Guild national board meeting this weekend
Nine months after firing Doug Allen, leaders of the Screen Actors Guild may take a step toward filling the slot — probably with interim national exec director David White.SAG’s national board meets this weekend with an agenda that includes a motion to create a search committee for a national exec director, a move favored by the Membership First faction that’s been out of power for the past year. But since the self-styled moderate members who now control SAG selected White in January, they may offer the permanent gig to him as early as this weekend. It’s the board’s first confab since Ken Howard won the presidency convincingly over Anne-Marie Johnson and Seymour Cassel last month. That victory helped the moderate coalition increase its control of the 71-member board since Johnson’s Membership First group lost three Hollywood seats to the Unite for Strength coalition. The national board booted Allen out with a year to go on a three-year contract as the moderates became increasingly frustrated over his inability to close SAG’s feature-primetime deal with the companies. White and lead negotiator John McGuire reached a deal in April and SAG members ratified that pact with 78% backing — despite vociferous opposition from Membership First, particularly over new-media terms. White’s current deal runs as the interim chief until February. The national board’s next meeting after this weekend’s session will be in January. White was not immediately available for comment Wednesday. It’s his second stint with SAG, where he served several years as general counsel before co-founding and serving as the managing principal of the consulting firm Entertainment Strategies Group. He was previously a labor and employment attorney at the Los Angeles firm of O’Melveny & Myers.