With the future of the CableACE Awards still in flux, theNational Association of Minorities in Communications' annual Vision Awards show maybecome the only franchise that recognizes excellence in cable programming.
NAMIC's fourth annual awards show, scheduled for April3, will present honors in six categories to programs that reflect diversity, said MichaelVelazquez, president of NAMIC's Southern California chapter, which is producing theevent.
The National Academy of Cable Programming, which producesthe CableACE Awards, is expected to meet soon to consider whether to drop the 20-year-oldshow and its Local CableACE counterpart.
With cable programming now competing for more prestigiousEmmy and Academy Awards, the presidents of several cable networks -- arguing that theCableACEs have outlived their usefulness -- have recommended that a decision be made aboutending them.
"With the CableACE Awards not sure exactly whatdirection they want to go in, it makes the NAMIC Vision Awards that much more important tothe industry," said Clayton Banks, president of NAMIC's national chapter."It's a strong statement that the industry is making through the development ofquality programming that really shows diversity, and that's recognized through theVision Awards."
Along with presenting awards in the children's;documentary; news and information; drama; comedy and music; and variety programmingcategories, NAMIC will also recognize the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts forits outstanding efforts in spearheading diversity in telecommunications, said GregAmerson, vice president of NAMIC's Southern California chapter. The organization,which was founded by several Hispanic entertainers, including Jimmy Smits, hasaggressively pushed for more Latino representation in the telecommunications industry.
In addition, United Parcel Service will receive the"Friends of NAMIC" award for its contributions to the organization inparticular, and to the entertainment business as a whole, Velazquez said.
Also during the show, NAMIC will offer $10,000college scholarships, named after actress Alfre Woodard, to two college-bound, inner-cityhigh-school students chosen by the faculty at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles.
1998 Multichannel News