By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Meanwhile, LLP security people videotape the IATSE picketers. “Larry has been taking photos and video as well to identify the picketers so that he can continue in his unfair labor practice of discriminating in future hiring based on his employees’ desire to join a union,” a IATSE e-mail alert claims. The locals also are picketing Larry Levinson Productions offices in L.A. The union is trying to pressure NBC not to purchase LLP product.
By the second week of the strike, IATSE Hollywood locals 728, 600, 80, 399, 40, 44, 700 and 705, representing below-the-liners from cinematographers and sound engineers to film editors, were picketing. There has been no solidarity expressed by either the AMPTP-compliant DGA or the SAG National Majority–controlled Screen Actors Guild. In fact, picketers have identified the smiling stepsons of former SAG president (and SAG National Majority supporter) Melissa Gilbert; the young men break the line daily to go to their sound jobs at LLP.
I received word that editor in chief Peter Bart was being moved aside at Variety after 20 years. Tim Gray retains his title as Variety editor and from now on reports to Variety group publisher Neil Stiles. Bart will report to Reed Business Information CEO Tad Smith, who isn’t involved in the day to day of the Variety Group. “Peter will probably try to give advice and stuff, but ultimately it’s Tim’s decision from now on,” one insider tells me. Smith is expert at dealing with problems, and this was his solution to The Bart Problem.
Bart is an old-school holdout for the view that Variety must remain a print publication, while others want to move the trade into the digital era because of eroding advertising. As one movie bigwig e-mailed me, “Are the trades a public-service play for Hollywood?” Neither Daily Variety nor Hollywood Reporter “has more than a quarter-page paid ad today. How do they survive?”
Bart’s new title is “vice president and editorial director of Variety,” but he’s been pushed “essentially up and out” of the newsroom, as one of my sources puts it. He’ll be allowed to continue as the “face” of Variety in public. His column and blog will continue. But Hollywood can now safely ignore him.
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