Alumnus Jeff Ackermann ’14 earns Emmy Award for broadcast news production

The 2014 Elon University graduate was honored as an outstanding news producer by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

If you had told Jeff Ackermann ’14 a decade ago that he’d earn an Emmy Award, he wouldn’t have believed you.

Elon alumnus Jeff Ackermann ’14 was honored with an Emmy Award during a virtual ceremony on Oct. 4 by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Photo courtesy of Ackermann and TAP into Livingston

“It’s not like I’m in this job for the awards, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not honored to get this award,” said Ackermann in a recent interview with TAP into Livingston.

The 2014 Elon University alumnus recently earned an Emmy Award from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, presented during a virtual ceremony on Oct. 4. This was Ackermann’s third Emmy nomination, and his first victory.

Ackermann currently serves as a news producer at WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C., but spent the previous two years with WCPO 9 in Cincinnati producing the station’s 11 p.m. newscast. Based on a broadcast reel of his 2019 segments, including local coverage of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ackermann was selected as the winner in the competition’s News Producer category.

As an Elon undergraduate, Ackermann (seated, second from left) was an active member of student media, serving in a variety of roles for “Elon Local News.”

While the broadcast journalism major has experience in front of the camera as a field producer, as well as in the newsroom as an anchor, Ackermann found his true calling in TV production.

“There’s a lot that goes into producing TV news, so you kind of have your hands dipped in a bunch of different things every day,” Ackermann told TAP into Livingston. “You come in with a blank slate, and then you have eight hours to work and build a newscast in time for show time and then hope everything goes well.”

Just a few months after he transitioned into his role in D.C., the coronavirus pandemic changed how many workplaces across the country functioned, and WUSA 9 was no exception. Ackermann said in addition to adapting to a new newsroom, the experience gave him a greater respect for local journalism.

“I’ve never felt like my job is more important than it is right now,” Ackermann told TAP into Livingston. “We’re at a time right now where facts matter and the truth matters, and people are really turning to local journalism to know what they need to know – especially during this pandemic.”