School of Communication professors recognized

On June 19, 2010, the Lower Great Lakes Chapter’s Emmy Awards Show took place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Cleveland. Awarded by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), the Emmy is is an international award that recognizes excellence in the industry and is the highest award given in television, according to the Lower Great Lakes Chapter’s website.

At this year’s show, several students had the honor of receiving nominations, and members of the School of Communication faculty received Emmys.

For ZTV’s entertainment and arts news program Lowdown, Jessica Merkle, Ursula Banks, Yvette Cherkala, Kenya Tucker, Stephanie Klein and Gabor Smith each received Emmy nominations for their work.

For ZTV News Source, Amy West, Danielle Cotterman, Amanda Doebereiner, Kelly Simko, Shannon Houser, Holiday Eller, Aniqa Feerasta, Caroline Hupp and Richard Johnson were also nominated.

Mr. Paul Jacoway, assistant lecturer in the School of Communication, received an Emmy in the category of Nostalgia Program for Final Edition: Journalism According to Jack and Jim Knight. Jacoway produced, directed and wrote the program which tells the story of the Knight family who started the Akron Beacon Journal.

Paul Jacoway’s colleague in the School of Communication, Dr. Kathleen Endres, distinguished professor, worked with him as co-producer and writer. The program began as a way to spotlight the work of Jack and Jim Knight in developing the national news syndicate Knight Newspapers, which later merged with Ritter to become Knight-Ritter Newspapers.

The Knight family’s chain won several Pulitzers for their aggressive editorial style, but perhaps the most unique aspect of their business style was their belief that each community should have its own editorial identity.

The Knight family was also known for their local philanthropy, and the Knight Foundation is now nationally recognized for its charity. The foundation has stayed true to the original philosophy of the Knight family, demonstrating a presence in each of the 26 cities that had a Knight Newspaper.

While the piece started out focusing on the story of the Knight family, it’s timing led it to also be about the crisis that the newspaper industry has found itself in over the last several years, said Jacoway, explaining the national significance of the piece.

Jacoway’s program also recently won Best Documentary – All Markets – Ohio from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.

In the Crafts category, Dr. Phil Hoffman, general manager of ZTV and senior lecturer in the School of Communication, won Emmy Awards as both Director and Editor for his piece Turn Blue: The Short Life of Ghoulardi. Hoffman’s piece tells the story of Cleveland radio and TV personality Ernie Anderson, who created and played the character Ghoulardi.

In the Early 1960’s, Anderson was the host of a monster movie show. He had such huge talent that he held 75 percent of the viewing audience on a Friday night, which was almost unheard of.

Submissions are shipped to another chapter of the NATAS to assure unbiased judging. They are judged on several areas, including technical (videography, sound, image quality, etc.), content and overall impression.

The expectation is pretty high in terms of the technical quality of it, said Hoffman. You’re competing with broadcast networks all across the country.

The ceremony is similar to what we see televised as the National Emmy Awards, but on a regional scale. This year, the 41st Lower Great Lakes Chapter Awards were held in Cleveland, and consisted of a dinner and awards show.

One of the things that I thought was really interesting was the way the categories came up, Hoffman explained. Mine came up first, and I was shocked. You go up and say thank you, and they lead you off a sort of back hallway to a room where they have all the statues and you sign your name to receive your statue. On the monitor – I saw Paul Jacoway, and there he was giving his thank you speech for winning in his category! It was great because I want The University of Akron to win everything!

The amount of time and energy that is devoted to the creation of these pieces is evident when speaking with those involved.

It is fascinating to spend so much time researching these individuals that were such a key part of our local culture, said Jacoway during his acceptance speech. John S. Knight was quite a character, as I am sure Ghoulardi was. You wish you could have met them. They feel like family before it is over.