The long-running legal battle between the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions over who controls TV rights to the Golden Globes is over. While seemingly impossible to imagine after all the rancor between the two sides, they have reached a confidential agreement that will see the Guggenheim Partners-owned dcp continuing to produce the annual awards for broadcast on NBC until 2018, sources confirm. This comes four years after the HFPA first filed, and dozens of courts dates, hundreds of filings, an early 2012 trial that saw the HFPA lose its case against dcp, and an appeals hearing last month that still hadn’t issued a ruling. During the legal battle, the HFPA and dcp had a shotgun marriage to keep producing the awards show.
The heart of the HFPA’s contention was that a 1993 extension of its deal with dcp was invalid. The agreement said that the production company, which was sold by then-owners Red Zone in the fall of 2012, had “the exclusive right to produce a live television broadcast for each of the years 1998 through and including 2005, and for any extensions, renewals, substitutions or modifications of the NBC agreement.” Federal judge Judge Howard A. Matz agreed. He also made a point of citing the disorganization among the HFPA leadership over the years. To that end, the two-week non-jury trial saw a series of past and current HFPA presidents and dcp executives take the stand. Dick Clark, now deceased, did not appear, but CBS … Read More »
Theo Kingma was re-elected president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for 2014-2015 at the Golden Globe org’s annual election meeting today. Kingma will be joined with Lorenzo Soria, Lilly Liu and Meher Tatna, who were also re-elected as VP, executive secretary and treasurer, respectively. The board of directors are Ali Sar, Anke Hoffmann, Helen Hoehn, Jorge Camara and Yoram Kahana and alternate board member Luca Celada.
EXCLUSIVE: After extreme pressure from other members over his memoir Signs And Wonders, four-term Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk has taken a six month leave of absence from the organization that is behind the Golden Globes. This happened last Friday, a compromise resolution to a problem that has been in the air since Berk published a book that covered his early days and especially the back and forth between HFPA members and celebrities involved in the Globes. Insiders said that the feeling among HFPA members was that Berk blindsided them with his book, took shots at them and a lot of Hollywood celebrities, and also took way too much credit for the success of the Globes. Perfectly positioned to be a tool during Oscar campaigns, the Globes has grown in prominence and TV ratings, even as some questioned whether the voting body has a right to wield such clout.
The leave of absence means that Berk loses his HFPA credentials for that long, though he can certainly go see movies on his own. The move was a compromise reached with current HFPA president Theo Kingma, who resisted calls for Berk to be given greater punishment. In addition to the leave of absence, Berk has been asked by Kingma to have the book de-listed from Amazon, which is selling it. The HFPA will get into this further, engaging with the publisher tomorrow.
“He wasn’t suspended, there was no vote by the members, because this is a journalist organization that respects the First Amendment,” said an insider. “Unfortunately, free speech covers stupid speech too.” Read More »
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and dick clark productions said they will air the 72nd Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 11, 2015, and confirmed that hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will return for a third year in a row. NBC will air the ceremony live on both coasts (5 PM PT/8 PM ET) from the Beverly Hilton.
In October, Fey and Poehler inked a two-year deal to host the 2014 and 2015 Globes after their first turn in January 2013 drew strong critical praise and more importantly 19.7 million viewers, a 17% bump over the year before. Last month, Fey and Poehler returned and the broadcast did even better, drawing 20.9 million viewers (the biggest audience since 2004) and a 6.5 rating (a seven-year high).
The 2015 date was set without mention of the pending lawsuit between the HFPA and dcp. Both sides are awaiting a ruling on the appeal of aspects of the press group’s unsuccessful 2012 suit over who owns the lucrative TV rights to the ceremony. Once that’s ruling comes down, a new phase of the case will begin that challenges digital rights, pre-show rights and dcp’s accounting methods.
EXCLUSIVE: Last week, we scooped that Woody Allen would not attend the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12 where he will be the recipient of the 2014 Cecil B. DeMille Award. Now we can reveal that his longtime friend and muse Diane Keaton will accept the award on his behalf. I have learned that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made the decision to honor Allen with the knowledge that the Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning filmmaker would not attend. Keaton was then approached about receiving the award on his behalf. Keaton and Allen met in 1968 when she auditioned and was cast in his Broadway play, Play It Again, Sam. They were a couple for 5 years and are still very good friends today. Keaton appeared in eight Allen films spanning two decades, winning an Oscar and Golden Globe for 1976′s Annie Hall.
