How to get a plum spot on Emmy's red carpet

Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:44am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It's a cutthroat affair for the hundreds of media outlets battling to obtain one of 160 spots available on the Emmy red carpet. So who gets first choice?

Answer: "Access Hollywood," NBC's nationally syndicated entertainment show. That's because it has a deal to produce the Emmy preshow and will therefore be stationed on the corner of the L-shaped carpet, with a view in each direction.

For the rest, it's a joint decision made by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' marketing department and its PR firm, PMK-BNC.

"Outlets are placed with regard to deadline needs and whether they are going live or taping," says spokeswoman Joanna Cichoki. "With photo press, it's where the light is best for fashion shots."

Between seven and nine platforms are also built on the red carpet itself and go to entertainment outlets like "Entertainment Tonight" and E! Every other show or news publication is stuck behind the barricades, along the edge of the red carpet.

Those competitors in turn are positioned according to how big their viewership or circulation is, Cichoki says. Which means, just recently, the Armed Forces Radio Network got a prime spot, while Life & Style and In Touch magazines did far worse.

"I would spend an entire year covering any academy event, (just) so we would get a good position at the Emmy red carpet," freelance journalist Scott Huver recalls.

Not that an imperfect place stopped him from getting what he wanted: When he saw Brad Pitt accompanying nominee Jennifer Aniston, he took a lesson from the armed forces themselves and leaped over the barricade.

How did Brad handle it?

"You're standing on my wife's dress," he pointed out, then answered Huver's questions. "I felt like a dork," Huver shrugs, "but I got my quotes."