NATAS President and CEO Sharp, chairman O’Reilly connect with Kent community


Kaitlyn Finchler

Bob Hammer (left), Adam Sharp (above) and Terry O’Reilly (right) tell guests about the National Academy of Television of Arts and Sciences March 14. The purpose of the lecture was to inform and educate students on NATAS and the history of the Emmys.

Tyler Pyles, Reporter

Both the president and CEO and the chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences spoke about the history of the Emmys and what goes into crafting television’s biggest awards program at Franklin Hall on Tuesday.

Adam Sharp, who attended remotely, is president and CEO of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Terry O’Reilly is the chairman for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

O’Reilly and Sharp told about 40 attendees how to get involved with the television industry and how to distinguish themselves.

“There are always connections wherever you are in the country,” O’Reilly said. “You can travel anywhere, but it is always beneficial to network with as many individuals as possible.”

Terry O’Reilly speaks to attendees on the Emmys March 14, 2023. (Annemarie Karabinus)

Both speakers gave advice to students who wanted to place social media content on their resumes.

“There is no magical answer to what platform to use. The reality is that when you are out looking for a job, not every job is the same and neither is every application,” Sharp said. “If you are pursuing something along those lines then it is your job to be as professional as possible and you have to portray the best narrative of yourself in a way that makes it valuable.”

Sharp showcased the national student Emmy awards and scholarships to gain traction for those interested in pursuing a career in the industry.

“Students all over the world can enter their specific work to the contest and the committee picks the best of their works,” Sharp said.

O’Reilly and Sharp even lectured fun facts about the Emmys. O’Reilly said the Emmy was not named for a person. It was named for a camera. The statue was modeled after Dorothy McMannis, the wife of Louis McMannis, the television engineer who sculpted the award.

Sharp added another little-known fact. “Back in 1998, ESPN won an Emmy for the first and 10 down markers displayed on your television screen,” Sharp said.

Toward the end of the presentation, Braylon Lee, a 28-year-old applied communications Kent State alumnus, stood up and pitched his idea of hosting a new segment, the prime-time content creator awards. Lee wanted Sharp’s review of the idea.

Kent State alumnus Braylon Lee pitches his ideas to the Emmy presenters during the Emmy presentation March 14, 2023. (Annemarie Karabinus)

“The content creator Emmy awards would be based more on personality than the Streamy Awards, which is a YouTube award that is based on online video,” Lee said.

Lee loves this industry and hopes to inspire others to speak up and follow their dreams.

“What I did takes a lot of courage and balls,” he said. “I hope that others take as many shots as they can so that maybe one day they can achieve their dreams.”

The visit to Kent was the result of connections made by School of Media and Journalism adjunct professor Samuel Angello.

Angello said this opportunity is critical for those who dream of going into the television industry.

“The significance of this is to promote the next generation of television and film people that want to make it in this industry,” Angello said.

Angello noted the opportunity for Kent State students to put on a backstage show at the regional Emmys in Westlake, Ohio this summer. He said he hopes this backstage show will spark interest for other colleges to do regional Emmy shows for their students, giving more opportunities to those who want to pursue television careers.

“I want people to take away what the Emmys are and get the opportunity to meet those who are on the top of the food chain,” Angello said. “It is best to create as many connections as possible.”

Tyler Pyles is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].