Allen is notorious about shunning awards shows. He wasn’t present to receive any of his four Oscars out of 23 nominations and has shied away from the Golden Globes despite 13 nominations and two wins. In fact, the only awards show he ever attended was the 2002 Academy Awards as an ambassador of New York, thanking Hollywood for its support of his beloved city post-9/11. “There is no one more worthy of this … Read More »
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its former publicist Michael Russell have ended at least one portion of their on-going legal wars. The parties came to a settlement last week in Russell’s $2 million breach of contract and fraud suit against the HFPA. The agreement was reached in a conference in LA Superior Court on February 11. No details of the deal were disclosed nor whether it also ended the HFPA’s own suit against Russell and his partner Stephen Locascio for violating a confidentiality agreement with the Golden Globes presenting organization. Russell sued the HFPA in January 2011 just days before that year’s Globes after the group did not renew his contract. Russell alleged in his suit that the HFPA “abuse their positions and engage in unethical and potentially unlawful deals and arrangements which amount to a payola scheme.” Russell says he was fired in March 2010 after bringing up the issue to then HFPA President Phil Berk. The charges from Russell, who had been the group’s PR guy for 17 years, could have had serious implications for the credibility challenged group’s tax-exempt status if proven, but that won’t be a problem now with this settlement. The HFPA is still engaged in a courtroom turf war with dick clark productions over who controls the TV rights to the Globes. A … Read More »
Deadline is, only for informational purposes, posting the 2013 Golden Globes nominations held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with winners to be broadcast live on NBC on January 13th. I refuse to treat these nominations with any seriousness. And if you don’t want that, then for crissakes stop reading me. True, my Deadline colleagues will analyze today’s nominations. But that’s because they choose to. I won’t. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a completely meaningless awards show from a scandal-riddled organization aired by a production company desperate for money on a network praying for ratings. That’s why I opt out of analyzing the nominations every year: because the Golden Globes have zero integrity. Studios and networks who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations. Actors win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. By splitting dramas and comedies/musicals, and including movie and television categories on the same night, more star wattage can goose the Nielsens. And even though the entire entertainment industry ridicules the awards, it props them up because they’re a useful marketing tool for the studios and networks. Let’s not forget the year that host Ricky Gervais couldn’t resist openly loathing the HFPA and its tarnished reputation from the podium. (“I’d like to quash this ridiculous rumor going round that the only reason [The Tourist] was nominated was so the Hollywood Foreign Press could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angeline Jolie. That is rubbish. That is not the only reason. They also accepted bribes.”) At least it was a rare injection of honesty into the night.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association isn’t as advertised. It’s actually a small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists at the prestige media outlets across the world. The HFPA clique doesn’t want to dilute the financial bonanza it receives from the studios and networks who arrange exclusive interviews about each year’s movies and TV shows. Not only have legitimate journalists for years been attacking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its exclusionary membership policies and too-cozy relationship with studios and networks. But an Oscar-winning documentary director (Vikram Jayanti, in his 2004 film The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret) has called the group a bunch of “freeloaders” who know more about hors d’oeuvres than auteurs and select winners based on “who kisses butt best”. The HFPA was even accused in a lawsuit filed by its former publicist of accepting “payola” — like taking lavish gifts from studios in exchange for nominations — and other questionable business practices. This and other lawsuits have laid bare many of the dirty little secrets behind the Golden Globes and its largely ludicrous gang of organizers. Read More »
The Hollywood Foreign Press is bestowing its lifetime achievement award on actor-director-producer Jodie Foster and will present it at the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards on January 13. The announcement was made this morning in a ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The two-time Globe winner (best actress drama wins for Silence Of The Lambs and The Accused) and five-time nominee most recently was nominated for last year’s Carnage, and she last directed The Beaver starring Mel Gibson, but her career in Hollywood began in commercials at age 3 and now includes producing. Chosen by the HFPA Board of Directors, the award is given annually recognizing a person’s impact on the world of entertainment. Morgan Freeman won last year.
