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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Emmy Awards Postponed

Aired October 7, 2001 - 17:41   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: The people who run the Emmys, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, I guess it is, were scheduled to hold their big event, one of television's big events tonight. They are now in -- I'm sure that's Los Angeles to announce what their plan is.

These awards were scheduled to be given originally on the 16th of September, the Sunday after the attacks. Obviously, they were canceled then, and we believe they will be canceled or postponed yet again. and as soon as all of these players are seeded where they are supposed to be, they will formalize what we believe to be true, that the 53rd annual Emmys will be canceled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will make introductions. Obviously, this happened -- this is a announcement that came at the very 11th hour today. So, there will be questions that just simply can't be answered at this point. But the three people on the stage here can answer as many as possible within their respective areas. So, we will do our best to get those. If there are some "I don't knows," we will try to get to those immediately following.

You know, there are a lot of you in this room, we ask to maintain the normal press conference protocol, in which, you know, raise your hand, we'll identify you, please name your outlet and ask your question.

To my immediate right is Don Mischer, executive producer of the Emmys. In the center, Lesley Moonves, president and chief executive officer of CBS, and on my fair right, Bryce Zabel, chairman of the Television Academy.

We are happy to take your questions.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

BRYCE ZABEL, CEO, ATAS: We are not at this point calling it a cancellation. We are looking into all the options. As you can all imagine, we have had very little time to think about this. We have simply gone ahead and said for now we are postponing, so there will be no winners announced at this point, but obviously we are going to have to look into that very quickly.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) LES MOONVES, PRESIDENT, CBS: I didn't receive calls from any stars. I did speak to the executives at the other three networks. I did speak to a number of executive producers from various shows throughout the town. Everybody -- there was a general feeling of people feeling uncomfortable, people feeling it was not a day to celebrate, certainly not a day to go up there and accept the best supporting actress in a comedy. Seemed like it was trivial. So, there wasn't -- it was the community really coming together and expressing sort of the same feeling that it would be the wrong thing to do to come together tonight.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) at a later date?

MOONVES: No, that never came up.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

MOONVES: Well, my day started at a golf course, but I didn't make it all the way through. I did receive a call very early on. I left, I quickly got on the -- you know, it was from my scheduling guy first, and then Andrew Heyward, who you know very well, president of CBS News, telling me what the situation was. When I arrived home quickly thereafter, Bryce was on the phone, and Bryce and I had been speaking throughout the day on numerous occasions. I either called them, or I did receive calls from all the other networks, and it was a constant discussion. I spoke to Chris Ander (ph), who you all met, head of (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

There were 1,000 considerations going into this decision today. You know, first and foremost, where we were as a community and where we were in relationship to the country, and there were, you know, for four or five hours, the phone didn't stop ringing with all these guys and everybody weighing in, the pro and cons, and then we all came to the I think the same decision simultaneously.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

ZABEL: The security issue is a big one here, and I want to answer that directly. We have maintained contact with all our security agencies involved here, and that includes the FBI.

However, I want to make one thing very clear: The decision to postpone the telecast tonight is not based on any specific threats. No new information was developed or conveyed to us in any way that would imply that this telecast would have presented another target. The LAPD, the FBI, our own Emmy security people all basically told us the show was good to go from a security point of view.

In fact, from a security point of view they felt that today would have been better than, say, tomorrow or the day after. So, our decision was made for the various reasons that Les just talked about. I think all our days began either turning on the TV or listening to the radio, or someone we know calling us and saying, "have you seen what's happening?" And then, trying to find out what the town thought was appropriate to do about the situation, and that's really been the defining moment for us. Aaron: That's Bryce Zabel, who runs the Emmys, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Their awards were scheduled for tonight. They have been postponed. They clearly don't know where they are going with that. It's too early for them to know. We talked to him the other day, and he talked about how they had redone the whole production to put part of it in New York and part of it in L.A. They have never done that before, and now they will have to plan it again.

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