The 32nd annual Washington Emmy Awards presentation Saturday evening was, as in years past, a black-tied long day's journey into night. It began at 6:30 with cocktails, then moved on to dinner at 7:30 and actually got underway at 9. The final award -- Extended News Coverage -- was not handed out until nearly midnight.

Not that any of the 500 members of the D.C. chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) present in the Sheraton Washington Hotel's ballroom minded, particularly. You sort of get to expect it.

For example, listen to the following exchange in the ladies' room:

Yawning woman in a plunging black V-neck number, checking out her rear in the mirror: "God, this show has, like, no personality, you know?"

Another yawning woman in a strapless iridescent violet mini-dress, sitting on a love seat, checking out her decolletage: "Really. But it's always like this. It's like the whole world gets an award."

Well, maybe not the whole world. But certainly in the world of local TV news, it was WUSA (Channel 9) that came out on top with 43 golden angel statuettes (including the Extended News Coverage award to Mark Feldstein, Bruce Johnson and Diana Sperrazza, none of whom showed up, for "Marion Barry Investigation"). WJLA (Channel 7) was a close second, with 38 Emmys (if you include cameraman Steven C. Affens's impressive Ted Yates Award). WRC (Channel 4) scored 30 awards. WETA (Channel 26) and local independent filmmakers got six Emmys each.

Rosenthal, Greene & Campbell, a local advertising agency, got three. Gallaudet University got two, as did WTTG's Channel 5 (if you count the Board of Governors Award given posthumously to Betty Endicott, news director and general manager at WTTG, who died last summer). WDCA (Channel 20) and WFTY (Channel 50) each got one. The NATAS Student Achievement Award went to Dion Tulloch of Howard University, whose 30-second spot "Reaching Our Potential" aired on WJLA.

(The stations and their individual staffers each submit nominations by category to the D.C. NATAS chapter, which sends them on to other national chapters for scoring. The scores are tabulated by a local accounting firm and evaluated by a NATAS committee here.)

During the ceremony, one presenter suggested that WRC's Susan Kidd was separated at birth from Marsha Warfield (of "Night Court"). "I don't know whether to be insulted or happy," Kidd said. WTTG's Steve Buckhantz, whose station didn't exactly sweep any category, insisted, "Luckily, we have 'The Simpsons'!" WJLA's Joe Hansard, who won a couple of Emmys for sports segments and sports editing, delivered a hysterical, deadpan acceptance speech a` la comedian Steven Wright. "I'd like to thank my parents for sending me to broadcasting school," he said, solemnly pausing after each word. Otherwise, he said he'd have wound up with the kind of job that would require him to say, "You want lids on these?"

Veteran newsman Bryson Rash, who won the Talent: Host/Interviewer/Moderator Emmy for WETA's "Landmarks and Legends," looked like a refined elder statesman with his silvery hair and pale pink rose boutonniere. He was arm-in-arm with multiple Emmy winner Lea Thompson of WJLA, who said of her escort, "I wouldn't be here without him." "I hired her," explained Rash.

"This is a wonderful night," said Thompson, "a long night, a long mile." "I retired," Rash said. "Then I flunked retirement!" And to what does he attribute his longevity? "Yeah, Bryson," asked Thompson. "How come you've lived so long?"

"Good antecedents," he quipped back, grinning all the way.

The Ted Yates Award, given to someone who has demonstrated outstanding professional and personal qualities, was presented by WJLA's John Harter to WJLA's Affens, who was there with wife Patty and son Scott. "What touches me," said Affens, "is that {this award} is from the heart. So it's just dawning on me how many people had to approve this. ... Incredible. ... I hope my work continues to justify my award."

First-time winner (for News Segments: Hard News) Don Williams, who produced "Bishop Walker Funeral" for WRC, would have won hands-down for the Most Nattily Attired Male Award, had there been one. In his left ear he wore a tiny diamond, whose sparkle complemented the rhinestone deco-style pin he wore instead of a bow tie. His tux was black, his socks were black with white polka dots and his loafers were black patent leather, embossed with an alligator print. "We just changed clothes in a service station restroom on our way here," he said of his and wife Ainsley's appearance. (They'd literally just returned from their honeymoon in Cancun.) "I'm interested in the undercurrents and emotions behind a story and in presenting it in a way that latches on to you, bringing it to life. It's akin to 'The Three Bears.' "

How's that?

