NoHo Arts District – Former Television Academy Chairman and current Television Academy Foundation board member Dick Askin has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the esteemed Syd Cassyd Founders Award, it was announced today by Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum.
Named in honor of the Television Academy’s founder, the Syd Cassyd Award was created to recognize members who have made a significant, positive impact on the Academy through their efforts and service over many years of involvement. The award will be presented during the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards on Saturday, September 15, 2012.
"Dick left an invaluable mark on the Television Academy during his years of service on the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee and during two terms as Chairman,” said Rosenblum. “He is a smart, talented, and innovative executive, and built a great foundation for the organization to grow on a variety of levels."
Askin served as Chairman and CEO of the Television Academy from 2003-2005 and 2005-2007. During his term of leadership, Askin created the Academy’s Runaway Production Committee to address the relocation of television production from the U.S. to other countries. He focused on strengthening the Academy brand by developing a more collaborative relationship with the National Television Academy, and brought the International Television Academy under the aegis of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. During his time as Chairman, Askin supported, and the board voted, to amend the organization’s bylaws to include broadband eligibility in the Primetime Emmy Awards competition. He left a legacy of increased membership value by expanding the Academy’s slate of professional development events, networking programs and membership benefits.
Simultaneously, Askin served as Chief Executive Officer and President at Tribune Entertainment Company, Inc., the Los Angeles-based entertainment unit of Tribune Company and leading provider of programming to the television marketplace. In his role, Askin oversaw television program development, production and distribution activities of a wide range of programming at Tribune Entertainment Company, Inc. Askin is also credited with developing numerous successful first-run series for the division, including Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict, Mutant X, and Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. In addition, Askin oversaw the renovation of over 70,000 square feet of soundstages at the historic KTLA lot in Hollywood to create Tribune Studios, the first all-digital studio lot in the United States. Under Askin's leadership, Tribune Entertainment entered into a variety of distribution, production and ad sales relationships with such major partners as DreamWorks SKG, FremantleMedia North America, Hearst Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television.
Previously, Askin served as President of Samuel Goldwyn Television, where he launched such major programs as American Gladiators, Tales of the Crypt Keeper's Haunted House and Flipper: The New Adventures. Askin began his career as an Account Executive at WNBC/New York, and then relocated to Los Angeles to serve as National Sales Manager for KNBC before becoming its Director of Sales. He served as Vice President, Domestic Sales, for Fries Entertainment, where he subsequently was promoted and served as Senior Vice President, Distribution, prior to joining Goldwyn. In January 2007, Askin formed Askin & Company, an entertainment advisory firm specializing in television programming, marketing and distribution rights management.
He remains active in the Television Academy currently serving on the board of the Television Academy Foundation, is on the Board of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS) and is a former Trustee of the American Film Institute (AFI). Askin also serves as a Trustee of the Entertainment Industry Council (EIC), which in 2003 presented Askin with The Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award for his role in bringing EIC's annual Prism Awards to broadcast television.
Askin holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Rutgers College, a master's degree in Communications from the University of Texas, where he was awarded with the Alcoa Graduate Fellowship and a master's in Business Administration from Fordham University. In May 2008, he received the prestigious Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the university bestows on a Rutgers graduate.
Past recipients of the Syd Cassyd Founders Award include Syd Cassyd himself, who was the first to receive the accolade when it was established in 1991. Subsequent recipients were Robert Lewine in 1992, Hank Rieger (1994), Larry Stewart (1995), Thomas Sarnoff (1997), Howard Smit (2000), Leo Chaloukian (2004), Richard Frank (2007), Dixon Dern (2009) and John Leverence (2010).