[opendtv] News: SAG, WGA Lodge Complaints at FCC Hearing
- From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 10:33:51 -0400
SAG, WGA Lodge Complaints at FCC Hearing
By Jim Benson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/3/2006 9:39:00 PM
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) complained to FCC commissioners
attending media consolidation hearings in Los Angeles Tuesday that
"salary compression" by the networks has harmed mid-level actors'
abilities to make a living.
"We find the continued consolation of media companies has drastically
limited our ability to individually bargain our personal services
agreements," said Anne-Marie Johnson, first national VP of SAG.
"Every working actor has a quote, the amount of money you get for a
guest staring role. It's each actor's market value. There is no such
thing as getting your quote anymore. Like the oligarchy that they
are, the networks decide what the top-of-show rates are, in a
parallel practice. Some networks will even tell you they only pay 50%
of the going rate. Take it or leave it."
Johnson was one of a chorus of voices from union leaders, independent
producers and community activists attending two open FCC hearings.
They urged the FCC to tighten ownership regulations, or at least
restrict the further loosening of them.
In her testimony, Johnson also questioned whether newscasts on
stations owned by the media companies would cover the positions of
both sides should the unions wage an entertainment industry strike.
She asked, "If Screen Actors Guild is involved in a labor dispute
with the networks, and I certainly hope we aren't, whose story will
be told over the airwaves? Will the 6 o'clock news include our
perspective, or that of those who have an economic stake in seeing us
Patric Verrone, president of the 7,500-member Writers Guild of
America, west (WGAw),
cited figures showing that 20 years ago, there were 29 dominant
entertainment firms with $100 billion in annual revenues. Today, he
said, there are six "making nearly $400 billion."
Over the past 15 years, according to Verrone, media firms have gone
from controlling less than a third of employment for writers to more
than 80% now. But he said there has been only a "modest" increase in
employment for broadcast employees at these conglomerates, since most
of their growth has come from expansion into other media such as
cable, publishing, print and the Web.
Verrone blamed consolidation for reducing "the range of perspectives
and life experiences reflected in the media," and for tighter
production budgets that have led to "smaller writing staffs, lower
earnings and shorter careers."
- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org
You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:
- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word
unsubscribe in the subject line.
Other related posts: