SAG TV/Theatrical Contract Ratified Overwhelmingly, 78%-22%

Digital Media Law

In a stunning defeat for the hardline Membership First faction, SAG's TV/theatrical contract passed overwhelmingly, by a 78%-22% margin (almost 4 to 1), those numbers according to the guild. It's an amazing end to an almost 12 month stalemate, and calls into question the faction's ability to make any headway in the upcoming SAG board elections. Sue-Anne Morrow, actor, National Board Member representing New York "This is a good deal with good gains.

SAG Executive Director: TV/Theatrical Deal Will Pass

Digital Media Law

That’s the Board’s decision, of course, but I asked White if he intended to be a candidate for the permanent (i.e., Instead, he said, board members from various factions have “an appetite to find a way to work together.” At that, I demurred, and White did acknowledge that members of the board hadn’t yet found as much common ground as they need to. It might help if SAG’s board were smaller.

Trending Sources

SAG Sets Informational Meetings re TV/theatrical Agreement

Digital Media Law

The TV/theatrical ballots will go out May 19 (about ten days from now) and are due back by mail on June 9. Supporting the deal are SAG staff and the SAG National Board, including SAG's moderate majority leadership, comprised of the LA-based Unite for Strength faction, LA independent board member Morgan Fairchild, and most or all of the NY and regional board members.

SAG TV/Theatrical Ballots Later Than Expected; SAG Litigation Continues; and More

Digital Media Law

The ballots for SAG’s recently approved TV/theatrical contract won’t be going out until mid to late May, a source tells me, several weeks later than the early May target that the Guild stated as recently as a week or so ago. BTW, a copy of the proposed TV/theatrical agreement is available here. In contrast, the TV/theatrical contract will probably pass with a yes vote in the 60%-75% range, roughly in the neighborhood of the AFTRA deal, which achieved 62%.

SAG Board Approves Studio Deal

Digital Media Law

Voting on party lines, a sharply divided SAG board approved the tentative deal with the studios yesterday by a vote of about 53% to 47%. The balloting material will be accompanied by both pro and con statements, and the fight over the deal will be a prelude to SAG’s presidential and board elections, which will commence in July and run through September. On a personal note, I had a surreal experience outside yesterday’s board meeting.

SAG 109

AFTRA Board Approves Joint Bargaining With SAG

Digital Media Law

At a videoconference meeting today in New York and LA, AFTRA’s national board unanimously voted to approve joint bargaining with SAG for the Primetime Television Contract and the SAG TV/theatrical contract. The move comes a month after SAG’s national board voted, by a tally of 82% to 18%, to “seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract.”

SAG: Four Hardline Horsemen in the National Board Room

Digital Media Law

Yet, strangely enough, the leaders of the losing hardline faction will all find seats on the national board, and will continue to be a shadow government within the union’s Hollywood board—a board on which, in contrast, none of the key moderate leaders will be voting members. The moderates seemingly have 27 seats on the Hollywood board out of 55 (because 27 = 6 seats pre-election plus 21 additional seats won in the election).

SAG 113

SAG Moves towards Joint Bargaining with AFTRA

Digital Media Law

The SAG National Board yesterday passed a resolution, by a surprising 82% to 18% vote, directing the guild’s president and National Executive Director to “seek engagement with AFTRA in a joint bargaining agreement for negotiation of the Television/Theatrical Contract,” as quoted in a SAG press release. The resolution also directs the President, Ken Howard, and National Executive Director, David White, to “bring a recommendation to the National Board at the earliest opportunity.”

SAG Moderates File Document to Fire National Executive Director

Digital Media Law

As expected, the moderates on the SAG National Board today delivered a document to SAG headquarters that ousts Doug Allen as National Executive Director and dissolves the negotiating committee. The document, called a written assent, is signed by a majority of SAG’s national board (including Unite for Strength board members and most or all others who are not part of Membership First), as provided for in SAG’s constitution.

SAG 109

SAG - Hardliners Successful

Digital Media Law

As of earlier this afternoon, a source inside the room tells me Membership First beat back the majority (composed of moderates) on the SAG Board and prevented passage of a resolution that would have removed Doug Allen as Chief Negotiator and dissolved the Negotiating Committee and rescinded the Strike Authorization Vote. No substantive actions were taken by the Guild’s national board, which met at SAG’s national headquarters January 12 and 13 for almost 30 hours straight.

