CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Will Be Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the 44th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards

By A.J. Katz 

One of the most celebrated and longest tenured anchors in cable news history is receiving one of the TV business’ highest honors.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) has announced that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will be a Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the 44th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards.

Blitzer will be honored for is long career in news, and will receive his honor at the News ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the Palladium Times Square in New York.


“I am truly honored to receive this esteemed award from the Academy,” Blitzer said in a statement. “When Ted Turner hired me, he told me, ‘Wolf, at CNN, the news comes first’ and that has been my guiding light these 33 years and continues to be my advice to young journalists today. I consider myself incredibly fortunate that I still get up every morning and look forward to going to work and reporting the news with some of the smartest people I know. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many talented journalists whom I have worked with, been mentored by, and learned from during my career.”

A 33 (!) year veteran of CNN, Blitzer is currently anchor of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, which just celebrated 18 years on the air. The program airs on weekdays and provides viewers with reporting about the political, international, and breaking news stories of the day. Among the numerous honors he has received for his reporting, Blitzer received the American News Women’s Club Excellence in Journalism Award in 2019. In March 2014, the National Press Foundation awarded him the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism. In 2013, he was recognized as the eighth recipient of the Urbino Press Award from the Italian Embassy for his excellence in journalism. In 2011, Blitzer received the distinguished Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award from The Radio & Television Digital News Foundation and The Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s Jefferson-Lincoln Award.

Blitzer interviewed some of history’s most notable figures, including U.S. Presidents’ President Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford. He has also interviewed many foreign leaders – the Dalai Lama, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

TVNewser spoke with Blitzer and his longtime producer Emily Atkinson earlier this year. “It really pays off when you’re working with people you trust, that you like and that you respect and appreciate,” Blitzer told us. “It makes all the difference in the world.”

Blitzer isn’t the only one earning a Lifetime Achievement award this year. Prominent director/producer Barbara Kopple is also a Lifetime Achievement Honoree for her work on numerous film and television documentaries. Kopple’s award will be presented at the Documentary ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 28

“I am deeply moved and honored to receive this recognition,” Kopple said. “What it means to me is that the many people whose lives I was lucky enough to film will not be forgotten. They are a treasure to us all. There will be more to come.”

Adam Sharp, President and CEO, NATAS, added: “We are thrilled to recognize two icons with Lifetime Achievement Emmy Awards. Wolf Blitzer and Barbara Kopple each continue to enjoy successful careers and have made a deep impact in the world of television journalism and documentaries. Through their achievements, they have left indelible marks of distinction on the industry.”