Monday, January 26, 2009

SAG No News Press Release

SAG's out with a press release confirming what was first reported about 10 hours ago ... though in fairness, they've had a rough day over there in the SAG Communications department. The press release also gives short bios of the two new highly-qualified people stepping in to right the ship, David White as interim NED and John McGuire as Chief Negotiator.

Here's the release:



Los Angeles (January 26, 2009) -- The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors by written assent today terminated the employment of Doug Allen and appointed former Guild general counsel David White to replace him as interim national executive director. The board further appointed longtime Guild senior advisor John T. McGuire as chief negotiator.

The board also disbanded the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee and directed that it be replaced with a Taskforce directed to complete these negotiations on behalf of the board of directors.

All actions are effective immediately.

The assent was received and verified by Guild legal counsel and Screen Actors Guild’s outside counsel.

White has assumed his role as interim national executive director and will work from the Guild’s national headquarters office in Los Angeles beginning Tuesday, January 27, 2009.

“This is a difficult time for Screen Actors Guild and a particularly challenging period for working actors,” said White. “I am deeply committed to the Guild and its members and I believe that, working with the national board, we can help guide this transition.”

“I look forward to working closely with this talented and dedicated staff, many of whom I know well from my years as the Guild’s general counsel,” he added.

During his tenure as Screen Actors Guild’s general counsel, White directed the organization’s legal and governance staff and played a central role in the Guild’s contract negotiations and strategic planning efforts. He later co-founded and served as the managing principal of the consulting firm Entertainment Strategies Group (ESG). A graduate of Stanford Law School and a Rhodes Scholar, White was previously a labor and employment attorney at the Los Angeles firm of O’Melveny & Myers.

He has consulted for Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and a variety of urban development projects in the United States, England and South Africa. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Grinnell College and is the former co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Sports & Entertainment Labor Law Standing Committee. He also serves as a Mayoral-appointed commissioner of Los Angeles for urban area planning and development.

John T. McGuire is currently the Guild’s senior advisor. During his nearly 40 years with the union, he participated in or led more than 30 contract negotiations covering actors. From 1983 to 2001, he was Screen Actors Guild’s associate national executive director, the second highest ranking executive position. Prior to 1983 he served as the New York executive director.

McGuire graduated from Fordham College with a B.A. degree in History and from Fordham Law School with a J.D. degree in law. He has represented the union internationally at meetings with performer organizations around the world. He serves as a trustee of the SAG-Producers Pension & Health Plans, as well as vice president and founding director of the American Museum of the Moving Image, president of the Council of Motion Picture & Television Unions of New York City, secretary of the Motion Picture Players Welfare Fun and as a trustee of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. He is a member of the board of the Industry Advancement & Cooperative Fund and is vice president of the International Federation of Actors.

Guild senior executives issued an email reminding Guild employees to continue to pursue the organization’s core mission of serving and protecting the interests of Screen Actors Guild members.

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