Ouch. Although KCET board chairman Channing D. Johnson tells LA Times media columnist James Rainey that financial problems at Eyetronics Media & Studios are immaterial as long as the Encino company delivers programming, an installment of the station’s Saturday-night-at-the-movies series appears destined for infamy.
Sam Schoemann, a former vp for visual effects sales at Eyetronics, tells Rainey that he was forced out of Dominique Bigle’s firm in April after trying to collect unpaid salary. He also alleges that at least one installment of Classic Cool Theater – a two-hour show featuring a cartoon, newsreel, musical short and main attraction – added some fabricated manpower:
Credits on a recent episode – anchored by Fred Astaire’s Royal Wedding – include “Music Supervisor John Funke” and “Sound Mixer Artie Moeller.” Those names were made up and added to the credits by an Eyetronics employee to make the production look more substantial than it was, said Schoemann and two others.
An attorney for Bigle says people like Schoemann have been “fully compensated.” But according to Rainey’s sources, the cash flow for Classic Cool Theater got so tight at one point that Bigle’s son Harry tried his hand at voice-over narration before that particular task was completed by Schoemann. Eyetronics reportedly receives $2,600 from KCET for each episode.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
LAT Rains on KCET’s Parade
Disney-Loving Frenchman Looks to Reinvigorate KCET