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Pisano’s slight edge

SAG's new topper gets $5,000 more than Cooke

HOLLYWOOD — SAG’s new top exec, A. Robert Pisano, is getting a slightly better deal than his predecessor John F. Cooke — $5,000 a year sweeter, in fact.

The Screen Actors Guild’s national board agreed on Sept. 10 to hire Pisano at an annual salary of $395,000. Pisano and SAG have not commented on the terms of the deal.

Pisano, a former top exec at MGM and Paramount, was first approached by SAG’s search committee last spring. He turned down that feeler and then emerged as the panel’s leading choice when Cooke quit in early July after just 10 days in the job — a milestone Pisano matched Wednesday.

Cooke and Pisano are the first outsiders SAG has chosen for national exec director.

Ken Orsatti, who retired in January after two decades in the post, had been paid $240,516 in salary and $60,250 in travel expenses in 1999.

Pisano left Los Angeles on Wednesday to visit SAG’s New York branch as part of his previously stated goal to visit the Times Square offices in order to introduce himself and get acquainted with operations. The Gotham office closed for several days last week after the terrorist attacks.

SAG staffers and elected officers have given Pisano good marks for his initial performance, saying he has shown a low-key, diplomatic approach so far in dealing with the often-contentious inner workings of the Guild.

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