Guilds to Study Compensation

LOS ANGELES SAG, AFTRA and their ad industry partners have hired consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton to research alternative means of compensating actors and performers on commercials distributed over new and old media platforms.

The search for a consultancy took 10 months.

The study will examine such new compensation models “consistent with the understanding between the unions and the industry that the purpose of the study is not to reduce the aggregate compensation historically paid to performers,” officials said.

Research is expected to be completed by the end of October. That will give the parties a year to consider how to incorporate any report recommendations into a new commercials contract for the unions, with the current pact to expire Oct. 28, 2008, following a two-year extension arranged in August.

Joining the guilds in hiring the consultancy was the ad industry’s policy committee on broadcast talent.

“The request for proposals was a pretty ambitious document,” AFTRA representative John Hinrichs said. He added that the threefold review of those submitting RFPs also complicated the process. “It just took awhile,” Hinrichs said.

Also yesterday, SAG filed a federal financial disclosure due last July that shows the guild saved big money during the 12-month period by leaving open its top staff position during a long candidate search.

But SAG now must file another such report by July showing its expenditures through April. Those will include three months of compensation to new national executive director Doug Allen, whose salary has yet to be disclosed.

Guild officials said the latest filing was delayed by more demanding filing requirements stipulated under newly instituted Labor Department regulations. Other guilds have cited similar difficulties in filing fiscal 2006 disclosures.

In the fiscal year ending April 30, 2006, SAG paid former CEO Robert Pisano only $56,201 in final compensation payments. That compares with a $1.63 million payout to Pisano over the previous reporting period.