As new executive vice president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Herb Jellinek has found himself in the midst of a remake.
In 1946, the Academy was formed to promote the cultural and educational goals of the new television industry. Now that focus is changing to include the Internet and a wider variety of cable programming.
"Our mission is to promote creativity, diversity and innovation, and recognize excellence in education and leadership in telecommunications arts and sciences," he says. "It's no longer television, it's telecommunications."
At 74, Jellinek has seen his share of changes in TV. After working for ABC for 37 years, he retired a decade ago but soon got bored and took a job with the Academy as chief financial and administrative officer.
"I was always very active on a volunteer basis," he says. "I was co-chair of the Emmy Awards show committee, as well as chairman of the audit and finance department for the Academy."
In the newly created position of executive vice president, Jellinek will assist Academy President Jim Chabin in managing day-to-day operations.
Jellinek's career in television started in 1952, when he was 27 years old. He went to work in the financial department of ABC Television in New York and then moved between ABC divisions in Los Angeles and New York numerous times. He came to Los Angeles for good in 1980 to head the network television and motion picture production divisions.
A Holocaust survivor, he was raised in Vienna before his family fled Europe when he was 13 years old, "My family and I were some of the few lucky ones," he says. "We moved to Shanghai. I was there for nine years. Then we went back to Europe, and I came here."
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