S.P. Native Wins Emmy Award
Southern Pines native Laura Southerland brought an interesting centerpiece home for Thanksgiving -- an Emmy award.
Southerland, 29, won the Emmy for her work as part of ESPN's NASCAR coverage team.
The Pinecrest High School graduate brought the statuette with her from Bristol, Conn., for the holidays.
"I tried to sleep with it," she joked, "but the wings were too big."
Awarded by the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Emmy is considered the television equivalent of the Oscar.
The statue is of a winged woman holding up an atom. With its sharp-edged wings, she could have practically carved the turkey with it. Southerland said that it's much bigger than it looks on television.
"It's about the size of my arm," she said. "It probably weighs a good seven pounds. It's huge."
There are three different Emmy Award ceremonies -- one for prime time programming, one for overseas programming and one for daytime, sports and news programming.
ESPN won the award, which it shares with Fox, for its season of NASCAR coverage. The two channels split coverage. Southerland is a technical supervisor for the sports channel.
Anyone who's ever been to a NASCAR race knows it takes miles of fiber-optic cable, dozens of technical trailers and more cameras than broadcast of the Superbowl to cover even a lesser race.
Southerland said she thinks that all the in-car cameras, pit crew cameras, and the technology that allowed for quick and accurate race analysis pushed ESPN's coverage over the top.
"The biggest achievement is probably the Tech Center," she said.
It includes two life-sized cars and a 3D touch screen. The host can use the Tech Center to illustrate what happened to a certain car and why.
The National Academy of Arts and Sciences, which gives out the Emmys for daytime television, sports, news and documentaries, held the award ceremony April 28. The academy gave ESPN one statue for the coverage. ESPN chose to have statues made for each member of the team, Southerland said, as a way to say thank you.
She received her award just before coming home for the holiday.
"It's big, it's bright, it's shiny," she said. "It was paraded around town on (Thanksgiv-ing)."
The Emmy is now a permanent resident of Southern Pines. Southerland left it here.
"It's going to stay at my parents'," she said. "I probably would use it as a hat rack."
Contact Matthew Moriarty at 693-2479 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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