Changing Channels

NATAS might have questions of identity, but there's clearly no crisis in its confidence department

When National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences CEO Peter Price departed last year, he was not replaced. Instead, NATAS hired Frank Radice as its president and chief marketing officer. That's a smart move: Few organizations outside Wall Street need solid marketing more than NATAS right now.

It's not so much that NATAS has done anything wrong, but the academy has hit multiple road bumps in recent years: The collection of programming it oversees is losing viewers and leeching content to cable; its attempt to award online programming landed it in court with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (appeals are pending); and traditional broadcast television has now opted not to air the organization's showcase in the Daytime Emmy Awards.

A true marketer, Radice is upbeat: "I came into an organization that is as vibrant and robust as it has ever been, but what I looked at when I first got here were the one or two very specific things I could focus on to make a difference."

He honed in specifically on the Daytime Emmys, joining forces with 30-year-old production company Associated Television International to produce the show, and with Hearst's Good Housekeeping as a print partner.

Radice also spearheaded developing groups of "nontraditional" sponsors to assist in the show's financing, from camera supply companies to hotels.

At press time, further details on this year's awards remain sketchy. There will be two new categories (for culinary shows and on-air promos) and the song category has been split into three awards that will honor children's songs, title songs and drama songs.

Nominations are expected by mid-May, and the show itself will air in August or September. Where? Still unannounced.

Having just come on board in February, Radice has some catching up to do, but he recognizes the importance of soaps to NATAS, noting, "There would be no Daytime Emmy Awards if it weren't for daytime dramas."

He remains confident of success, saying, "It makes things more exciting for us to figure out how to optimize the next few years, to make the Daytime Emmys better and better."
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