Board members of the Directors Guild of America have extended the employment contract of national exec director Jay D. Roth for five years.
The DGA board voted to take the action two months ago, but kept it quiet during fine-tuning of the contract’s specifics. A guild spokesman declined to reveal Roth’s salary.
“Jay Roth has proven himself to be one of the industry’s most effective executives in his first three years at the DGA,” said the guild’s president, Jack Shea.
Roth, a lawyer, moved to the DGA’s top management post in 1995, after representing entertainment guilds, labor organizations and pension, health and welfare funds. In 1996, he successfully negotiated new collective bargaining agreements with employers on behalf of DGA members, who overwhelmingly ratified the pacts.
“It is important that the companies with whom we are preparing to negotiate next year know that a unified and resolute team will be sitting across the table from them,” Roth said in a statement released Monday by the DGA. “I think the board’s message sends this loud and clear.”
Roth was en route to Paris to meet with collection societies and could not be reached for further comment.
The DGA’s renewal of Roth’s contract, which now extends to 2005, was in sharp contrast to actions of the board at Writers Guild of America West, which voted to dismiss executive director Brian Walton last month after a members’ referendum failed.
In a statement released by the DGA, Roth was given credit for a number of programs, including:
- Strengthening ties to the independent film community by creating DGA contracts covering low-budget films and establishing outreach programs aimed at indie filmmakers in New York;
- Creating the DGA’s communications and public affairs department, which helped lobby in the U.S. House of Representatives for passage of legislation to protect payment of residuals following transfer of a film’s ownership;
- Sponsoring the first DGA summit on diversity to seek solutions to the problem of underemployment of women and minorities; and
- Improving audits designed to track residuals, resulting in record payments to DGA members.