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Columnist Recalls Good Old CAA Media Leak Days

Patrick Goldstein has an interesting take on the current media fascination with the astronomical free agent salary deals landed by Major League Baseball stars Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.

He suggests that just as the DVD boom once fueled the headline-grabbing paydays of Hollywood A-listers, billion-dollar media rights deals for MLB teams are now powering a similar inflationary curve on the baseball diamond. This shift has also taken out a once common top-tier talent agency tactic:

CAA was famous for leaking its star salary numbers in the ’90s, and every dazzling new salary breakthrough sent a telling message to stars signed to a rival agency–why isn’t your agent raking in all that moolah for you? When salaries are in decline, as they are now, you rarely see the likes of Kevin Huvane or Ari Emanuel feeding any information to the press, as today’s salary news only offers another instance of the scaling down of A-list actors’ earning power.

In the article comments, reader Brion Rockwell adds a very valid point to Goldstein’s piece. He notes that “Hollywood hasn’t found a way to blackmail cities into subsidizing their movie theaters, while professional sports stadiums are pretty close to 100% backed by tax dollars.”

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