MediaFile

Now this is Hollywood entertainment

The divisions are deepening out in Hollywood – and we’re not talking about the standoff between the Screen Actors Guild and major studios. No, we’re talking about Tom Hanks vs Mel Gibson, George Clooney vs Martin Sheen. Actor against actor, start against star. Good stuff.

To be fair, it’s not as though they are hurling rocks at one another. But there are divisions within the ranks of the SAG over whether to authorize a strike. In a petition yesterday, 130 actors — many A-listers — sought to have the union halt the strike authorization vote. The way they see it, the economy is so bad that a strike right now would be too devastating to the industry.

Perhaps they have a point. Hollywood, after all, is still recovering from the writers’ strike. TV ratings are way down, advertising dollars are drying up and consumers are keep a close watch on their budgets. It could be a terrible time for a strike (And we should note that a strike authorization vote is different than an actual strike).

On the other hand, if the SAG fails to pass the strike authorization vote then it will find itself in a very tough negotiating position. More than likely, it would have to accept the studios’ latest offer and hope that it can achieve better terms in the next round of negotiations.

What to do? Fortunately, we don’t have to decide. But let’s hear from you, just for fun.

McCain, Obama tackle Monday Night Football

On the slim chance that this year’s political television juggernaut has not penetrated the homes of devout sports fans, the campaign trail will lead Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama to ESPN’s Monday Night Football just hours before next week’s presidential election.

In pretaped interviews set to air during halftime of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Washington Redskins game, Obama and McCain will face probing questions from ESPN anchor Chris Berman about — sports.

“We are obviously primarily a sports network so the questions you are going to get here are going to be different than you would get with ABC News,” says ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer.

Who says the economy is killing advertising?

dollars.jpgQuarterly results arrived today from Interpublic Group and Publicis. Guess what? Advertising spending held up in the second quarter, at least for the two ad companies.

You would think — given all the doom and gloom — that corporations would have sharply cut back on spending in the second quarter. Indeed, just about every expert out there has cut spending forecasts.

Yet Interpublic, home of DraftFCB and McCann-Erickson, posted revenue that raced right past expectations and said it was well on the way to achieving its goals for the year.