As part of the revamp of its PR operations, the AMPTP has retained a trio of well-known advisers — Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane of Fabiani & Lehane and Steve Schmidt of Mercury Public Affairs.

The AMPTP made the announcement Wednesday at mid-day after negotiations with the WGA had resumed for a second straight session at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles. The AMPTP — which serves at the negotiating arm for studios and nets — said Fabiani, Lehane and Schmidt had been brought on "to assist in communicating the industry's proposed New Economic Partnership."

The PR shake-up came in the wake of Barbara Brogliatti's move last week into a senior adviser role. Since then, several corporate PR execs from Sony, Fox, CBS and ABC have stepped in to handle media duties on a temporary basis.   

The WGA's been able to win the PR battle in terms of general public opinion since the strike started a month ago. The AMPTP's recently adopted a less strident and more conciliatory voice. — Dave McNary

Here's the AMPTP's announcement —

The AMPTP has retained Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane of Fabiani & Lehane LLC and Steve Schmidt of Mercury Public Affairs to assist in communicating the industry's proposed New Economic Partnership.

Fabiani and Lehane have a long history in Democratic politics, where they served as senior aides and advisors to President Clinton, Vice President Gore and other Democrats across the country. They have also been very active in the sports and entertainment space, having worked on behalf of various professional sports teams and leagues (including helping the National Hockey League achieve a modern-day economic system that has increased revenue for both players and owners) as well as studios and individual films (including Fahrenheit 9/11 and SiCKO).

Steve Schmidt, a close advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who also served as his campaign manager in 2006, provides high-level counsel to major corporations, including Hollywood studios and professional sports teams.

Schmidt also served in high-ranking posts with the Bush White House, including serving as the lead strategist on the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Schmidt has served on presidential campaigns and dozens of other campaigns at the national, state and local levels.

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