For today’s Variety, I sat down for a lengthy chat with Warner Bros. TV Group prexy Bruce Rosenblum, who is in the first year of his first term as chairman of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and about to preside over his first Emmys. Here’s an excerpt:
JW: Switching the focus to the Academy itself: What’s your top priority at this point?
BR: Our top priority is creating as much relevance for our members as we can, creating a wealth of activities that provide value for our members. We’re off to a really good start. We’ve had some strong diversity events. I think we as an Academy can do better from a diversity standpoint, creating more awareness of the need to expand not only the membership on the Board (of Governors) but the membership within the Academy itself.
We’re also looking to create more awareness within the professional community of what the Academy does, and I think we’ve gotten off to a good start there with some of the appointees we made to our executive committee, expanding the presence of new media on the board. We have Jason Kilar now from Hulu, and Gail Berman from BermanBraun, which does more traditional and non-traditional forms of TV content.
The overarching priority is more relevance to our members.
JW: And if you achieve that, what can you do with that?
BR: We’re hopeful that the Academy can be a place where issues that impact all of the peer groups are able to be discussed, and maybe we can provide some leverage on some of those issues.
If you step back, you recognize that the Academy is the one place in our business where all of the peer groups are sitting around the table and at the same side of the table. This is not an adversarial negotiation. This is a situation where you have producers and writers and actors sitting along the same side, and makeup and camera and editors …
We’re all fighting for the same thing, which is the longevity of the TV industry and the viability of the TV industry. The Academy can play an important role, we believe, in discussions around issues that impact our business — piracy being one of them, for example. …