2024 Governors’ Awards Recipients Announced

From left to right: Patty Zubov, Jim Jakobs, Tom Vacar

By Brooks Jarosz, NATAS Chapter President

I’m thrilled to announce the recipients of The Governors’ Award and The Governors’ Citation, which will be presented at the 53rd Annual Northern California Area Emmy® Awards Gala this Saturday, June 15, 2024, at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

The Board of Governors of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) considered several candidates at our April meeting. Please join me in congratulating these outstanding and well-deserving media professionals.

The Governors’ Award is the highest and most prestigious award a local chapter can bestow. A golden Emmy® Statuette is given to recognize excellence and unique accomplishments through the years. There is the possibility of one award, more than one award, or no award.

This year, The Governors’ Award recipient is legendary and longtime KTVU reporter Tom Vacar. He has tirelessly worked in television and radio for more than four decades. In his 31 years at KTVU, Vacar calculates he has covered more than 8,000 stories. That includes covering every major disaster, business, economics, and consumer affairs. He is widely regarded for his syndicated Great American Toy Test.

Vacar got his start in Los Angeles at KGO TV and KGO Radio in 1979. He moved to KCBS-TV and KNX News Radio in 1985 before moving to KTTV in 1988. He has been a fulltime staff member at KTVU since 1991. Vacar recently told his colleagues and viewers he “never wants to call in sick because he doesn’t want to miss anything.” His passion and dedication to seeking the truth, and delivering important information and perspectives is unyielding. Vacar is also an advocate and major supporter of our Chapter.

Recipients of The Governors’ Citation are recognized for similar accomplishments as The Governors’ Award, but to a lesser extent. The award recognizes individuals, organizations, or companies that do not fall within the structure of the Chapter’s regular area awards. This year, our Chapter will award two Governors’ Citations!

The first recipient of The Governors’ Citation is Patty Zubov. She has served on the Board of Governors for more than a decade, first as Marketing Chair and now as Membership Chair. She has expanded member benefits, brought back the Mentor Match program, helped establish a Diversity Committee, and planned several market-focused networking events. Since 2001, Zubov has run her own production company, Platonic TV, based in San Francisco, and produced numerous documentaries and specials for major television networks.

Zubov has also served as a mentor to her fellow board members. Her listening ear and team approach has aided in promoting our Chapter and recruiting new members and sponsors. 

The second recipient of The Governors’ Citation is Jim Jakobs. Since 2021, he has been news director at KMPH FOX26 in Fresno. He previously worked as a multimedia digital content producer for GVWire.com during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jakobs has also held management roles at KFSN-TV in Fresno, KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, and KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV in Sacramento.

Jakobs has quickly become a valuable board member, leading our Mentor Match program for the past two years. He has also taken over writing, editing, and posting nearly daily to the Chapter’s Off Camera Blog and assisted in delivering content to the Chapter’s social media channels.

Congratulations to all recipients of these esteemed awards. I hope you will join me in honoring these three distinguished professionals when the awards are presented at the 53rd Annual Northern California Area Emmy® Awards Gala this Saturday, June 15, 2024.