CEC’s Britt gets lifetime award for TV work


Television producer and Central Educational Center teacher Michael Britt has been inducted into the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Silver Circle of broadcast professionals.

Britt was inducted to the honor at a NATAS Southeast ceremony on Friday, Sept. 20, held at Atlanta’s Grand Hyatt hotel. He was honored at the 2013 ceremony along with 12 other broadcast professionals from around the southeast, including 11-Alive News’ Donna Lowry and the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore.

“I’m very honored to be among those being inducted, and those inducted into the circle in the past,” said Britt, who is the Director of CEC’s Broadcast Video Production classes. “Working in television production for the past 34 years has been a great experience for me … both challenging and rewarding.”

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is the national organization responsible for the Emmy Awards. NATAS Southeast’s Gold Circle and Silver Circle designations are the regional chapter’s most prestigious awards, honoring a lifetime of dedication to the television industry. Silver Circle induction recognizes television professionals who have worked for 25 years or more in the industry in a performing, creative, technical or administrative position, and who have made significant contributions not only to the industry but to their communities in the southeast region.

“Michael Britt’s induction into NATAS Southeast’s Silver Circle is a unique professional accomplishment reserved for the best of the best in the broadcast industry,” said Mark Whitlock, CEO of the Central Educational Center. “Michael takes his earned place among a very distinguished group of broadcast professionals.”

“That Michael Britt, NATAS Silver Circle inductee, commits his time and talent teaching Coweta County students is a measure of the character and passion of the man, and a measure of the incredible opportunities made available to Coweta students through the growing collaboration among our local businesses, the Coweta County School System and West Georgia Technical College,” said Whitlock.

A native of Troy, North Carolina, Britt began his broadcast career in 1979, following four years in the U.S. Air Force. While finishing his service at Loring Air Force Base in northern Maine that year, and attending church at a Southern Baptist missionary outpost there, he met a photojournalism team from the Baptist Home Mission Board in Atlanta who had come to do a story about the missionary church.

Britt thought “this was a great job … to travel the world and tell stories about your discoveries.” When his enlistment ended, he enrolled in the Art Institute of Atlanta with plans to become a professional photographer and writer. He ended up writing, directing shooting and producing video for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in Alpharetta, Ga., for 10 years, becoming the organization’s senior producer.

He worked as an independent producer around the Atlanta region from 1989 to 1997, primarily working with Fortune 500 companies to develop and manage television programming and special events for marketing, training and educational initiatives. His major clients included IBM, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Primerica, Universal Forest Products and Georgia Public Television, and his work included developing television programming for national syndication.

In 1997, Britt began a12-year career with Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, working as an executive producer and developing original programming including public affairs programs, awards shows, cultural, historical and sporting programs and documentaries. He also managed special events for GPB, as well as the station’s editorial content.

Britt produced 300 episodes of “Georgia’s Business,” was a key strategist in covering public and private companies, Georgia Industry, Trade and Tourism programs and statewide higher education endeavors, and helped lead the station into new media, digital program delivery and high definition program acquisition, among other accomplishments. During his career at GPB, Britt was awarded two Tellys, two Green Eyeshade Awards, and received four Emmy nominations for his work.

His desire to change lives led him to inspire others through teaching, and he became director of Broadcast Video Production for CEC in 2009. Today, in the classroom, studio or field, he leverages his extensive television broadcast and corporate video expertise to teach his students basic and advanced skills of video storytelling. Britt’s second-year students are already delivering one of the first high school student-produced community television shows on a weekly basis (“The Link,” with NuLink Digital). Work-based interns currently produce real-world projects for outside clients including the Lt. Governor of Georgia, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Newnan Police Department and others. His classes continue to grow in popularity and many students have gone on to further their study in television and film production.

As a part of his career, Britt has been a member of NATAS Southeast since 1998, and served with the organization for the past 10 years as a board member, chapter secretary, and on the organization’s programs, scholarships, finance committees and high school broadcasting awards committee.

Britt said that his work with students and at CEC have been enormously rewarding. His chief advice to aspiring journalists and broadcasters, and his students in general, is “regardless of what career you choose, choose what you love and enjoy.”

“I tell students don’t just go for the money, go for the experience,” said Britt. “I never sought the work I’ve done in my career for the money, but because I wanted to learn, experience, see and do more. I’m a life-long student at heart.”

Britt lives in Peachtree City with his wife Debbie, executive director for community and public relations at Piedmont Fayette Hospital in Fayetteville.

Along with Britt, NATAS Southeast inducted 12 other broadcast professionals into its Silver Circle, including the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, WXIA-TV reporters Jon Shirek, Paul Crawley and Donna Lowry, GPB Sports Director Mark Harmon, United Press Vice-President Sophia Kelley, WSB-TV Vice President and General Manager Tim McVay, WRDW-TV (Augusta, Georgia) news director Estelle Parsley, CNN Senior Project Manager Andy Parsons, AIB Senior Executive Producer Angela Rice, retired WLBT (Mississippi) news director Dennis Smith, and ABC 33/40 (Alabama) chief meteorologist James Spann.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a professional organization for individuals in the television and broadcasting industry. NATAS’s Southeast chapter – based in Atlanta – covers Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. The organization promotes and celebrates excellence in media at the local and regional level.