Tales from Tinseltown: Publicists fight over (and over and over) the coveted carpet. Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer

Not merely content to amuse, enlighten, stupefy or annoy my dear readers, I also strive on occasion to report genuine scoops. Actual news, things you may not have heard.

Not merely content to amuse, enlighten, stupefy or annoy my dear readers, I also strive on occasion to report genuine scoops. Actual news, things you may not have heard.

Not merely content to amuse, enlighten, stupefy or annoy my dear

readers, I also strive on occasion to report genuine scoops. Actual

news, things you may not have heard.



Here’s one: Christine La Monte, head of the motion picture department at

Rogers & Cowan, has resigned. My well-connected sources (a janitor at a

Century City high-rise and a parking valet in Beverly Hills) tell me

she’s going to work for Lily Tartikoff to handle the press for her

considerable charity work.



Look for someone to come in at R&C who will re-emphasize the

department’s movie focus, as it has recently handled a considerable

number of non-film accounts. Under La Monte’s predecessor, Jeffrey

Godsick, the division concentrated heavily on working with the major

studios on release campaigns.



Speaking of Rogers & Cowan, Fran Curtis, a former R&C publicist now with

20th Century Fox, shared with me her thoughts on the resolution of the

Emmy Awards conflict between publicists and the Television Academy. As

I’ve mentioned, the dispute was resolved in favor of the publicists, who

will continue to be allowed to accompany their clients down the arrival

line.



Curtis, president of the Publicist’s Guild, reports that the Guild was

inundated with calls from members who found the TV Academy’s policy

ill-conceived and potentially damaging to their professional

standing.



’The Guild helped express the concerns of its members to the TV Academy,

which realized it erred in creating policy without first consulting

those most directly involved,’ she says.



Curtis agrees with her fellow flacks’ position that the cadre of

black-clad, clipboard-holding event publicists may not be familiar

enough with the individual stars to effectively handle the arrivals

line.



’It’s not uncommon for unaccompanied stars to bypass the media gathered

along the red carpet, or to be less responsive to interview requests

when escorted by a stranger,’ she explains. ’Personal publicists are

best equipped to advise their clients as to the importance of red carpet

interviews.



They know how many interviews their client should do and can prevent

anyone from monopolizing his or her time. Stars trust the judgment of

their publicists and expect them to be present at all major media events

they attend.’



She adds, ’Personal publicists are vital to any star-driven event to

keep it running smoothly. It was made clear at the meeting that if the

Academy wants maximum participation from top celebrities, they’ll have

to deal with personal publicists.’



Always seeking both sides of the story, I asked an event publicist what

she thought of the decision.



’Nothing has changed. We’re still going to have the same problems with

slow lines and mass confusion,’ she says. ’But it’s always a good

show.’



And that’s the final word on that.



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