New TV Academy Topper: ‘It’s Not the Platform, It’s the Programming’

Maury McIntyre has taken the reins as prexy-COO of the Television Academy at a moment when there’s a clamor to overhaul key Emmy Award categories to better reflect the vastness of the contempo programming landscape.

McIntyre has a deep resume in digital entertainment, but that doesn’t mean he’s receptive to the push to break up Emmy’s top series categories into distinct platform-centric races. Quite the contrary.

“We view television as programming,” McIntyre said. “It’s not the box, it’s not the platform, it’s the programming. We’re not going to go there in terms of online vs. on-air.”

The other kudos-related issue that has gained steam in this cycle concerns complaints about the lack of Emmy rules on “category shopping” among contenders looking for the least competitive playing field (i.e., entering a series as a comedy rather than a drama).

As always, McIntyre said the Acad’s board of governors will review the entire awards process after the Aug. 25 ceremony is in the history books. He and TV Acad chairman-CEO Bruce Rosenblum are well aware of the concerns raised about the efficacy of the competition.

“There may be some increased examination this year,” McIntyre said. “Bruce has heard the questions loud and clear. We want to make sure we’re looking at them carefully.”

McIntyre was hired by the TV Acad as a VP in March 2013 to bring it up to speed on all things digital, an area where the organization’s efforts were creaky at best. His job description hasn’t changed much in the three months since he was promoted to the top staff job.

He was elevated following the death in April of his predecessor, Lucy Hood, who had been on the job for only 10 months.

“Lucy and I blended perfectly in how we saw things evolving for the Academy,” said McIntyre, who was a VP at Disney Interactive and also held exec posts at 20th Century Fox and Tokyopop. “That’s what led to me being able to take on this role.”

McIntyre’s immediate focus in this compacted Emmy season was overseeing the launch of online voting in the Emmy nominations balloting for the first time. By all accounts, the effort went smoothly among the org’s 17,500 active members and will be extended next year to encompass the final Emmy voting as well.

He also thinks the Academy should be more visible in speaking with the public and government.

“I believe that as a representative voice of the industry, we could be heard a little farther than we are now,” he said.

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