problem,” said Bill Hanauer, executive director of the New York chapter.
The next step, Hanauer said, was “to negotiate away $100,000 of our debt.” The debtholders agreed to the deal because “We told them that, if you force us into bankruptcy, you’ll get a lot less money in the long run,” he said.
Povich said he knew the chapter was in trouble when the printer of the N.Y. Emmy Award invitations impounded them in 2001 until the chapter ponied up the bill of $27,000.
To cut costs, Povich reduced the fulltime staff of the academy from five people to three, and convinced all of the production staff responsible for the two annual events — the local Emmy telecast and the Silver Circle Awards — to donate their services instead of charging big fees.
“Then I rallied the troops,” Povich said. Since the N.Y. chapter includes the entire state, Povich, Hanauer and other board members journeyed to Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse to spearhead a successful membership drive. To cement loyalty, Povich said he created vice president slots for members in these cities.
In his other role as head of an inhouse production company, Mopo Entertainment, Povich said he’s negotiating with ESPN on a 60-minute documentary about his father, the celebrated sports columnist of the Washington Post Shirley Povich. Robert Port, president of Mopo, would produce the special, and ESPN would schedule it in the spring of 2005, the 100th anniversary of Shirley Povich’s birth.
As previously reported, Port and Barry Schindel, co-writers/exec producers, are filming a pilot in partnership with Universal Network TV called “Hollywood Division,” focusing on cops who infiltrate crime-ridden high schools and youth clubs.
Povich’s syndicated talkshow, now on the air for 12 years (the first seven distributed by Paramount and the current five by Universal), finished second to “Oprah” in women 18-34 in the November sweeps, and third among women 18-49 (behind “Oprah” and “Dr. Phil”).