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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SAG Executive Director Doug Allen Fired. Now What?

Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Executive Director Doug Allen, far left, was fired on Tuesday. He was the chief architect and negotiator of its hard-line approach to labor negotiations. How will his firing affect the proposed strike? Alan Rosenberg, left, the guild’s president has no plans to resign or even back down, despite being weakened. When the SAG board fired Allen, they stripped Mr. Rosenberg of his authority to speak to the press on behalf of the guild. Mr. Rosenberg's term expires in September.

David White, right, former SAG general counsel, has been installed as interim executive director and John McGuire, left, is taking Allen’s place at the negotiating table. Mr. McGuire is the consummate insider, participating in or leading more than 30 contract negotiations in his 40 years with the guild.

Doug Allen was an outsider and came to SAG from the National Football League Players Association in 2006. It is speculated that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will make some concessions to speed the process and to make Mr. Allen look bad. Producers are not expected to budge on compensation for online productions — a major demand of Mr. Allen’s — but they may yield on actor compensation. AMPTP negotiates on behalf of studios, declined to comment. (The New York Times, 1/27/09)
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