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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Handel’

SAG Pension and Health Plans React to Deadline.com Bombshells

With an informational meeting about the pending SAG-AFTRA merger set for what is forecast to be a rain-soaked weekend, a separate media storm has come the union’s way courtesy of Nikki Finke.

Under the shocking headline “EXCLUSIVE: Feds Investigating SAG P&H Plan Embezzlements And Cover-Ups Allegations,” Finke yesterday afternoon outlined details of a possible embezzlement scandal. Her sources indicated that testimony delivered late last year at the Federal Building in Westwood by former fund exec Craig E. Simmons was the spark that lit this fuse.

In an attempt to mitigate the fallout from Finke’s reports (another was published Tuesday), the fund released a statement to the media today, first tipped to Hollywood Reporter legal correspondent Jonathan Handel. The statement has also been provided to FishbowlLA and can be read in full at the bottom of this article.

Although the Producers Plans statement does not explicitly name Deadline.com as the offending outlet, it’s clearly who they are talking about. Included in Finke’s sensational report are a pair of PDF-ed letters from Simmons.

Here’s the media statement from SAG-PPHP:

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Josh Dickey Steals LA Press Club Show

Although Variety‘s Andrew Stewart was unable to attend the Thursday, November 11th Los Angeles Press Club panel discussion examining the challenging future of entertainment trade reporting, that still left Gregg Kilday of The Hollywood Reporter, Bob Tourtellotte from Reuters, Andrew Hampp of Ad Age and The Wrap’s Josh Dickey (pictured), subbing for a screening-diverted Sharon Waxman.

During a 90-minute discussion moderated by NPR contributor Anthea Raymond, each panelist made fine observations about the current state of the Hollywood and Madison Ave. trade nation, touching on everything from the broad re-purposing of an Us Weekly story about Beyonce being pregnant (she wasn’t) to the Mad Hatter beats of Twitter feeds.

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Where’s The News? L.A. Times Buries SAG Strike Vote Story.

ditchdig.jpgAn angry reader tipped us off to this: “SAG strike vote. Pretty big news, right? Not on the LAT’s home page. Buried in entertainment. It’s like they want to go under.”

(Actually, we found the story in business.)

For more, check out Jonathan Handel‘s take.

No SAG Deal Until January? Hear For Yourself.

105dd47.jpgJonathan Handel does “the math” — which is good, because math is hard — and determines that Hollywood won’t see a contract until 2009.

A sample:

1. If Membership First wins the election overwhelmingly, and if SAG members overwhelmingly vote in the SAG survey (a push-poll, designed to influence people’s votes) to have the Guild continue pushing hard for a better deal (i.e., 85% or more affirmative, and a good turnout), then MF will be emboldened to call for a strike authorization vote. If that vote achieves the requisite 75% approval level (a high level, which is why it might take as much as 85% affirmative on the poll, particularly given SAG’s embarrassing failure to defeat the AFTRA deal), then SAG will have gained significant leverage against the studios. All of these conditions have to apply.

QED

In the wake of his online video interviews with reps from Membership First and United for Strength, Jonathan tells us he’ll be interviewing independent candidates this week:

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Friction Among SAG Factions

vdfasdf4.jpgA new SAG slate, called United for Strength, wants to unseat the guild’s Membership First faction, make a deal with the studios, and merge SAG and AFTRA. Jonathan Handel examines the implications of what a United for Strength win could mean.

Cut! Can Directors Save Hollywood?

jhandeldlkf.jpgJonathan Handel, a digital media attorney and former associate counsel at the Writers Guild of America opines that the fate of Hollywood might (and should) fall on the shoulders of the Directors Guild of America, which began labor negotiations on Saturday.

“The directors have to insist on a deal that the writers and actors can live with, even to the point of threatening a strike of their own. That’s a tough script to follow: It’s hard to negotiate on someone else’s behalf, and strikes are alien to the directors (they’ve only walked out once in seven decades, and that was for just five minutes).

But if the DGA negotiators pull it off, pieces start to fall into place. A good directors deal gives the writers and studios incentive to restart their own talks, which ended five weeks ago when the studios walked out. They could then close a deal on new media on the same terms as the directors, ending the strike. SAG would presumably do a similar deal, without ever striking.”

WGA 07 Strike Week 4: Blogging Verboten for Striking Writers

10547.jpgJonathan Handel at Digital Media Law examines whether striking TV writers can continue to write their shows’ blogs. The short answer: No. The long answer … well, you can read it yourself.