"There's a definite beginning, middle and end. Otherwise, the story is lost, incomplete. My mission -- if you want to call it that -- is to tap into those things everybody probably feels but doesn't think about. Without that, it's just radio. Radio with pictures."

The Emmy winners:

Sports Programs: "Courting Glory," Albert Calogero, Vincent Walter, Glenn Brenner, producers, WUSA. "George Michael's Decade of Sports," George Michael, Joel Goldberg, Jeff Greenberg, Juan Jones, producers, WRC.

Sports Play by Play: "Washington Bullets vs. Atlanta Hawks," Marty Corwin, producer, WDCA.

Children's Programs: "Teen on Teen Violence," Tina Mance-Lee, Mike Mannarino, producers, WUSA.

Children's Programs, Specials: "Fatal Mix," Tina Mance-Lee, Mike Mannarino, producers, WUSA.

Talent, Acting or Performing: "Chuck Jeffreys," Chuck Jeffreys, WJLA.

Talent, Weathercasting: "Composite," Tom Kierein, WRC. "Ryan/Kierein Weathercast," Bob Ryan, Tom Kierein, WRC. "Composite," Bob Ryan, WRC.

Broadcast Image, Public Service: "Drug Free Zones: Dealer 'No', " Dick Goggin, producer, WRC. "Street Kid," Dick Goggin, WRC.

Broadcast Image, Promotion: "Ex-Husband," Bob Casazza, producer, WJLA. "Good as Gold?," Gary Holland, producer, WRC. "Harriott on Health," Ernie Crow, Mark Davidson, producers, WJLA. "Panama," Bob Casazza, producer, WJLA. "1989," Bob Casazza, Lisa Hirsch, Ernie Crow, producers, WJLA.

NATAS Student Achievement Award: "Reaching Our Potential," Dion Tulloch, producer (aired on WJLA).

News Segments, Hard News: "Bishop Walker Funeral," Don Williams, producer, WRC.

News Segments, Features: "The Homeless," Albert Calogero, producer, WUSA. "Bladesmith," Samara Martin-Ewing, Andrea Roane, Albert Calogero, producers, WUSA. "Dulcimer Maker," Steven C. Affens, John Harter, producers, WJLA. "Hookers Convention," Steve Doocy, producer, WRC. "Decade Ender," Craig C. Wunderlich, producer, WRC.

Lighting: "Ghost Stories," Mike Rickard, WJLA.

Graphics/Design: "Design Department Composite," Bob Helsley, WJLA. "Composite," David Sykes, WJLA.

Set Design: "MoneyPolitics Set," David Sykes, WJLA. "Tony Kornheiser Set," Bob Helsley, WJLA.

Spot News: "Water Main Break," John Harter, producer, WJLA. "Catlett Train Wreck," Margaret J. Dore, Paul Irvin, Paula Mayer, producers, WRC.

Investigative Reports: "Weaving Around the Law," Roberta Baskin, Joan Martelli, Diane Ronnau, producers, WJLA. "Marion Barry," Mark Feldstein, Diana Sperrazza, producers, WUSA.

Writing, News: "MisLead," Roberta Baskin, WJLA. "Composite," Gordon Peterson, WUSA.

Writing, Other: "Deaf Mosaic: World Games for the Deaf Special," Faith Georgia-Powell, Gallaudet University (aired on WETA). "A Place Called Home," Virginia Wolf, WFTY. "Turning It Around: Urban Teens in Crisis," Dante J. James, Mark Lloyd, Kwame Holman (aired on WETA). "Composite," Gary Holland, WRC.

Washington Community Service Award: "Drug Free Zones," WRC.

Board of Governors Award: Betty Endicott, WTTG.

Cinematography/Videography, Spot News: "Water Main Break," Steven C. Affens, WJLA.

Cinematography/Videography, News Series/News Features: "Ghost Stories," Mike Rickard, WJLA.

Cinematography/Videography, Documentary/Magazine/Entertainment/PSA/Promotion: "Monticello," Ronald Ling, WUSA. "Prince of Prints, " David Satchell, WUSA. "Tobacco Plantation Video Essay," Tim DeLuca, WUSA. "Composite," David J. Goulding, WUSA. "A Living History," Tim DeLuca, WUSA. "A Capital Edition Christmas," David J. Goulding, WUSA.

