McKay, Buckley, Snow to be Honored at Documentary Emmys

By Chris Ariens 

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has just announced it will posthumously honor ABC Sports legend Jim McKay at this year’s News & Documentary Emmy Awards. McKay, who died in May, is the father of CBS News & Sports president Sean McManus. NBC Sports dedicated Friday’s production of the Beijing opening ceremony to McKay. NBC Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol was a producer at the 1972 Munich games, during which McKay remained on the air for 16 hours as the Israeli hostage crisis unfolded.

The Academy will also offer tributes to William F. Buckley who died in February and Tony Snow, who died last month, for their contributions to the news industry.

Buckley may be best known for the public affairs show “Firing Line.” Snow was a print and television journalist who worked for USA Today, The Washington Times, Fox News Channel, and CNN.

The ceremony is set for Sept. 22 at Time Warner Center in New York.

The press release is after the jump…


Tributes to William F Buckley and Tony Snow

New York, N.Y. – August 14, 2008 – The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will posthumously honor Jim McKay at this year’s News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, to be held on September 22, 2008 at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, in New York City. The long-time Emmy® Award winning sports reporter also won a News & Documentary Emmy® Award for his coverage of the Munich Massacre, when 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Summer Olympics. Jim McKay died on June 7, 2008 at the age of 86.

In addition to McKay, the National Academy will also offer tributes to recently deceased journalists William F. Buckley and Tony Snow, for their contributions to the news industry. Buckley was well known for his breakthrough public affairs show “Firing Line.” He created the program in 1966 and was honored with an Emmy® Award in 1969. Tony Snow, a former speechwriter for George H. W. Bush, and a press secretary for George W. Bush, was a print and television journalist throughout his career, working for USA Today, The Washington Times, Fox, and CNN.

The National Academy will also be honoring CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer, PBS documentarian Ken Burns, and former NBC News Washington Bureau Chief and Host of “Meet The Press” Tim Russert with Lifetime Achievement honors at the 29th Annual News and Documentary Emmy® Awards.

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Emmy® Awards will be presented in 33 categories, including Breaking News, Investigative Reporting, Outstanding Interview, and Best Documentary, among others.

Sponsors for the 29th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards include Grass Valley, a Thomson company, and Television Week.

Jim McKay

During his remarkable career at ABC, CBS and NBC, Jim McKay won more than a dozen Sports Emmy® Awards, the George Polk Award and a Peabody. He is fondly remembered for his 40 years at ABC-TV and as the longtime anchor of “Wide-World of Sports.” Ever the optimist on air and off, McKay had a special sincerity which fellow sportscaster Bob Costas of NBC characterized as, “You never felt what he expressed wasn’t genuine.”

Jim McKay was born in Philadelphia as James Kenneth McManus and, after returning from his tour in the Navy during World War II, he became a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. When the newspaper started a TV station, WMAR-TV, he became a broadcaster. In 1950 he was hired by CBS to emcee a variety show, on the condition that he adopt the on-air name McKay, so that the show could be called “The Real McKay.” He agreed and the name stuck. In the ‘50’s CBS used him primarily for sports commentary and ultimately he moved to ABC where he became the dominant anchor of all sports coverage from “Wide-World of Sports” to the Olympics Games.

In the summer of 1972 McKay made broadcast history with his live coverage of the attack on the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. He was on the air continuously for 16 hours as the attack unfolded. At the conclusion of the crisis he announced to the world, “Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were eleven hostages; two were killed in their rooms…yesterday morning. Nine were killed at the airport tonight. They’re all gone.”

Jim McKay died June, 7 2008, and is survived by his wife Margaret, his daughter Mary and his son, Sean McManus, President of CBS News and Sports.

William F. Buckley

The founder of the magazine, “National Review,” Bill Buckley has been called the father of modern American conservatism. To say that Buckley was prolific is an understatement for this journalist, intellectual and author, who wrote over 50 books, countless magazine articles and interviewed numerous guests from across the political spectrum on his TV program “Firing Line.”

Inventing the format that today is now the standard of Sunday morning news shows, “Firing Line,” ran for over 33 years, first on WOR-TV in New York and then nationally on PBS. Airing over 1500 episodes, the show covered a mind boggling array of topics, with guests ranging from Margaret Thatcher to Norman Thomas to Groucho Marx.

Buckley was famous for his wide-ranging interests, his penetrating intellect, and his polysyllabic vocabulary. As journalist Jay Nordlinger put it, “Firing Line” was “an oasis of well-used language” in a medium that’s often “allergic to conversation or any other form of extended discourse.”

At the time of his death, William F. Buckley was 82 years old.

Tony Snow

Robert Anthony Snow, always called Tony, started his journalism career as an editorial writer for the Greensboro Record in North Carolina. He went on to serve as deputy editorial page editor for the Detroit News and, from 1987-1991, as editorial page editor of the Washington Times. In 1991 he left journalism temporarily to serve as President George H.W. Bush’s speechwriter. From 1993-2000 he was a columnist for USA Today.

As a journalist, Snow was best known for his seven years as host of “Fox News Sunday” on the Fox News Channel. He also hosted his own syndicated talk radio program, “The Tony Snow Show.” He did commentary for National Public Radio and frequently appeared on shows such as, “The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour,” “Crossfire,” “Face the Nation,” and “Good Morning America.”

In 2006 Snow left journalism again to serve as George W. Bush’s press secretary. He left the Bush Administration in late 2007, and served as a commentator for CNN until his death from cancer in July, 2008.