Rich Underwood, 2014 Silver Circle Inductee

Rich Underwood began his television career while in college working at WSIU as cinematographer on the syndicated PBS program “Outdoors with Art Reed”. Upon graduation, Rich moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to join the news staff at KOTV.

Underwood then took a position in the highly acclaimed photographic news organization KUSA-TV Denver where he and the station won numerous Emmy and NPPA awards including three coveted NPPA News Station of the Year awards.

While at KUSA, Rich became the documentary cameraman for the 1/2 hour program “Assignment Colorado”. From there he took a position as director/cameraman in the Promotions Department creating 35mm filmed promos.

Underwood moved to San Diego to work with A&G Productions as director cameraman, then on to Mincey Productions and finally combining forces with Sales Rep Marti Ski and Executive Producer Ann Hawkins to launch Companion Pictures.

Companion Pictures was a television commercial production company specializing solely in 35mm filmed advertisements. Upon dissolving Companion Pictures in 1991, Underwood began freelancing under the FilmSpot moniker.

In 2005, Rich Underwood became an Adjunct Professor at San Diego State University teaching Cinematography, Intermediate Production and Advanced Filmmaking in the TFM department. Rich continues to teach at SDSU as well as The Maine Media Workshops.

While Rich Underwood had lensed assignments around the globe, his favorite backdrop remains San Diego, California.

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Donna Stewart, 2014 Silver Circle Inductees

Donna M. Stewart’s 30 year career in broadcast was completely accidental. She grew up in suburban New York watching the Channel 7 Eyewitness News with Roger Grimsby and Bill Beutel. She listened to Cousin Brucie and Dan Ingram on her red Toot-a-Loop radio™. She developed a love for jazz and big band music listening to William B Williams and Jonathan Schwartz on WNEW-AM with her dad. Scott Muni and Alison Steele “The Nightbird” taught her how having passion for music can lead to success in broadcasting. She was inspired to major in Communication but because of her varied academic experience it took her over 30 years to get a four year degree. After so many years in the industry, a Journalism or Communication degree didn’t make much sense so in 2009 she acquired her BS in Information Technology from University of Phoenix.

Donna moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1982. While attending community college classes, she obtained an internship at a small cable station called the Newspaper Channel. Her experience with the internship led to a part-time editing job at KTSP, the CBS affiliate. After a two year stint there, she moved across the street into a full-time editing role at the NBC station, KPNX. It was there she developed her skills for producing year-end retrospectives. In 1988, Donna was hired at KNSD (then KCST) in San Diego. The station encouraged to enter her 1988 year-in review for Emmy® award consideration. That story received her first of many Emmy® award nominations.  She has received three Emmy® awards, a Golden Mic, an NPPA award, as well as several Press Club awards.

Donna began a transition from editing into a management role in 2005 when she became the Supervising Editor. Another promotion to News Operations Manager in 2009 expanded her role to overseeing a staff of nearly 25 photographers and editors. She also serves as the liaison between the News and IT/Engineering departments.

Donna has been a member of NATAS, SPJ, NABJ, and is currently the treasurer of SDABJ. She has served on the NBC-Universal Diversity Council. On a personal note, Donna loves to travel with her partner, is an avid tennis fan and mediocre player. She enjoys still photography and has a fondness for cats and penguins.

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Lee Solonche, 2014 Silver Circle Inductee

After earning a Master of Education degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Telecommunications, Lee Solonche embarked on a broadcast production and educational technology career covering over 30 years.  Mr. Solonche has been involved in virtually all areas of television production including: directing, producing, project management, writing, editing, field and studio cameras, audio production, graphics, distribution, online products and strategies.  Programs produced have ranged from live presidential and Miss America remotes, hurricane disaster relief programming, sports events, commercial news, and educational programming ranging from hundreds of live broadcasts in math and science to packages on such topics as Disney World Living Seas Aquarium, Aircraft Carrier Combat Operations, Plight of the Manatees,  Underwater Cave Diving and many more.

Mr. Solonche has received numerous national and local awards, served on several national professional boards and been a speaker at national conventions including: Annual PBS Meeting, National Council of La Raza, National Educational Telecommunications Association, National Educational Broadband Services Association, and many others.

Mr. Solonche has provided leadership and direction in the administration and operation of educational media/technology and distance learning services and projects for Vegas PBS and the Clark County School District (fifth largest in the nation) serving over 300,000 students at approximately 350 locations, distributed over 8,000 square miles.

