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A Name Change Brings Int'l Council to the Dot-Corn Era.

Hectic end of the century it was. The last two months of the 20th century were witness to a flurry of television activities. It began with the Fort Lauderdale Film & TV Festival, followed by the PROMAX & BDA Latin America conference in nearby Miami Beach (see related stories page 42), then the U.N. TV Forum (see related story on page 28), the International Council's iEmmys and the Emmy Awards evening gala. Squeezed between these events were the Hamptons International Film Festival and the London Progam Market. Plus, in early December, there was MIP-Asia followed by the Western Cable Show. Traditionally during this period, New York is the gateway for such aforementioned events.

Thus, the New York-based International Council of NATAS decided to take advantage of the large group of TV executives floating around the Big Apple and organized the first annual iEmmys Festival. According to Georges Leclere, the International Council's executive director, iEmmys portrays both the International Emmys as well as the iEmmys.com website.

The iEmmy Festival showcased all of the 1999 International Emmy Award nominees and featured panels and keynote speakers touching on subjects ranging from "Programming in the Digital Age" to "The Art of Subtitling." All told, there were 12 panels and three keynote speakers in addition to presentations made by Hearst's Bruce Paisner as chairman of the iEmmys and the Nominee Medal Ceremony hosted by Primedia's Tom Rogers. More than 600 executives registered for the event, many shuttling back and forth from the U.N. TV Forum's venue. Ten exhibitors heavily involved in the dot com business set up booths at the Festival, including Italy's TV Files and TV France International. This feature, however, was not listed in the iEmmy Festival program guide, perhaps indicating that adding the exhibitors was a last minute decision.

The iEmmys Festival was held November 19-20 at the University Club, a short walking distance from the Hilton Hotel which, on November 22, hosted the 27th annual International Emmy Awards gala that for the first time topped the 1,000 guest mark.

Prior to the awards ceremony, the Council held a board meeting followed by its annual board luncheon. During both those occasions, there were discussions about several issues facing the organization. First on the list was that the International Council proposed a name change. Those recommended were: "The International Emmy Council," in order to bank on the popularity of the Emmy Awards, and "The International Television Council," with the possible variation of "The International Council of Television."

At the board meeting, King World's Fred Cohen was given the Council's presidency reins by departing president Kay Koplovitz.

As for the Awards ceremony, as usual, the British seized the lion's share of the Emmys simply because, in the view of many participants, English-speakers have the advantage since English is now considered the universal language that most judges easily understand.

Another first for the International Council was to welcome among its new associate directors Video Age's editor Dom Serafini. This is the first time that a journalist has been welcomed as a member of the Council. Other directors voted in were Bloomberg Televisions Michael Bloomberg and TGRT's Ahmet Ohren. E! International's Jon Helmrich, Mary Powers and Steve Tapp, both of ChumCity TV, Border TV's Jim Graham and TV File's Umberto Bonetti were also conferred associate status.

Bloomberg, Bonetti, Graham and Serafini were nominated by Renato Pachetti, former president of RAI Corp. and one of the International Council's founding members.
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Publication:Video Age International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2000
Words:575
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