Jerry Springer to Emcee Chicago Emmys


FTVLive has always said that we don't hold the Emmys in very high regard.  

It seems that the Chicago Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences doesn't either.

They have picked television clown Jerry Springer to emcee their awards banquet. 

The Chicago Tribune writes that the decision, announced Thursday was as polarizing as Springer.  His selection narrowly passed a committee vote, and at least one board member resigned in the wake of it.

"It was a spirited discussion," said NATAS president Marcus Riley, a multimedia content producer for NBC 5 Chicago.  "Jerry brings that out in people.  As a board, we’re unified behind that choice."

A regional offshoot of the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Chicago/Midwest version features dozens of awards each year, mostly for local news. A usually tepid affair, the event celebrating local television hasn’t been televised live since 1989.  Last year’s ceremony was streamed, and an excerpted version was shown on tape delay by local public TV station WYCC-Ch.20.

Last year’s host was Chicago Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper.

Springer, who won 10 regional Emmys as a TV reporter, anchor and commentator at Cincinnati’s NBC affiliate, launched "The Jerry Springer Show" in 1991 and brought it to Chicago the following year.  Initially a political talk show, it gradually shifted to a more raucous forum, where guest confessionals degenerated into chair-wielding brawls, usually to the chants of "Jerry, Jerry" by a frothing studio audience. The show moved from Chicago to Connecticut in 2009.

In 1997, WMAQ-Ch. 5 general manager Lyle Banks added Springer as a commentator on the 10 p.m. news, a brief experiment that prompted the flight of anchors Ron Magers and Carol Marin.

Springer believes he will be welcomed back warmly by his former Chicago TV colleagues for his Emmy appearance. "If they didn’t want me there, they wouldn’t have invited me," said Springer, 69.