April 4, 2012
The staff of the former NJN Public Television has been honored with a prestigious New York Emmy® award for The Power of the Governor, a one-hour documentary that illustrates how New Jersey's governor has more constitutional power than any other governor. The major funder of the documentary was New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company (NJM).
The 2012 Emmy® trophy for Politics/Government: Program/Special was awarded Sunday evening to Kent Manahan, Narrator/Co-Executive Producer of the program, and Janice Selinger, Co-Executive Producer. Joining them on stage to accept the Emmy® were former Governors Thomas H. Kean and Christine Todd Whitman and NJM President and CEO Bernie Flynn.
Using in-depth interviews and archival NJN footage, the program demonstrated how four governors exercised such powers as executive orders, judicial appointments and conditional vetoes to effectuate dramatic changes despite political and legal hurdles. The governors studied were Brendan T. Byrne (1974-1982), Kean (1982-1990), James J. Florio (1990-1994), and Whitman (1994-2001).
"New Jersey has the strongest governor in the nation structurally. The drama is in how you exercise that power," Byrne said in the program. Kean said the governor's influence goes beyond constitutional powers because, in a state squeezed between media centers in New York and Philadelphia, the governor is the one political figure recognized throughout New Jersey.
"As a New Jersey-based business and its largest property/casualty insurer, NJM appreciates the insights this program provides into New Jersey government,'' said Bernie Flynn. "Few can match the credentials Kent Manahan brings to a production. In awarding the Emmy, it is obvious that The New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognizes these qualities as well."
Manahan, former NJN Anchor, Board Chairman and Executive Director, and Selinger, former NJN Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, wanted to produce a documentary about the Office of the New Jersey Governor for some time. They met with Flynn, who strongly believed that a program explaining the country's most powerful governorship was needed for viewers, students and scholars. With the primary support of NJM and the help of other sponsors, the long-planned project became a reality.
Producer Bob Szuter was selected to write and produce the program. He worked with Editor Jeff Reisly, Avid On-Line Editor Bob Herman and Graphic Designer Fred Ehmann on the documentary. More than 2,000 entries competed in over 100 categories for Emmy® awards in New York, which is the No. 1 television market.
NJM is the top provider of Personal Auto and Workers' Compensation insurance in New Jersey and is a major carrier of Commercial Auto and residential coverages. NJM writes coverage directly for consumers and operates in a mutual fashion exclusively for policyholders. More than $5 billion have been paid to policyholders as dividends since 1918.
The Power of the Governor was first broadcast on NJN on May 17, 2011 and is scheduled to be rebroadcast on NJN's successor network NJTV at 10 p.m. on May 24, 2012.