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.

AP tries to help grumpy, cash-strapped members

More cracks are appearing in the newspaper industry. Things have become so tough that the Associated Press has agreed to slash $9 million from its membership fees. With newspaper’s reeling from depressed advertising revenue, they are looking to save money wherever they can, and have been clamoring for a break from the AP.

PaidContent’s Staci Kramer talked to AP chief revenue officer Tom Brettigen about the cuts. Here’s what he said about how AP will make up for the drop in income.

“We have a lot to make up. We’ve been working on the revenue side; this undoubtedly is going to require some work on the cost side. For a company where the costs are primarily its people, it’s going to mean having to look at some positions.” AP already has a hiring freeze; now it’s looking at staff cuts. “It’s too early to be specific. It is a peculiar situation where we reduce the costs to the newspapers, which means we may be more than likely to make cost reductions. It will affect the news report as little as we can possibly make it.”