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Rose Pfanner, 2014 Silver Circle Inductee

Rose Pfanner began her career in TV answering phones at KNSD (at that time KCST) in 1983; a different time, a different world.  In 1984, Rose moved into the newsroom where she answered phones again, this time for the news director, who also needed filing, typing (yes, typewriters!) and expense reports done. By 1985 Rose was anxious to do something, anything else… so she became a “feed roomer”…. taking in news satellite feeds from NBC (C-band, anyone?) and logging them for the producers and editors.  Later that year Rose moved into producing and writing. During the next 15 years she worked all different shows, all different times, all different days, through several different station owners, GMs and many, many news directors.

By 2000 Rose decided to move into freelancing where her education turned from newsgathering to production.  Suddenly she had to learn things like “Composite”…”Green Screen”…  and “Audio sweetening”.  It was a quick and dirty education, but she learned so much including the game saving “fix it in post”.

Rose returned to TV news as a producer in 2007 at Fox 5 (at that time CW/KSWB) where she produced a public service weekly program called “Take 5”.   When KSWB became Fox 5, she moved into writing for the early morning news broadcast.  She stayed for 5 years before joining the creative services department to produce “San Diego’s Most Wanted”.  When the show ended its run, Rose began another series of free-lance writing/producing assignments for government clients, production companies and marketing interests.

Most recently she returned to her roots in TV News by taking a job as an on-call writer/associate producer for CBS News 8 (KFMB).  After almost 31 years in broadcast TV, she can honestly say it’s been an experience…In fact, a lot of them!

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Andrea Naversen, 2014 Silver Circle Inductee

During her 40 years as a broadcast and print journalist, Andrea Naversen has served as a television anchor and reporter, network television correspondent, newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and author, as well as a community leader and volunteer. She is the longtime Editor-at-Large of Ranch & Coast Magazine, covering the personalities, places and events that make San Diego such a vibrant place in which to live.

Naversen began her television career at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, where she served as a general assignment reporter and headed up the consumer investigative team. Recruited by CBS News, she lived in New York and Los Angeles, reporting stories for the CBS Evening NewsThe CBS Morning News and Sunday Morning. Naversen later moved to ABC, where she worked for such broadcasts as World News TonightGood Morning America and Nightline, and co-anchored World News This Morning in Washington D.C. Her assignments for network news shows took her all over the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Egypt, and Haiti.

In San Diego, Naversen worked as an anchor and reporter for KFMB-TV, KUSI and XETV for more than a decade, covering breaking news and features and interviewing newsmakers.

A graduate of Miami University, Naversen began her journalism career as a reporter for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, where she also freelanced for TIME and Business Week magazines. She has won Emmy® and Press Club awards for her work.

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Marianne Gerdes, 2014 Silver Circle Inductee

Marianne Gerdes established Gerdes Creative with Michael Gerdes in 1989 with a singular focus: to create short and long form productions in the documentary genre. This passion grew directly from their interest in the arts, architecture, design, gardens, and history.

Marianne has 20 (and counting) documentary producing credits; for her efforts she has earned four Pacific Southwest Regional Emmy® awards and 14 additional nominations for her producing and writing work. She is the winner of a Press Club Award for Specialty reporting for her current television show, “A Growing Passion”. Also an IRIS Award from NAPTE (National Association of Professional Television Executives) for informational programming, a People In Preservation Award from SOHO (Save our Heritage Organization) for contributions to the historical documentation of San Diego history, and an IABC Business Communicators Award.  She was recently elected to NATAS’s Silver Circle for 25 years of outstanding contribution to the broadcast community.

She is also a 2013 nominee for San Diego Magazine’s Women Who Move The City, Woman of the Year  for her work with the non-profit Ilan-Lael Foundation that preserves and promotes the work of renowned San Diego artist James Hubbell.

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Susan Farrell, 2014 Silver Circle Inductee

An award-winning journalist for more than 25-years in the San Diego area, Susan Farrell has built a reputation for being a  knowledgeable, thorough reporter tackling a host of regional issues including the area’s large military presence, U.S.-Mexico border issues, law, regional and state politics and the city’s burgeoning growth.

She began her journalistic career in program development at KPBS-TV in 1974, joining ABC-TV affiliate KGTV two years later as a producer.  A year later, she moved to the anchor desk, and would spend the next decade there earning a reputation as an up-and-coming journalist. In 1987, she moved NBC owned and operated KNSD-TV, where she became known for her dogged coverage of politics and military issues. She was most recently a reporter/anchor for KUSI-TV, before turning fulltime to consulting. She was Director of Public Relations for San Diego Opera from 2002 to 2005, and President/CEO of USO San Diego from 2005-2008.

