L.A. Mayor Praises “Dear Friend” Tom Sherak In State Of The City Speech

garcetti april 10 speechThe city’s first Film Czar was praised by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today in his inaugural State of the City address. “With the help of my dear friend the late Tom Sherak and Ken Ziffren, who’s continued the … Read More »

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LA Mayor & Film Czar Pitch Les Moonves On Moving Post-Letterman ‘Late Show’ West

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 6:17pm PDT

TCA Summer Press Tour 2013EXCLUSIVE: Will Les Moonves have to install a party line? One day after getting a call from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the CBS boss to keep Late Show in the City That Never Sleeps after David Letterman steps down next year, I’ve learned that Moonves got a call today from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Film Czar Ken Ziffren imploring him to bring the late-night franchise to the West Coast. The three spoke this afternoon, I’m told.

Related: NYC Mayor Called Les Moonves Directly To Keep Post-Letterman ‘Late Show’ In Big Apple

Of course, this isn’t the first time Garcetti has tried to persuade Moonves to put the City of Angels in his late-night President Obama Announces First Five "Promise Zones" To Battle PovertyKen Ziffren1future. On the day Letterman announced that he would be retiring in 2015, the SAG-AFTRA card-carrying mayor wrote to the CBS chief on the matter of Letterman’s successor and where that show would be located. “I am excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS’ next late-night show to our city — the entertainment capital of the world,” Garcetti wrote to Moonves on April 3.

Related: David Letterman Through The Years: Video

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LA Mayor Urges CBS To Bring Letterman Successor’s Show To West Coast

President Obama Announces First Five "Promise Zones" To Battle PovertyBurbank may have recently lost NBC’s The Tonight Show to NYC after 40 years, but LA’s mayor now wants CBS to make the City of Angels the home of the replacement to Late Show With David Letterman. In a letter today to CBS boss Les Moonves after David Letterman announced that he will retire next year, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged him “to bring CBS’ next late night show to our city.” With shows and features deserting LA in droves in the past decade, Garcetti has made stabilizing and increasing film & TV production in the city a TCA Summer Press Tour 2013top priority for his still fairly new administration. The mayor created a Film Czar office and has been advocating an expansion of California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program. Having said that, LA still has some late-night skin in the game with Letterman’s lead-out Craig Ferguson, Conan O’Brien’s TBS show, Arsenio Hall, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, but getting CBS to set down more post-primetime roots here would be a real though unlikely coup for the city post-Letterman. Here is Garcetti’s full letter to Moonves:

Related:
L.A. Mayor, Production Alliance Cheer New Film/TV Tax Credit Legislation
Watch David Letterman Announce His Retirement
David Letterman Through The Years: Video

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L.A. Mayor & Production Alliance Applaud New Film/TV Tax Credit Legislation

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 11:42am PST

Related: California Pols Unveiling Bill Today To Expand Film & TV Tax Credit Program

cali film tv logoJust hours after a new multi-sponsored bill to expand California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was introduced today in Sacramento both … Read More »

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UPDATE: It’s Official – Lawyer Ken Ziffren Named New LA Film Czar

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 1:13pm PST

UPDATE, 1:13 PM: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti today made official what I exclusively revealed Saturday to Deadline readers: Hollywood heavyweight attorney Ken Ziffren will be the head of the City of LA’s Entertainment Industry and Production office. The card-carrying SAG-AFTRA member Garcetti said that Ziffren will be “a powerful leader in our fight against other states that are taking our jobs, and he will be aggressive about streamlining government so red tape doesn’t contribute to driving production away.” Ziffren takes over from former AMPAS president and studio exec Tom Sherak. who died January 28. See today’s full release below the original story.

Related: R.I.P. Tom Sherak

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, SATURDAY PM: Los Angeles is about to get its second Film Czar. Mayor Eric Garcetti has decided on Ken Ziffren for the job he created last fall and the powerhouse entertainment attorney has accepted the gig, I’ve learned.  Ziffren will step into the position vacated by the death of the city’s first Film Czar Tom Sherak. The former AMPAS president and studio exec passed away from cancer on January 28. A formal announcement of Ziffren’s appointment to head the Entertainment Industry and Production office is expected to come from the Mayor’s office early next week, sources tell me.
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LA Mayor Promises To “Storm” Sacramento To Increase State Film/TV Tax Credit

Eric Garcetti said today at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s second annual State of the Industry Conference that he is serious about getting state politicians to expand California’s $100 million annual Film/TV Tax Credit program. “We are going to go to Sacramento and storm that place like you’ve never seen before,” L.A.’s mayor said. In place since 2009, the current program “should be expanded because it makes good business sense,” he added. Garcetti also told the crowd that he wanted to launch a campaign to show people how production in LA benefits all businesses in the city. His remarks came after various speakers from both the industry and Sacramento criticized the current $100 million annual lottery system program as unstable, unrealistic and providing too little money. 

