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PGA gives blessing to CastNet.com site

Van Damme asked to resign from board of directors

CastNet.com was given a major shot of validation Monday as the Producers Guild of America endorsed the online casting service’s offerings over competing sites through a formal association with the guild.

Separately, action thesp Jean Claude Van Damme was asked to resign from CastNet.com parent the Entertainment Internet Inc.’s board of directors Monday.

Michael Jay Solomon, chairman, CEO and prexy of Entertainment Internet, and Thom Mount, prexy of the PGA and former Universal Studios topper, made the announcement.

Pact should help the Los Angeles-based dot-com build its subscriber base and offer more services by catering to producers casting their pics, television programs and commercials.

But announcement also signals that CastNet is getting help from its close relationship with Mount, who used to be a co-chairman of the Web site and TEI before ankling the post last year to pursue other endeavors. Mount remains on CastNet’s board of directors.

“Our Internet committee reviewed CastNet.com’s proposal, operations, and quality of services at great length,” Mount said. “The board was unanimous in its desire to make CastNet.com’s cutting-edge technology available to all PGA members and affiliate members.”

CastNet.com operates as an Internet theatrical and television database service for casting directors, talent agencies offering searchable files, photos and resumes of aspiring and working actors.

Site is used by more than 300 casting directors, 185 guild franchised agencies, and over 40,000 actors across the United States, and attracts 99,000 unique visitors per month.

Competitors include the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences’ the Link, ExtraCast.com, Casting Workbook and Iam.com, none of which have been officially endorsed by the PGA.

Regarding Van Damme, Solomon said that TEI’s board “will be composed of active participants only, each of whom shall provide expertise or input which serves to increase the value of the corporation.”

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