Farrell attended the University of Maryland’s London and Munich campuses, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Diego State University.


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Craig Bentley, 2014 Silver Circle Inductee

Craig Bentley is president of, a video production company he co-founded in San Diego in 1986. He received a film and television degree from San Diego State University, where he graduated with distinction in the major field. While at SDSU, he was chosen by the American Cinema Editors as one of the top three student editors in the nation.

In the 80s, Craig managed one of the first interactive video networks in the industry for a national home center chain. Since starting Imageworks, he has written, produced and directed a wide variety of videos for clients such as Coca-Cola, VISA and IBM. Industry recognition includes Pacific Southwest Emmy® Awards, Tellys, Auroras and Communicator awards.

In October 2013, Craig also became a Senior Producer/Director at UC San Diego, where he has helped design one of the largest video undertakings in campus history: helping Economics faculty “flip” their classrooms by putting over 300 short lectures online, preserving valuable class time for discussions and problem-solving.


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Online Judging Opportunity–Deadline Extended

We have an opportunity to judge English and Spanish Emmy® Entries for the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter.  This is a great opportunity to see what your peers in other markets are doing, and also to learn how entries are judged. When you submit your Emmy® Entry, you are agreeing to judge other chapters’ entries. Without this reciprocity, there would be no Emmy® Awards. Judges will receive one judging reward per panel judged (some panels may contain multiple categories). Judging rewards are valued at $5- each, and can be used towards membership renewal, Emmy® Entry submissions, and next year’s Emmy® Gala tickets.

Below are the online panels, with the categories, number of entries and TRT for the panels:

Qualified judges need a minimum of 2 years of experience in the field of television to participate. To become a judge, please email [email protected] with the name of the panel(s) that you’re qualified and willing to judge, and you’ll be sent a link to the judging web site, along with detailed instructions, and a login code. You will then create a judging profile and view the entries online in the comfort of your home or office. Judging does not have to be completed in one sitting; you may start and stop as needed. The deadline to complete online judging is Sunday, July 27th.

Categories # of Entries Total Time
2A3A – Newscast – Daytime or Evening-Larger Markets 1-40 8 04:07:51
2B3B – Newscast – Daytime or Evening-Medium Markets 41-80 4 01:34:32
22AB – Politics/Government-News Single Story/Feature 12 00:56:27
26A – Sports – News Single Story 9 0:31:43
26E-Sports – Program Feature/Segment  6 0:30:00
26EF – Sports – Daily or Weekly Program 10 03:02:34
26J- Sports – One Time Speical 11 4:23:56
27 – Sporting Event/Game – Live/Unedited 8 03:35:44
29D – Weather – News Weathercast 4 00:32:47
30A – Documentary – Cultural 5 O2:45:51
42A – Commercial – Single Spot 23 00:13:39
52A – Editor – Program (Non-News) 22 03:46:23
52B – Editor – Short Form (Promos, PSA’s, Commercials, Opens, etc.) 16 00:35:42
52C – Editor – News – Within 24 Hours 4 O0:29:00
56B – On-Camera Talent – Anchor – Weather 4 O0:27:48
56C – On-Camera Talent Anchors – Sports  4 O0:35:47
56E – On-Camera Talent – Performer/Narrator 6 01:02:54
56F – On-Camera Talent – Program Host/Moderator 5 00:53:29
SPANISH NEWS 7 0:58:00
SPANISH CRAFT 12 2:36:00

40th Anniversary Emmy® Awards TV Schedule

If you were unable to attend to attend the Pacific Southwest Emmy® Awards on Saturday, June 14th, you can still watch all glamour and excitement on Cox.  An edited, 2-hour version of the 2014 Emmy® Awards will be televised on Cox, in the following markets:

San Diego
On Cox Channels 4 and 1004:
-Saturday, July 12th at 7:00 pm

Santa Barbara
On Cox Channel 8:
-Monday, July 7th at 9:30am
-Wednesday, July 9th at 9:30am
-Monday, July 14th at 9:30am
-Wednesday, July 16th at 9:30am

Las Vegas
On Cox Channels 96 and 1096:
-Monday, July 7th at 5pm
-Monday, July 14th at 7pm
-Wednesday, July 23rd at 10am
-Thursday, July 31st at 10am