SAG 116

Hollywood Docket Top 5: AFTRA-SAG harmony; photography copyrights questioned; musicians vs. politicians

THR, Esq. Entertainment & Media Law Blog

AFTRA's board has unanimously approved joint bargaining with SAG on the guilds' TV-theatrical contracts set to expire June 30, 2011. THR] Thousands of song copyrights are entangled in a complicated court battle between Carbert Music and May-Loo Music. Carbert, the.

Entertainment Industry Insights Podcast: Ken Davenport

Gordon P. Firemark

He created and developed the Broadway board game Be A Broadway Star, as seen on “The Today Show,” and a smartphone app called AT THE BOOTH, which has been featured on Entertainment Weekly’s “Must List” and called “Ingenious! Entertainment Industry Insights Podcast.

SAG National Executive Director Firing – How it Went Down

Digital Media Law

The SAG board’s moderate majority fired National Executive Director Doug Allen today by using a document signed by board members and called a “written assent.” Monday morning, a group of board members went to SAG’s LA headquarters. The group included Unite for Strength leader Ned Vaughn, NY board member Sam Freed, board members Ken Howard, Pamela Reed, Stacey Travis, Gabrielle Carteris and two others whose names I don’t know.

SAG 167

IATSE and Teamsters Reach Mutual Assistance Pact

Digital Media Law

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have entered into an agreement to work together toward common goals. The Executive Boards of both unions unanimously ratified the agreement. ——————— Subscribe to my blog ( jhandel.com ) for more about entertainment law and digital media law.

IATSE 149

Theatre Lovers: This summer’s for you!

Gordon P. Firemark

As you may know, In addition to my entertainment law practice, I volunteer as the President of the Board of the Academy for New Musical Theatre. If you’re a theatre lover, or a creator of theatrical material, this means that great opportunities abound.

Rosenberg v. SAG: Court of Appeal Implies Appeal May be Moot

Digital Media Law

Alan Rosenberg is no longer president of SAG, nor even a national board member, but his lawsuit against his own union drags on pointlessly. Believe it or not, he’s still trying to undo Doug Allen’s firing, the appointment of David White, the ratification of the TV/theatrical contract and, no doubt, the discovery of a new ring around Saturn.

SAG 100

SAG Interim Nat'l Exec Director Hired as Permanent

Digital Media Law

The vote on today SAG's national board, which began meeting yesterday and is still meeting today for a little while longer, was 70.91% in favor, I'm told, which suggests that a few of the Membership First directors joined the moderate coalition in appointing White to the job. or so, closing one deal after another, including, or course, the biggies (TV/theatrical and commercials).

SAG 100

Oscar Rule Change Follow-ups

Thompson On Hollywood

At an Academy screening of Cheri last weekend (more on that anon), some members wanted to be consulted, while others feel that the Board of Governors did its job. The Board of Governors is responsible for corporate management, control and general policies.

AMJ: If I’m Elected, David White is Out

Digital Media Law

In a campaign video , Membership First’s candidate for SAG president, Anne-Marie Johnson says that one her first proposals as new president would be to recommend to the national board that “a search committee be seated. immediately” to replace SAG interim National Executive Director David White. Ousted NED Doug Allen would "probably" not come back.

SAG & Studios Agree to Tentative Deal

Digital Media Law

The Screen Actors Guild and the AMPTP (alliance representing studios and producers) reached tentative agreement on a two-year TV/theatrical contract, potentially ending a ten-month stalemate that halted production of most studio movies and put thousands of people out of work. In separate news today, the SAG and AFTRA boards meeting jointly approved the commercials contract reached April 1 with the advertising industry.

SAG 140

SAG Commercials Negotiations Process Advances

Digital Media Law

The SAG-AFTRA commercials contract seems to be suffering little of the turbulence afflicting the long-expired SAG TV/theatrical contract. So far anyway. fingers crossed.

SAG Stalemate Update

Digital Media Law

The SAG Board is meeting this weekend, and Variety suggests a proposed TV/theatrical deal might be presented to the Board then. What is known is that the SAG and AFTRA boards will spend part of the weekend meeting jointly to review the proposed commercials contract , a deal reached earlier this month between the two unions and the ad industry. In contrast, the TV/theatrical deal—even though there isn’t one—has garnered opposition.

