Friday, July 18, 2008
Friday, 18 July 2008
Consider the following:
At a time when the nation’s financial institutions are teetering on the brink of collapse, a major talent guild in Hollywood is threatening a strike.
Is this real or is this science fiction?
Facing a black hole in the economy, the moment has clearly arrived when management and the Screen Actors Guild must sign off on a new contract and the town must try to get back to normal.
Equally important, the mega-companies that own Hollywood along with the talent guilds must figure to how to conduct a productive dialogue so that the traumas of the past year will not be revisited in the future.
The downside is that the guilds will be further radicalized and that meaningful negotiation will be even more incendiary.
Just as the nation’s economy is in turmoil, so Hollywood’s economy, too, has gone through a disastrous period.
Despite the spin, the basic reality of the writers strike is that both sides lost.
Here was a perfect model of the wrong negotiation at the wrong time.
There was a period not that long ago, when labor and management identified key issues and started negotiations a year in advance amid a cone of silence.
There were real talks, not rhetoric.
This year the two sides have been posturing, not negotiating, and the net result is the present stalemate.
The studios are sitting down with SAG this afternoon in an off-the-record session that more reflects the practices of the past.
The obvious question is this:
Will the companies throw a bone to SAG to facilitate a compromise?
Or at the very least, by agreeing to submit the deal to SAG membership, the guild could realize the retroactivity clauses offered by management (that deadline is August 15).
At stake is a potential end to the present de facto strike.
Having faced earlier disruption, the TV business is regaining its momentum while the feature business still struggles.
Unemployment is rife and, given the dire state of the economy, Hollywood faces stressful times.
Hollywood’s success traditionally has depended on a unique partnership between the numbers guys and the talent guys.
That sense of collaboration must be restored.
For that to happen, both sides must “get real” at the bargaining table this week.
Judging by today's terse announcement, it is clear that this is not happening.
Katy Perry Starts Fourth Week Atop Hot 100
July 17, 2008 ,
10:35 AM ET
Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" is further cementing itself as one of the biggest songs of the summer, entering a fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The next closest challengers remain Rihanna's "Take a Bow" and Lil Wayne's "Lollipop," which hold at No. 2 and 3, respectively.Chris Brown's "Forever" jumps 6-4 and is the top digital gainer after selling 87,000 downloads.
Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" is down 4-5,
while Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine" climbs 7-6 and
Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" slides 5-7.
Lil Wayne's "A Milli" rises 11-8, while Miley Cyrus' "7 Things" jumps 10-9, switching places with Plies' "Bust It Baby Pt. 2" featuring Ne-Yo.
Jesse McCartney's "Leavin'" is the top airplay gainer and enjoys a 13-11 shift;
the track also moves 2-1 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart, the artist's first chart-topper there.
The Hot 100's top debut is Toby Keith's "She Never Cried in Front of Me" at No. 72, thanks to early airplay and digital sales of 24,000 copies.
The song also jumps 34-26 on Hot Country Songs, where Blake Shelton's "Home" is No. 1 for a second week.
Keyshia Cole's "Heaven Sent" is No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for a fifth week.
The chart's top new entry comes from T-Pain's "Can't Believe It" featuring Lil Wayne at No. 71.
Billboard's rock charts remain unchanged at the top for an eleventh week, with Weezer's "Pork and Beans" at No. 1 on Modern Rock and Disturbed's "Inside the Fire" leading Mainstream Rock.
On the latter tally, Hinder has the top debut at No. 36 with "Use Me."