The Chicago/Midwest Chapter is chartered by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), which is based in New York City.
The chapter’s Officers, Board of Governors, and committee chairs are industry professionals from our region who volunteer their time. There are several different committees that are always in need of talented and energetic people.
Our Chapter was founded in 1958 after an expansion call by then National President, Ed Sullivan. We are one of the largest and most senior local chapters in the country, with a proud history of innovation and excellence in the field of broadcast television and beyond. The chapter produces the Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmy® Awards. The Awards are presented annually for outstanding achievements in regional broadcasting.
Responsible for judging high school entries and scholarship applicants. Work with Coordinator of TV Academy’s Student Coordinator to promote our programs to regional schools. Fundraise for the 501(c)3 NATAS Chicago Foundation.
Responsible for revising Emmy® rules and categories; setting up panels to judge other Chapters’ Emmy® entries; processing; and certifying local entries.
Responsible for planning, overseeing and producing the Emmy® Awards event under the guidance of the Board of Governors.
Responsible for organizing free screenings or virtual of new films for TV Academy members.
Responsible for member services, recruitment, and development of member discounts and benefits.
Responsible for publicity for TV Academy Chicago/Midwest events. Responsible for updating and authoring of Chapter website content and chapter social media.
Responsible for producing the Silver Circle Awards which honors individuals who have 25 or more years in Chicago and Wisconsin television (or spent their formative years here) and have made significant contributions to broadcasting.
Responsible for designing workshops that will be of interest to our current members while also attracting new members.
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September 12, 2021
Dear NATAS Chicago/Midwest Members:
I would like to extend my greetings to you as a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Chicago/Midwest chapter, as our board begins its 63rd season as gatekeepers of the prestigious Emmy® Awards in our region.
Our last season, from September 2020 through June 2021, once again occurred under the cloud of a pandemic. Our chapter, which has always relied on public events, from the Emmys® to the Silver Circle Honors Program to our various workshops and special events, was entirely virtual last year. Most notably, we produced our first-ever virtual Emmy® Awards event this November. It was a unique online Emmy® Awards presentation, which involved all eight television markets represented by NATAS Chicago/Midwest.
Due to the continued health threat of Covid-19, we will continue to present our events virtually in the 2021-2022 season — including the upcoming 2021 Chicago/Midwest Emmy® Awards later this fall. I sincerely hope that we can get back to being with you in public next year. We know that the Emmys® and the Silver Circle Honors Program are meant to be celebrated live. These events are the highlights of the broadcast season for me, just as I know they are for many of you. Still, just like all of you, we have also met the challenge of presenting events virtually. This past weekend, we finally were able to present our annual Silver Circle Honors Program, which recognizes outstanding careers from individuals who have devoted 25 years or more in television. Our 2020 class was honored during the virtual event, which also aired on “The U”. We were proud to have recognized those prestigious 2020 honorees — Jackie Bange, Richard Bernal, Mark Giangreco, Alan Krashesky, Marda Le Beau, Jennifer Lyons Marlin Perkins, Lynn Hauldren, and Jack and Elaine Mulqueen.
We also produced a novel series of “Meet the Board” workshops, featured on our website. Topics ranged from being an on-air broadcast talent to documentary and story-telling to breaking into the broadcast industry. We also staged our annual Career Day event online, along with other helpful events like the Google Tools Workshop, which was staged with the Society of Professional Journalists.
Partly due to the increased attention to our website, we did a “top-to-bottom” redesign of our website, which was launched in the late spring of 2020. It was a long-overdue redesign — our last online overhaul was more than 10 years ago. We’ve heard great things from you about this redesign — it’s much more responsive on multiple platforms, it’s much easier to navigate, it’s easier now to submit entries to various Emmy® categories and it offers more potential for new multimedia presentations moving forward.
Speaking of new multimedia presentations, I’m very proud to announce that our chapter will be launching a new podcast this fall, produced by the multimedia committee of our newly created Junior Board. The podcast, titled “The Pursuit," will be a series of interviews conducted by Junior Board members, who will talk to established members of our broadcast community about a variety of subjects. Initial interviews include “Sneak Previews” creator and producer Thea Flaum, radio personality Melissa Forman and agent Joel Weisman.
The Junior Board is a group that is truly novel — the first group of its kind in among the 19 NATAS chapters nationwide. This group was also announced in late spring 2020. It consists of 30 students and young professionals, all under the age of 26, who either attend school or work in one of the chapter’s eight television markets: Chicago, Peoria-Bloomington, and Rockford in Illinois, South Bend-Elkhart in Indiana, and Green Bay-Appleton, Madison, Milwaukee, and Wausau-Rhinelander in Wisconsin.