Cinematography/Videography, Sports: No award given.

Public Affairs, Studio: "22:26: Domestic Violence," Jacqueline Gales Webb, producer, WUSA. "Metro Week: Reverend George Stallings, Guest," Jeffrey Bieber, Ann Walsh Rubin, producers, WETA. "22:26: Father Stallings," Jacqueline Gales Webb, producer, WUSA. "22:26: The Future of the Democratic Party," Maureen Bunyan, producer, WUSA. "Metro Week: Gov. Elect Douglas Wilder," Jeffrey Bieber, Ann Walsh Rubin, producers, WETA.

Public Affairs, Location: "22:26: Be Your Own Boss," Susan Grandis Goldstein, producer, WUSA. "22:26: D.C. Goes Hollywood," Jacqueline Gales Webb, Susan Grandis Goldstein, producers, WUSA.

Information-Oriented Programs: "Watch on Washington: Emerging Federal Role in Education," John Hamilton, Jay Hamilton, producers (aired on WETA).

Documentaries: "Stockholm: The Nordic Compromise," Raul Rivero, Bruce Johnson, producers, WUSA.

Audio, Field/ENG/Remote: "Christmas at the National Cathedral," David Weaver, WJLA. "Composite," Steven C. Affens, WJLA.

Audio, Studio: "Deaf Mosaic Composite," John Mullen, Gallaudet University.

Technical Directing: "The Capitol Steps," Lewis Zager, WETA.

The Ted Yates Award: Steven C. Affens, WJLA.

Sports Coverage Within a Newscast: "George Michael's Sports," George Michael, Joel Goldberg, Pat Lackman, producers, WRC. "Eyewitness News: Sports," Larry Duvall, Vincent Walter, producers, WUSA.

Sports Segments: "Trapped in Hell Forever," Mark Seeger, Jerry Gordon, producers, WUSA. "Lane Frost: Champion in Life," George Michael, Bob Peterson, producers, WRC. "Bob Weiland," Jim Forner, Joe Hansard, producers, WJLA.

Sports Series: "Dream Week Series," Kevin Kiley, Rich Daniel, producers, WJLA.

Outstanding Commercial Announcement: "Clutch," Rosenthal, Greene & Campbell, producers.

Entertainment Specials: "A Capital Edition Christmas," Madeline LaCore, Jamie McIntyre, producers, WUSA.

Editing, Spot News: No award given.

Editing, News Series/News Features: "Composite," Albert Calogero, WUSA.

Editing, Documentary/Magazine/Entertainment: "Prince of Prints," David Satchell, WUSA.

Editing, PSA/Promotion: "Composite," Ernie Crow, WJLA.

Editing, Sports: "Composite," Joe Hansard, WJLA. "Composite," Juan Jones, WRC.

Directing, Live: "Composite," Michael Albro, WJLA.

Directing, Other: "Stone Cold Hustler II Anti-Drug Music Video," Jesse E. Vaughan Jr., WRC.

Program Segments: "Capital Edition: How You Play the Game," Caroline Morris, producer, WUSA. "Pied Piper," Ron Gardner, producer, WTTG. "A Growing Concern," Janet Shalestik, producer, WUSA. "Capital Edition: All's Well That Ends Well," LaGeris Bell, producer, WUSA. "Mosaic Memoirs -- Fighting for the Right to Drive (Deaf Mosaic)," Barry White, producer, Gallaudet University. "Capital Edition: A Man of Letters," Jamie McIntyre, producer, WUSA.

News Series: "Good as Gold?," Lea Thompson, Elizabeth Crenshaw, Patricia Raber, producers, WJLA. "Who's Minding Baby?," Jim Neustadt, Susan Kidd, producers, WRC. "Don't Buy It, You Don't Need It," Lea Thompson, Patricia Raber, producers, WJLA.

Talent, News Anchor: "Composite," Pat Lawson Muse, WRC. "Composite," Jim Vance, WRC.

Talent, Sports Anchor: "Composite," Kevin Kiley, WJLA.

Talent, Host/Interviewer/Moderator: "Landmarks and Legends," Bryson Rash, WETA.

Extended News Coverage: "Marion Barry Investigation," Mark Feldstein, Bruce Johnson, Diana Sperrazza, producers, WUSA.