There was a North Battleford connection to the Emmy Awards in New York.
Rick Lewchuk, senior vice-president of creative marketing with CNN in Atlanta, was there to accept an Emmy for CNN’s promotional work at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards held Sept. 21.
The Emmy was won in the category of Best Promotional Announcement. It was for the show The Seventies, a documentary series that ran on CNN during the past TV season.
It was the only Emmy award category recognizing marketing and promotion at that ceremony, which honours excellence in the TV news field.
Lewchuk was among the team members recognized for the award-winning campaign. He returned to Atlanta with the impressive-looking Emmy, which he planned to share with his CNN colleagues at a staff celebration Monday.
It’s exciting stuff for someone born and raised in North Battleford and the surrounding area.
“I think everybody is shaped by where they came from, how you learned early on to deal with things,” said Lewchuk.
Lewchuk attended North Battleford Comprehensive High School, where he played for the Vikings football team that won a provincial title.
He recalls being inspired to go into TV while at NBCHS, which had a TV class at the time.
“I learned a lot of basic things about TV just in the television program they had at the Comp. It was a good introduction for me.
He recalls his late father Bill, a school principal who also worked in insurance, and his mother Thelma were supportive of his career plans to go into television.
“They were absolutely open to whatever choice we wanted to make after high school,” Lewchuk recalls.
Lewchuk went on to get a diploma from Lethbridge College and from there went on to a career with television stations in Lethbridge , Regina (at CKCK-TV) and Saskatoon before moving on to CTV in Toronto in 1995, where he stayed for several years, running their marketing and promotions.
It was in 2012, following the Bell takeover of CTV, that Lewchuk made the move to CNN in Atlanta.
“I never thought that was going to happen,” said Lewchuk, “but I never thought I’d live in Toronto, either.”
Through it all, Lewchuk remains proud of his North Battleford and Saskatchewan roots.
His Twitter handle is “Drummond Creek,” a reference to the creek that flows through the Prongua area, where he lived for three years while his dad was a school teacher there.
Not surprisingly, family members back home in Saskatchewan are proud of his Emmy success and see it as an example of what others from the Battlefords can accomplish if they set their mind to it.
Lewchuk often returns to Saskatchewan where he still has family connections. His mother still lives in North Battleford and his youngest son recently decided to go back to school in Regina, so Lewchuk plans to return to visit him as well.
And of course, “I always try to get back once a year to see a Roughriders game,” Lewchuk said.