They will join the NATAS Chicago/Midwest Board of Governors in the chapter’s mission to advance and promote broadcasting and excellence in visual media in the region. The Junior Board, however, is explicitly tasked with engaging younger members of our broadcast industry.
In addition to the podcast, this group will also be working with our Education Committee, executing an outreach plan to schools in the city and suburbs, with diversity in reach being the ultimate goal. Other committees will be involved in a more robust social media presence for the chapter moving forward.
Of course, our primary mission in the 2021-22 season is to foster and reward excellence in visual media through the Emmy® Awards and the Silver Circle Honors Program.
Our other main mission is to identify and foster future talent, through our NATAS Scholars program. Our chapter created a non-profit foundation over 25 years ago to award scholarships to college seniors, graduate students, and graduating high school students studying journalism, broadcast TV, production, and communications on an annual basis. The Chicago/Midwest Chapter scholarship program has distributed more than $560,000 to dozens of students for scholarships since the mid-1990s. Recipients include NBC’s Peter Alexander, WGN-TV’s Michael Lowe, and ABC-7’s Chicago’s Jessica D’Onofrio and Jesse Kirsch.
The bottom line: we want NATAS Chicago/Midwest to continue to be the primary professional association representing television and multimedia professionals from all disciplines of the industry, serving as the common meeting ground for those individuals dedicated to advancing the arts and science of visual media. And we want to continue to reach out to make our events and services more accessible to our professional and student colleagues in the chapter’s markets outside Chicago — from Milwaukee to Green Bay to South Bend. That will be easier now, due to our increased use of video-conferencing platforms that are now ubiquitous due to the pandemic. But this is also a long-term goal that we will strive to execute, even after this health crisis is over.
We also want to continue to reach out to our “non-traditional” communicators — visual media practitioners who aren’t affiliated with television stations. These independent media members are becoming an important part of our chapter and will continue to increase as the media landscape continues to diversify.
Most importantly, NATAS Chicago/Midwest will be an active participant in diversity and inclusion efforts involving media organizations in our chapter. This is an important initiative not just for NATAS Chicago/Midwest, but for all 19 NATAS chapters throughout the country. These efforts will be varied, ranging from co-sponsoring networking events for students and young professionals of color to working with our national office on studies and strategies concerning diversity and inclusion issues in our chapter.
In short, these are exciting and challenging times. And I look forward to working for you during these unique times as President of one of the oldest and most successful NATAS chapters in the country.
NATAS Chicago/Midwest Chapter
WBAY (ABC 2)
WFRV (CBS 5)
WGBA (NBC 26)
WCWF (CW 14)
WLUK (FOX 11)
WISC-TV (CBS 3)
Wisconsin Public TV
WKOW (ABC 27)
WMSN (FOX 47)
WMTV (NBC 15)
WDJT (CBS 58)
WISN (ABC 12)
WITI (FOX 6)
WMVS (PBS Milwaukee)
WTMJ (TMJ 4 NBC)
WFXS (FOX 55)
WAOW (ABC 9)
WJFW (NBC 12)
WSAW (CBS 7)
WBBM (CBS 2)
WFLD (FOX 32)
WLS (ABC 7)
WMAQ (NBC 5)
WTVP (Public Media for Central Illinois)
WIFR (CBS 23)
WQRF (FOX 39)
WREX (NBC 13)
WTVO (ABC 17)
WBND (ABC 57)
WNDU (NBC 15)
WNIT (Michiana PBS)
WSBT (CBS 22)
WYIN (Lakeshore Public Television)
The mission of NATAS Chicago Foundation is to provide scholarships to deserving high school and college students who are studying or intend to study journalism, broadcast television, television production and communications. The foundation is the charitable arm of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) - Chicago/Midwest Chapter, Inc. and is a public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Chicago/Midwest Chapter’s scholarship program has distributed more than $530,000 in scholarships to students since the mid-1990s. We are one of the strongest NATAS chapters in the nation in regard to scholarship funds distributed.
Past Chicago/Midwest scholarship recipients include NBC’s Peter Alexander, WGN’s Michael Lowe, ABC7 Chicago’s Jessica D’Onoforio and Jesse Kirsch, WNDU’s Joshua Short, WDJT’s Drew Burgoyne, and NBC6 Miami’s Laura Rodriguez.
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To make a scholarship fund donation by check, send to:
NATAS Chicago/Midwest Chapter
c/o Columbia College, Communication Dept
33 East Ida B. Wells Dr., Ste. 535
Chicago, IL 60605
Checks should be made out to:
NATAS Chicago Foundation
Upon receipt, an acknowledgment letter of the donation will be mailed to the donor.
The Foundation accepts donations from individuals and/or corporations on an ongoing basis.