The TV community knows that CBS Corp President and CEO Les Moonves wants to broadcast the Golden Globes. But a judge this summer ruled that the Globes broadcast rights are controlled by Dick Clark Productions which is contracted with NBC until 2018. It now appears Moonves is taking another tack. According to Reuters, CBS is considering a bid for DCP owned by Red Zone Capital. Some 17 potential buyers received DCP’s financial info from The Raine Group, which is handling the sales process, Reuters said. It reports now 4 to 6 bidders, including CBS, have moved on to a second round of bidding. DCP CEO Mark Shapiro and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, chairman of DCP, are asking $350 million.
Previously reported bidders include Ryan Seacrest and Miramax owner Colony Capital, private equity firm Guggenheim Partners. Also Core Media Group which holds the rights to the Elvis Presley brand and produces American Idol hosted by Seacrest. DCP also produces the American Music Awards, the Miss Universe Pageant, the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcast, and the Fox TV show So You Think You can Dance. CBS considered bidding for the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, Moonves has acknowledged. Moonves also was deposed for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s court case against DCP. CBS also owns the rights to the Grammy Awards and The People’s Choice Awards.
“I’m here to get nominated,” laughed Dustin Hoffman (who is making his directorial debut at age 75 with the 2012 Weinstein release, Quartet) as he took the stage at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual lunch to present grants to non-profit entertainment related organizations and scholarship programs. It was meant as a joke but clearly there is some truth to it, as this luncheon, held today at the Beverly Hills Hotel, often draws a lot of awards hopefuls to accept the generous grants in front of virtually the entire HFPA membership. If you’re a film or TV contender it certainly doesn’t hurt to be seen in this room. Awards consultants and PR Execs eagerly cooperate with the HFPA to get a strong turnout of contenders at this early pre-season kickoff to yet another awards race. Among the many PR types present you heard the same phrase over and over, “well here we go again”.
Among those presenting the total of more than $1.2 million to some 40 organizations today in addition to Hoffman were Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), John Travolta (Savages), Don Johnson and Kerry Washington (Django Unchained), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games), Jack Black (Bernie), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Kelsey Grammer (Boss) and Carla Gugino (Political Animals). Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) opened the proceedings for the Foreign Press group by joking that ”the 40 grants are as diverse as the people sitting in this audience today”. Read More »
As expected, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association tonight filed a motion seeking an immediate appeal in the Golden Globes case. The motion (Read it here) derives from April 30 when the HFPA lost to Dick Clark Productions over who owns the TV rights to the annual award show. After a two-week trial, that concluded on February 10, Judge Howard Matz agreed with dcp’s lawyers that a 1993 perpetuity amendment between the HFPA and dcp gave the Red Zone Capitol-owned company the right to make a $150 million 2010 deal with NBC that will keep the Golden Globes on the network until 2018. Today’s appeal took aim at the notion that there could be a conducive relationship between the two parties after the rancor of the trial and 2010 NBC deal that lead to it. “There is no assurance that HFPA’s members will be able to cooperate with dcp on future Golden Globe Awards Shows, given dcp’s deceitful and devious conduct towards its supposed ‘partner,’” HFPA lawyers said in the motion. The appeal motion also made direct reference to dcp’s announcement yesterday that it was hiring the Raine Group investment bank to entertain potential purchase offers. “Even assuming a sale were permitted under the operative agreements, HFPA would be forced to cooperate, possibly forever, with some unknown company with whom HFPA never dreamed of being ‘partners.’” The Globes have been on NBC since 1996. Dick Clark Productions was retained by … Read More »
Dick Clark Productions is exploring a potential sale, the New York Times reports. DCP, which recently won a court fight that secured its position as producer of the Golden Globes Awards show, has retained the Raine Group investment bank, sources told DealBook. Potential buyers may include Chinese media companies and private equity firms. A sale could yield big returns for DCP’s current proprietor, Washington Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder’s Red Zone Capital. “We have regularly received inbound interest in DCP over the last few years,” the company said in a statement confirming that it had recruited Raine. “At this point, no decision has been made to enter into a transaction of any kind and it’s not clear whether any transaction will happen at all.” Dick Clark, who died in April, had no ownership or management role at the company. Federal Judge Howard A. Matz ruled April 30 that DCP has the rights to produce the Globes telecast for NBC until 2018. Although the court victory secured one of DCP’s most valuable assets, boosting its price in a sale, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association which puts on the Golden Globes has said it would appeal Matz’s decision by Friday. DCP also produces New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, So You Think You Can Dance and the American Music Awards.
EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Aida Takla O’Reilly, incumbent president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was re-elected tonight in a runoff vote following an unusual three-way split among O’Reilly and two rivals. An HFPA source revealed the result to Deadline following the vote at the Golden Globes organization’s headquarters in West Hollywood. In the runoff O’Reilly received 44 votes to Theo Kingma’s 38. The other candidate Meher Tatna came in third in the initial round. O’Reilly was elected president last year by a margin of only one vote, and a different source said if tonight’s vote had not been split in the initial three-way count Kingma might have defeated O’Reilly.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is going back to court to appeal Dick Clark Productions’ recent victory in the battle over who owns the TV rights to the Golden Globes. In a court ordered Joint Status Report submitted Monday to Judge Howard A. Matz, the HFPA’s lawyers said that they intend to file a motion in the next 30 days for an immediate appeal. The HFPA are also seeking to have resolution of the case’s so-called Phase II issues, including Golden Globe digital rights, pre-show rights, social media use and dcp’s accounting methods, put on ice while their fast tracked Phase I appeal goes ahead. In an odd case of going two steps forward and two steps back simultaneously, Daniel Pettrocelli and the HFPA’s other lawyers say that getting that appeal permission from the court “will advance the possibility of a settlement of this case.” So, despite the unsuccessful pleadings of Judge Matz near the end of the two-week non-jury trial earlier this year that the two sides make a deal, the HFPA says it now might be ready to make a deal – if it gets its appeal. Not surprisingly, dcp’s lawyers see it a bit differently. For one, in a case that already has gone on 18 months, the defendants’ legal team advocates dealing with the Phase II issues as soon as possible. Secondly, while they are not explicitedly against the HFPA seeking a judgment … Read More »
UPDATED: Judge Howard A. Matz has found in favor of defendant Dick Clark Productions in the trial with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over who owns TV rights to the Golden Globes. DCP now can continue to produce the Globes, which are organized by the HFPA. In Matz’s 89-page ruling announced today (read it here), he affirmed a 1993 perpetuity amendment that the production company says gave it the right to make a 2010 deal with NBC that will keep the annual awards show on the network until 2018. The HFPA had contended that dcp, which is owned by Red Zone Capital, did not have that right and all its options on the show had expired. “We are extremely pleased with the results,” dcp lawyer Marty Katz told Deadline this afternoon. “It is entirely consistent with the evidence and our witnesses and shows Judge Matz took both into deep consideration.” Said the production company: “We are pleased the court affirmed our contract and look forward to working with the HFPA and NBC to nurture and expand the Golden Globes franchise for years to come.”
Related: Golden Globes Trial: Documents Show Just How Divided HFPA & Dick Clark Prods Are
The two-week non-jury trial concluded February 10 and saw a series of past and current HFPA presidents and dcp executives take the stand. Dick Clark did not appear, but CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves did via video deposition.
… Read More »
Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Dick Clark Productions are still so far apart in the battle over who owns TV rights to the Golden Globes that they can’t even decide on how their case should be decided. On Friday, five weeks after the two-week non-jury trial concluded, the two sides submitted two very different “decision trees” to the court to aid Judge A. Howard Matz in making his ruling. The defense actually submitted two versions of its tree: One, like the one submitted by the HFPA (read that one here), has a fairly traditional point-by-point logic line (read it here). The other, an elaborate multi-colored “diagrammatic form,” reads more like a board game than a methodology to settle a multimillion-dollar case (see that one here and check out two of its head-spinning 14 pages below):
At the core of the case is a 1993 amendment to DCP’s contract with the HFPA. The production company says that amendment grants them rights in perpetuity to the Globes as long as it is broadcast on NBC, where the awards show has been televised since 1996. The HFPA says the amendment does not grant DCP those rights, and when DCP signed a $150 million deal with … Read More »