James Loper, the 15-year executive director of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the ATAS Foundation, will officially resign from his post Dec. 31, but will remain as a consultant for most of 1999.
The move, which has generated considerable controversy among some longtime Academy insiders, comes after the majority of the ATAS executive committee voted not to renew Loper’s contract (Daily Variety, July 21).
Some members of the executive committee felt the vote on Loper’s removal was railroaded through with no discussion after ATAS president Meryl Marshall had convinced her supporters on the committee to vote for Loper to go. There is also fear and anger among ATAS staffers that more changes may be on the way.
ATAS has established a search committee to choose a successor to Loper, but in the meantime, sources say the top-ranking employee under Loper, CFO Herb Jellinek, will likely be appointed to handle Loper’s day-to-day duties.