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Run-off for TV Academy post

Officials will choose Shaffner or Hurst on Jan. 6

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is going to have to wait a little longer to determine who its next chairman is going to be.

A three-way race between incumbent John Shaffner, second vice chairman Brian Seth Hurst and performers group rep Peter Kwong failed to produce a majority, resulting in a runoff election between Shaffner and Hurst. Academy officials have scheduled a final vote for Jan. 6.

The balloting on whether Shaffner would receive a second two-year term was conducted at the group’s board meeting on Wednesday night.

Shaffner received criticism during the summer for how the Academy handled a proposed “time-shifting” plan that would have moved the presentation of eight awards out of the live Primetime Emmy ceremony in an effort to streamline the telecast. The group’s leadership eventually caved in after the proposal generated protests from the talent guilds representing writers, actors and directors.

Although there has been fractiousness in the past on the Academy’s board, chairmen are generally re-elected if they choose to run. Four of the last five leaders named to that voluntary role have fulfilled consecutive terms. Producer Bryce Zabel, who also faced an election challenge, opted not to seek a second stint in 2003.

In other executive committee voting, Nancy Bradley Wiard and Stacey Luchs Struber were elected vice chair and second vice chair, respectively. Marcelino Ford-Livene is the secretary, Kevin Hamburger the new treasurer and Joetta Di Bella the Los Angeles-area chair.

The Academy consists of 28 branches representing everything from animators and art directors to sound editors and title design.

Shaffner is a production designer whose credits include “Two and a Half Men.” Hurst — who comes out of the new media branch — is CEO of the Opportunity Management Co., a consulting firm.

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