SAG 109

SAG Lawsuit Still Grinds On; Court Denies SAG’s Motion to Dismiss Appeal

Digital Media Law

As I previously reported , SAG’s counsel in late May filed a motion to dismiss the appeal by SAG president Alan Rosenberg and three other Membership First hardliners (1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord) of a Superior Court order that denied their application for a temporary restraining order. On June 5—just days before the new TV/theatrical contracts were ratified —Rosenberg et al.

SAG 116

Hollywood Labor: SAG Source Says a Strike Unlikely, Joint SAG-AFTRA Bargaining Likely; and the Year Ahead

Digital Media Law

The source also said SAG’s upcoming January 31 national board meeting will probably feature a move towards resurrecting joint bargaining with AFTRA, adding that he/she was confident that bargaining later this year would indeed be jointly conducted. If the board does act on January 31, look for AFTRA’s board to respond at its February 27 meeting. The bargaining in question is with the AMPTP (studio alliance) regarding the TV/theatrical contract.

SAG: When Will There be a Deal?

Digital Media Law

Lately, we’ve been lost in a morass of letters from SAG board members, stars and activists … wandering through a thicket of politics … reading the offer from the AMPTP (studios)… observing meetings in LA , NY and LA again … taking note of other developments … enjoying press releases … trying to parse the issues … and wondering if SAG will strike. The national board then meets the next day. Then the new board would probably have to meet before things restart.

SAG 116

SAG Hardliners: The Trojan Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Digital Media Law

To the same end, various MF-ers, including some who supported the motion, are running in the now-in-progress AFTRA board elections, the better to dismantle AFTRA from within. SAG’s Hollywood branch, dominated by the hardline Membership First faction, has passed a motion forming a task force to explore “acquisition of actors of AFTRA,” reports SAGWatch.

SAG 116

SAG’s Strange Voyage

Digital Media Law

Last week, SAG’s Hollywood board, controlled by the hardline Membership First faction, passed a resolution establishing a task force “to explore the acquisition of actors of AFTRA.” Ratification will end an almost eleven month stalemate and restart studio theatrical production, which has been at a virtual standstill since the previous contract expired on June 30 last year. Where did the Screen Actors Guild go?

SAG 116

SAG No News Press Release

Digital Media Law

Here's the release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SCREEN ACTORS GUILD STATEMENT REGARDING NATIONAL BOARD ACTIONS OF JANUARY 26, 2009 Los Angeles (January 26, 2009) -- The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors by written assent today terminated the employment of Doug Allen and appointed former Guild general counsel David White to replace him as interim national executive director. The board further appointed longtime Guild senior advisor John T.

SAG Contract Graveyard

Digital Media Law

TV/Theatrical Agreement (expired June 30, 2008). However, no date has been set for negotiations; the expiration is approaching quickly; the ad industry has said it won’t grant another extension; and SAG staff and Board members are naturally preoccupied with the TV/Theatrical agreement. Where do SAG contracts go when they expire? Who knows, but wherever it is, it’s getting more crowded by the day. The Guild's got a lot of unfinished business, it turns out.

SAG 116

SAG Strike Authorization Ballots Delayed

Digital Media Law

This development was revealed less than two hours ago in an email from SAG National Executive Director Doug Allen to all SAG members, which also stated that an in-person SAG National Board meeting is now set for January 12-13 (all day the 12 th and part of the day the 13 th ). Re the ballots, the letter said that they would go out “immediately following this special board meeting,” which would appear to mean January 14th at the earliest.

Strike 116

SAG Letter re Force Majeure Claims

Digital Media Law

While the Guild’s intention was to settle or arbitrate these claims independently of the recent TV/Theatrical contract negotiations, beginning in April 2008, the producers insisted on including discussion of force majeure issues in the negotiations. You should note that each company has the option to “opt-out” of this settlement on a companywide basis if they do so within 30 days after ratification of the proposed TV/Theatrical agreement.

Report on SAG NY Town Hall Meeting

Digital Media Law

SAG held a town hall meeting in NY last night to provide information re the TV/theatrical contract. The Variety report notes that attendees included SAG interim NED David White, President Alan Rosenberg, MF-ers 1 st VP Anne-Marie Johnson and Scott Wilson, while supporters of the deal included Dan Lauria, Dylan Baker, SAG 2nd VP Sam Freed and board members Ralph Byers, Paul Christie, Rebecca Damon, Mike Hodge and Kevin Scullin.

