Archive of American Television Receives the Writers Guild of America, East Burkey Award

February 5, 2011


NEW YORK CITY – The Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television has been selected to receive the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) Evelyn F. Burkey Award. The Burkey award recognizes contributions that have brought honor and dignity to writers everywhere. The award was presented to Archive Director Karen L. Herman by actress/director and Archive interviewee Lee Grant at the 63rd annual Writers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in New York City.

As part of the acceptance, the Archive presented a short video highlighting writers from the Archive's collection:

The Archive of American Television is the Television Academy Foundation’s continuing collection of more than 600 in-depth video interviews with some of television’s most influential professionals in all fields. The Archive’s online site at EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG, which makes available over 2,000 hours of the Archive’s video interviews, was launched in 2009 to support the Foundation’s mission of preserving and celebrating the medium of television, and educating those who will impact its future.

“The Archive of American Television is the collective memory of those who were present at the creation of the medium and the many giants who through the decades have brought to TV their creativity, skill and imagination. High among them are the great writers of entertainment and news who have been essential to television's success from the Golden Age right up to the present, and so we are pleased to present the Archive with this year's Burkey Award,” said Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East.

“We’re so proud that writers have seen the value of the Archive of American Television’s collection. Everything on TV starts with a writer, and it was a conscious effort on behalf of the Foundation to chronicle their lives and stories and insights,” said Karen L. Herman, director, Archive of American Television. “We’re honored that the Guild has chosen to recognize our work.”

The Evelyn F. Burkey Award was established in 1978 to honor Burkey, who dedicated her professional life to supporting and helping writers. Burkey helped create the Writers Guild of America, East in 1953 as the union of film, television and radio writers, independent of precursor organizations. She was the WGAE’s executive director until her retirement in 1972. The Burkey Award continues her mission by recognizing a person or an organization whose contributions have brought honor and dignity to writers everywhere. Past recipients include: 2010 honoree Edward Albee, Walter Bernstein, Martin Scorsese, Colin Callender, Vaclav Havel, Sidney Lumet, Arthur Miller, Art Buchwald, Horton Foote, and Andy Rooney.

WGA AwardsThe 63rd annual Writers Guild Awards took place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in New York City at the AXA Equitable Center and simultaneously in Los Angeles at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom. For more information, visit the WGAE website at

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO, is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, cable, digital media, and broadcast news. The WGAE conducts programs, seminars, and events on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers. In addition, it represents writers’ interests on the legislative level. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit