Extra: BBC political editor leaving post; L.A. Film Critics name best docs

BBC political editor stepping down Laura Kuenssberg will leave her post as the BBC’s political editor next Easter after seven years in the position, instead taking a senior presenting and reporting ...
December 20, 2021

BBC political editor stepping down

Laura Kuenssberg will leave her post as the BBC’s political editor next Easter after seven years in the position, instead taking a senior presenting and reporting role across the BBC.

Kuenssberg (pictured) will take on a number of news and current affairs projects across TV, radio and online, with more details to be revealed in 2022. The BBC will begin a competitive recruitment process for her replacement.

Kuenssberg was named the BBC’s political editor in 2015, becoming the first woman to hold the job. She’s since covered two UK general elections, the Brexit referendum and its aftermath, and the government’s response to the COVID pandemic.

In her time in the role, Kuenssberg has produced work across every platform, presenting two TV documentaries on Brexit and a podcast on the inside story of the response to COVID-19, developing an audience for her online columns and building a strong social media following. She’s been a regular presenter of BBC Sounds’ most popular podcast of 2021, Newscast, successor to the award-winning Brexitcast, which is now a weekly TV program.

“Laura has been an outstanding BBC political editor throughout the most turbulent political times in living memory. Her incisive commentary, tough questioning and astute insight have guided our audiences through the last seven years,” said BBC Director-General Tim Davie in a news release.

L.A. Film Critics honor Summer of Soul, Flee

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has named Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) best documentary/non-fiction film of 2021, with Robert Greene‘s Procession taking the runner-up honor.

It’s the latest award for Thompson’s buzzed-about music doc, which also won best editing for Joshua L. Pearson’s work.

Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s documentary Flee, which is also shaping up to be an awards magnet this season, was named best animated feature of the year by the L.A. critics.

Last year’s awards saw Garrett Bradley‘s Time take best documentary honors ahead of its nomination for best documentary feature at the Academy Awards, with Alexander Nanau’s Collective being named runner up.

Netflix acquires WW2 series Road to Victory from World Media Rights

UK-based production house World Media Rights (WMR) has announced that its box set docuseries World War Two in Color: The Road to Victory, will debut on Netflix as The Road to Victory, launching on December 22.

The 10-part series is a co-production between WMR and ZDF Enterprises and follows the progress of the allies from early comebacks and victories in WW2 to the surrender of Germany and Japan, using WMR’s special colorization techniques to take vintage black and white archive and colorize it.

World Media Rights’ Alan Griffiths and Eamon Hardy are executive producers on The Road to Victory.

“We’re thrilled that Netflix is taking The Road to Victory to their 214 million subscribers as a Netflix series. WMR’s colorization and sound techniques bring the Second World War to life as if it was shot for news cameras yesterday,” said Griffiths, CEO of World Media Rights, in a news release.

Television Academy announces series of tweaks to Emmy Awards

The Television Academy announced changes to the 2021-22 Emmy Awards on Monday (Dec. 20).

Realty programming will be impacted by the changes, with supervising story producer added as an Emmy-eligible title in the Structured, Unstructured and Competition program categories. As well, the academy clarified that Reality Cinematography submissions should be shot in field single-camera style. Studio-based shows, or episodes in which a high percentage of the program is shot in the studio, are not eligible for this category.

Emmy eligibility in reality programs will be determined by job title and function. To qualify, the entrant must have the credit of executive producer, co-executive producer, supervising producer, supervising story producer, producer, senior producer or series producer. And their function must support those credits on at least half of the series eligible episodes. To qualify for Emmy eligibility, the entrant must also have primary creative jurisdiction over the entire program.

The contemporary designation for Makeup and Hairstyling for a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program was eliminated. These awards have now been changed from area awards to juried awards, which means all entrants are screened by a jury of peers and one, more than one or no entry receives an Emmy, without any nominations.

In Documentary Programming, the academy clarified that recreations, including those that use animation or performers, if they’re fact-based and used for illustrative purposes, are limited to a percentage of no more than 25% of the documentary special or series.

(With files from Andrew Jeffrey)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.