SAG 109

SAG Presidential Candidate: I'll Seek Strike Authorization Next Year if Elected

Digital Media Law

She denied that, but said that union members would feel the impact of new media defects in the existing contract before the negotiations next fall, and added that she thought at least 75% of the board will support a strike authorization. In an email interview with me, Ned Vaughn, spokesman and board candidate on the moderate Unite for Strength slate, responded as follows: How we address a strike authorization depends on what we see headed into the negotiations.

Strike 139

SAG Email Imbroglio

Digital Media Law

That email reads like a dispatch from an alternate reality, starting as it does with the disingenuous complaint that fired NED Doug Allen was terminated by a written document called an assent rather than in “a face-to-face Board meeting, where the significant minority would have had an opportunity to voice its opinion.” There was a Board meeting, of course, just two weeks ago. I thank the Guild’s National Board for the confidence and trust they have placed in me on your behalf.

SAG 109

SAG/AMPTP Reach Tentative Deal

Thompson On Hollywood

It is subject to review by the SAG national board of directors at an already-scheduled meeting/video conference in LA and NY this Sunday. The Screen Actors Guild and the AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement.

AMPTP 56

SAG – Msg from New National Executive Director

Digital Media Law

In my previous tenure at the Guild, I worked alongside several elected National Boards, two presidents (current President Rosenberg and former President Melissa Gilbert) and three National Executive Directors. I thank the Guild’s National Board for the confidence and trust they have placed in me on your behalf. SAG’s new Interim National Executive Director just sent to members, and posted on SAG.org, a message setting a tone of unity and moving forward.

SAG 100

Is SAG Becoming Irrelevant?

Digital Media Law

increases per year in union TV and theatrical minimums. The blame for this situation rests largely on the shoulders of Membership First, the previously dominant hard-line faction headed by SAG President Alan Rosenberg, 1 st VP Anne-Marie Johnson, board member Kent McCord, and former board alternate David Jolliffe. The new offer might not be ratifiable, if the board even decides to send it to the members for a vote—both of those things remain to be seen.

SAG 126

Actors Commercials Negotiations Deteriorate

Digital Media Law

Though it gets less play than the stalled SAG TV/theatrical talks , SAG and AFTRA have been jointly negotiating for several weeks with the advertising industry over the commercials contract. It’s important to remember that an authorization does not automatically mean a strike, especially since the more strike-averse AFTRA is part of the mix, unlike with the SAG TV/theatrical negotiations, where the more strike-happy hardliners were unconstrained last year.)

SAG-AFTRA Ratify Advertising Agreement; SAG Townhall Features Fireworks

Digital Media Law

The news from the TV/theatrical side is nowhere near as placid. A contrasting post-meeting voice was MF stalwart and SAG board member Clancy Brown, who explained his opposition to the deal in more measured terms than Asner and Cassel had used. The day before, I spoke with 2 nd VP Sam Freed, who is president of the New York board, and separately with board member Mike Pniewski of Atlanta , both supporters of ratification.

SAG 109

SAG Awards: Impressions from the Red Carpet

Digital Media Law

Field may have had this in mind during her acceptance speech, since she made a point to mention her 45 years as an actor, her stepfather’s and mother’s careers as actors, and, indeed, her stepfather’s service on the SAG board back when Ronald Reagan was president (of the Guild, not of the country).

SAG 141

SAG: No Good Reason to Strike

Digital Media Law

12-13 SAG National Board meeting, reports the LA Times. Granting SAG leaders a strike authorization means they’ll almost certainly use it, unless the moderates on the National Board indeed try to stop them and in fact succeed in doing so. SAG Statement : “Will a SAG TV/Theatrical strike ‘shut down the Industry?’ The email goes on to say that “jobs in commercials, basic cable, video games and industrials would continue during a TV/Theatrical strike.”

Strike 126

SAG & The Studios: What Are They Fighting Over?

Digital Media Law

increases in television and theatrical minimums, and other increases that I blogged about two days ago; also, pilots are shifting dramatically to AFTRA (which does have a deal). Their economic value is dwarfed by television and theatrical production. annual increases in television and theatrical minimums. There were studio theatrical motion pictures being shot across this city and elsewhere until the SAG contract expired.

SAG 130

Entertainment Law Update Podcast Episode 045

Gordon P. Firemark

Everything we do is above board. The show was advertised as a “larger-than-life theatrical compilation of unforgettable music from the hottest new blockbusters to all-time favorite classics.”

Law 169