Last week, during the 38th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony, CBS Television’s revered prime-time newsmagazine program 60 Minutes was awarded the Emmy for “Outstanding Edited Interview” for its segment “The Hostage.” LEVICK, working pro bono on behalf of the family of Warren Weinstein, approached 60 Minutes and established the piece, and was deeply involved with guiding the piece forward, seeing it through to fruition.
“The Hostage” was primarily focused on Warren Weinstein and the family he left behind here in the metro DC area. Warren was a USAID contract worker, a renowned humanitarian and champion of economic and social development, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Pakistan and who was, many months later, killed by a US drone strike in Afghanistan. The piece explored the ethics and efficacy of negotiating the release of non-military, non-US government hostages from terror-group kidnappers. However, its wrenching, unforgettable emotional appeal came from interviews with Warren’s wife Elaine, who was tremendously compelling.
LEVICK executives worked closely with 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl, who was the anchor of the piece, as well as Ira Rosen, the senior producer. Litigation Practice Chair Ian Christopher McCaleb leveraged his lengthy relationship with the program to introduce the 60 Minutes crew to the Weinstein family, and to establish ground rules that would solidify a long-term cooperative arrangement between all parties, quickly leading to”60’s” agreement to produce the piece.
Additionally, LEVICK Vice President Andrew Ricci worked closely with the Weinstein family as the firm led its pro-bono account, while former Senior Vice President Eric Lebson negotiated editorial details with the Weinstein’s lawyers, mentored family members, and sat for an interview with Stahl, portions of which appeared in the piece.
LEVICK also received a PR News Platinum PR Award and a PRSA-NCC Thoth Awards Certificate of Excellence for its work with the Weinstein family.