NBC's Marc Graboff also named as potential witness in court case
A gallery of industry figures, including CBS’ Leslie Moonves, producer Dick Clark and NBC’s Marc Graboff are among those listed as witnesses in the upcoming trial over rights to the Golden Globe Awards.The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. filed suit against Dick Clark Prods. in November, claiming it hatched an agreement with NBC to broadcast the ceremony through 2018 without its approval. But DCP claims that under a 1993 amendment to a previous agreement made with the HFPA, it had the right to make the deal. In documents filed this week, Moonves was listed among the witnesses that the HFPA expects to call because “he had discussions” with Mark Shapiro, former CEO of DCP parent company Six Flags, and the HFPA about bringing the broadcast to CBS after 2011. “During the course of these conversations Mr. Shapiro made certain statements to Mr. Moonves regarding DCP’s understanding of its contractual obligations to the HFPA” under the terms of a 1987 agreement and the 1993 amendment, the HFPA stated. Also on HFPA’s witness list are Graboff, prexy of West Coast business operations for NBCUniversal; Tennis Channel chief financial officer William Simon, a former DCP executive; Francis La Maina, prexy of DCP when the 1993 amendment was signed; and a number of current and ex-HFPA members, including former prexy Mirjana Van Blaricom, who started a rival press association and awards ceremony in the mid-1990s. The list of DCP’s witnesses include Philip Berk, who has been HFPA president multiple times, including last year; Clark, the former owner of his eponymous company who already has been deposed in the case; and about two dozen HFPA members and support staff. La Maina and Van Blaricom also are listed, and Graboff and Shapiro are mentioned if the court permits testimony regarding negotiations last year. DCP is claiming that the topic is “irrelevant” to the case. The trial is scheduled to start on Aug. 30, but that could be superseded if U.S. District Judge Valeria Baker Fairbank grants a motion for summary judgment to either side before then. She heard oral arguments on Monday.
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