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Film czar Kennedy gets the ax

Beth Kennedy, the woman who has been Mayor Tom Bradley’s film czar over the past year, was terminated Tuesday, sources said.

With Richard Riordan about to step in as the city’s new mayor, it had been questioned whether Kennedy would stay in the highly visible post, given that she was a Tom Bradley recruit.

Yet sources late Tuesday said that Kennedy’s termination originated out of Bradley’s regime, not Riordan’s. Kennedy could not be reached for comment, nor could reps of Bradley or Riordan.

An industry executive, however, worried that Kennedy’s ouster could open the door for an “incredibly punitive and disruptive attitude” among forces in City Hall who are perceived as less-than-friendly to the film industry.

Kennedy was hired in August 1992 as a direct link between the mayor and the film industry. Her job, in large part, was to ease the difficulties of filming within Los Angeles, an issue that not only has been a sore point in recent years but has also been the cause of a lot of filming flight to other cities.

During her tenure, Kennedy got high marks from the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers for her work to cut red tape and filming costs.

Most recently she had helped push a proposal through a committee of the Los Angeles Unified School District to halve filming costs on school campuses.

She also brought industry and city officials together on a weekly basis to discuss continuing areas of concern, such as speeding up the filming permit process.

The film industry lobbied City Hall to create Kennedy’s position, and the industry funded the job through an increase in permit fees.

It was not clear late Tuesday whether the slot will be filled by someone else or be eliminated.

Prior to her work in the city, Kennedy was a senior veepee of planning and development at Universal Studios. Her official city title was executive director for Entertainment Industry Affairs.