Bruce Rosenblum Reveals His Plans for the TV Academy
The Warner Bros. executive and new ATAS chairman and CEO talks to THR about the Emmys, his idea to create industry "summits" and how to reduce political infighting.
Before his election, there were some concerns expressed about whether “peer” members among the academy -- mostly crafts people -- would be able to deal honestly with Rosenblum because of his executive power.
“I don’t make those hiring decisions,” Rosenblum said. “Having met with almost every one of the governors personally before the election, I think the results speak for themselves. There was a comfort level that myself and others elected to positions tonight will bring a renewed vigor and hopefully excitement to the Academy.”
Rosenblum also responded to those who are concerned that as one of the members of management he might not side with rank-and-file members on key issues.
“The chair position is one of leadership but it’s not one of making decisions,” said Rosenblum. “The decisions at the academy are made by the Board of Governors along with the executive committee. It’s a consensus building role. It’s a collaboration-building role and what I’m hopeful [for] is that I and the others elected tonight can bring to the academy just that -- consensus building and finding ways to add value to what the Academy can do for the members of all the peer groups.”
Still, it seems like there will be inevitable conflicts of interest. Rosenblum has said he wants to help boost local production and help create jobs, but what happens when it is in the interest of his studio to go to a state or country that offers greater tax and other incentives? Isn’t that a potential conflict?
“First of all, the academy needs to be careful because it is not a lobbying organization,” responded Rosenblum. “But to the extent that the academy can provide guidance to both the city and state on creating appropriate incentives to retain production locally, that will benefit all of the members of the Academy based in Los Angeles. This is not a situation of conflict. It is one of supporting the Academy in doing what is in the best interest of the membership of the academy.”
Rosenblum said it is too early to discuss what leadership he might provide on the direction of the Emmys. He doesn’t even officially start his term until January. For now, he wants to bring everyone together. To that end, he talked both before and after the election with producer Nancy Bradley Wiard, who ran against him in the race for the chairman’s position.
“She was very gracious,” said Rosenblum. “She congratulated me. She wished me the best and I expressed to her that I hope she remains actively involved in the academy because she provides a lot of value, a lot of institutional knowledge, and she’s someone I hope I can turn to and so I encouraged her to remain involved.”
And why is Rosenblum involved? He has a busy job, a family and now a voluntary position that doesn’t pay anything but can take up a lot of time and carry with it huge responsibility, including pressure and scrutiny from the academy members, the media and the public.
“I know it sounds cliché, but we all are very fortunate to work in this industry,” replied Rosenblum. “As I said in my speech tonight (to the Governors and executive committee prior to the vote), I think we’re in a golden age of television. I think the caliber of the products being produced and the quality of the people working in our Industry has never been better. So this was an opportunity to give back and to get actively involved in an organization that I think can represent our industry to an even greater extent than it already does.”