Koppel down for double at news Emmys


NEW YORK -- Ted Koppel came up to New York City to sing a song he wrote to his wife and to accept a lifetime achievement award from the News & Documentary Emmys. But he came away instead with two of the trophies.

Koppel's Discovery Channel special "Iran: The Most Dangerous Nation" won as the year's outstanding long-form informational program. It was Koppel's 40-somethingth Emmy for a long career at ABC News and at Discovery, a career that led luminaries from Jon Stewart to Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel to CBS's Rick Kaplan to extol him.

International coverage won heavily Monday night in the 28th annual News & Documentary Awards that honored the best in the business over the past year. PBS led all networks with 10 awards, including four for "Frontline" (including a broadband Emmy) that also was honored along with fellow PBS documentary series "POV" with a special achievement award. CBS News won five Emmys, including four for "60 Minutes." Discovery Channel and NBC News each won three awards and Cinemax won two awards. Ann Curry's reporting from Darfur on the "NBC Nightly News" won one of the top awards, best story in a newscast. "NBC Nightly News" won two awards total.

The late Ed Bradley was honored for one of his last reports, a "60 Minutes" investigation on the unraveling Duke University rape case. And "60 Minutes" correspondent emeritus Mike Wallace won in the interview category for his interview last summer with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad, whose visit to New York City this week led to plenty of headlines, was also the subject of a Scott Pelley interview on "60 Minutes" this past Sunday.

Wallace recounted his hot and boring week in Iran waiting for the Iranian president to agree to be interviewed. It was the interview that introduced him to a wider American audience although Wallace said he was already known before that.

"He was a celebrity in his own world, not ours because we simply had never heard of him," Wallace said after the awards. It was the latest in a long line of Emmys for Wallace, who first won for "Nightbeat" in the mid-1950s.

The top documentary awards, the final nods of the night, went to Cinemax Reel Life for "God Sleeps in Rwanda" and "Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire" from the Documentary Channel. Both winning documentaries dealt with the Rwandian genocide of the 1990s, one through the eyes of women affected and the other following Canadian peacekeeper Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire.

Stewart told the crowd he admired Koppel, who inspired him to want "to do better." Koppel said that "in these dangerous times" it was important for the networks to do more foreign reporting.

"Profit and conscience can co-exist," Koppel told the nominees. "You all are proof of it." Koppel sang a love song to his wife, Grace Ann, who accompanied him on the stage.

"NBC Nightly News" won for breaking news story in a regularly scheduled newscast and its coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, as well as Curry's "Crisis in Darfur." "The CBS Evening News" and correspondent Lara Logan won for her coverage of Marines trying to clean up Ramadi, Iraq, that appeared on the "CBS Evening News."

VH1 and WEtv each won a Emmy, with a nod for arts and culture programming going to VH1 Rock Docs for "DMC: My Adoption Journey" and an editing award to WEtv for "Vietnam Nurses with Dana Delany." ABC News correspondent Brian Ross won for his investigation on "ABC World News" and "Nightline" about the Congressional page scandal, a story that first broke on ABCNews.com. Programs also winning two Emmys each were "American Experience" and "Nature."

Former "CBS Evening News" anchor Dan Rather, who last week filed a $70 million lawsuit against his old network, was introduced as a presenter by NBC News' Tim Russert as a "force of nature" and "my guess soon a star of a reality series on Court TV with Les Moonves." Rather announced the winners of the broadband categories but lost with his HDNet nomination to former rival Tom Brokaw in the category of long-form continuing coverage. Brokaw's "Global Warming: What You Need to Know with Tom Brokaw" ran on The Discovery Channel.

Rather wouldn't talk about the lawsuit with The Hollywood Reporter at the ceremony but said that he had seen and admired Brokaw's documentary.

CNN won for long-form coverage of a breaking-news story for its coverage of Election Night 2006. Also winning single awards were National Geographic Channel, WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tenn.; SFGate.com; Freep.com; KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Okla.; and mediastorm.org.

This year's ceremony also included the winners for the news catergories of the International Emmys. BBC News won the news award for "Lebanon Crisis" and Guardian Films for BBC Two won the current-affairs award for "Baghdad: A Doctor's Story," a documentary shot by an Iraqi doctor in a Baghdad emergency room.

A complete list of the 28th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Award recipients is available on www.emmyonline.tv.