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Paley Center taps industry big-shots Mosko and Vinciquerra to explore possible awards show

March 3, 2010 | 12:49 pm

Will there be a C. Montgomery Burns award for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence?

The Paley Center for Media, the television industry's think tank, library and historian, is moving ahead with exploring the possibility of creating its own awards show that could end up competing with Emmy Awards.

TONYV Overseeing the planning committee for the awards are industry big shots Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television, and Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and chief executive of the Fox Networks Group. Also on the committee is Dick Lippin, chairman of the Lippin Group, which used to handle media strategy for the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences, which produces the Emmy Awards. Both Mosko and Vinciquerra have ties to the Paley Center, serving on various boards for the institution. Lippin also serves on the Center's West Coast board.

“The formation of this planning committee is to explore the opportunities that we believe exist to create an awards program or franchise of programs,” said Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive of The Paley Center for Media.

Whether there is room for another awards show remains to be seen. However, while there are several awards shows that cater to the film industry, television only has one exclusive awards show. Yes, the Golden Globes also includes television, but it is primarily seen as a movie awards show.

“We will look closely at what is in the best interests of our industry and the public and make our committee members an integral part of our discussion and planning,” said Mosko.

Key for the Paley Center will be finding a network willing to help foot the bill for a telecast. The Emmy Awards rotates among the four broadcast networks, a strategy that some feel holds back the show because not one network is tied to its long-term viability. Other awards shows have deals with particiular networks -- CBS has the Grammy Awards, NBC has the Golden Globes, ABC has the Oscars. The thinking with the rotation was that it would make all of the industry support the show as well as limit networks from competing against the telecast.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences had no immediate comment in response to the Paley Center's announcement.

For the Paley Center, getting an awards show off the ground might be a way to create a much-needed new revenue stream. A nonprofit institution that got its start as the Museum of Television & Radio, it changed its name to the Paley Center a few years ago and has tried to distance itself from being seen as a library for TV fans to more of an intellectual thought leader for the industry. That was done in part because the boom in DVD business and the growth of online video made it possible for people to find their favorite old television shows without having to trek to the Paley Center's New York or Los Angeles locations which has resulted in fewer people visiting the facilities.

Disclaimer: I worked at the Paley Center for three years as director of industry programs.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Fox's Tony Vinciquerra. Credit: Francine Orr/ Los Angeles Times.