Related: Paramount Exec Blasts State’s “Incremental” Tax Credit Program

“We can reverse this,” said LA Film Czar Tom Sherak today of runaway production after being introduced by the mayor. “Can we reverse it 100%? No, but we can reverse some production from going to other states, other cities and other countries,” he added. While offering no specifics, the former AMPAS President stressed — as he has before — that the heart of his argument is middle-class jobs.
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Film Czar Tom Sherak: Plan To Boost LA Production Coming By Early 2014

In his first civic event since being named LA’s Film Czar last month, Tom Sherak today said he intends to have a plan to increase production in the city around the beginning of … Read More »

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City Council Passes Measure To Waive Fees On TV Pilots Filmed In Los Angeles

By | Tuesday October 15, 2013 @ 9:32pm PDT

Think Mayor Eric Garcetti‘s going to sign this legislation? Hint: He co-authored it. The LA City Council voted unanimously today to approve the final version of a measure aimed at luring more TV pilots to the city. … Read More »

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Tom Sherak Named As LA Film Czar By Mayor

By | Thursday September 26, 2013 @ 10:07am PDT

BREAKING… The former AMPAS President today was appointed to the new LA Film Czar post by Mayor Eric Garcetti. The announcement of Tom Sherak‘s immediate appointment to the $1 a year position comes close to the 100 … Read More »

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Comcast Entertainment Group Defends Its Position On Writers Unionization Efforts

Nellie Andreeva

For the past couple of months, Comcast has been embroiled into a standoff with the WGA over efforts by writers on shows for Comcast Entertainment Group’s E!, Style and G4 networks to get union coverage. The war of words between the two sides, in which  the WGA had  accused Comcast of sabotaging its employees’ attempts to go union and Comcast had insisted that the WGA followed the lengthy NLRB procedure, escalated on Tuesday when the WGA announced that Comcast writers had voted overwhelmingly for WGA representation in a secret ballot election monitored and certified by the office of L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti. Moments later, Comcast dismissed the vote as a “non-binding poll.” This afternoon, Comcast Entertainment Group brass sent out a company-wide e-mail explaining its position on the matter. Here it is

Recently, there has been a lot said surrounding the Writer’s Guild of America West’s desire to represent the writers on some of the shows which air on E!, Style and G4.   We wanted you to hear directly from your leadership team on this.

Let’s begin with a simple fact. The company respects the rights of our employees to decide if they wish to be represented by a union or not. For 75 years, the process of union representation has been handled by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is an independent federal agency created to safeguard employees’ rights to organize. The NLRB provides a process and determines which employees are in a voting unit and how many units may be within a company. The NLRB then also oversees the secret ballot election.  We support this process as it is the one way to guarantee fairness. You should know that over the years, the WGA has relied on the NLRB process in its organizing activities.  In fact, last year, the WGA West filed three petitions for elections with the NLRB.  We have urged the WGA West to file a petition with the NLRB so that a binding secret ballot election, overseen by the NLRB, can take place.  The WGA West has refused to do this and instead has demanded that E!, Style and G4 immediately recognize the WGAW as the representative of our writers.

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UPDATE: Comcast TV Writers Vote For WGA Coverage: But Comcast Dismisses The Vote

Nellie Andreeva

Not so fast! Shortly after the L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti announced that the writers on shows for the Comcast Entertainment Networks have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a WGA representation, Comcast struck back, dismissing the vote as a “non-binding poll” and asking again for a NLRB-sanctioned election, which is a lengthy procedure.

Yesterday the WGAW conducted a non-binding poll with some of our employees purporting that it was an “election,” and this morning L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti announced the results.  We want to make it very clear to our employees, the press and the interested public that union elections are governed by federal law, and overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, the government agency officially charged with such oversight for the past 75 years.  This was not an NLRB-sanctioned election and has no binding effect.  This non-binding poll was in direct conflict with the NLRB-sanctioned process for union organizing which ensures that all eligible employees are permitted to vote on such an important matter as union representation.

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Comcast Entertainment Writers Voted Today Whether To Unionize And Join WGAW: Results Announced Wednesday

Comcast vs WGA: Latest Guild Battleground

LA City Council President Eric Garcetti tomorrow will announce the results of a “secret ballot union representation election” conducted for writers on Comcast’s E!, Style, … Read More »

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