This is one of those stories that’s a lot more interesting to journalists than it is to striking writers or even Hollywood. But I’d been hearing for several days that Barbara Brogliatti, who two years ago retired from a bigwig PR job at Warner Bros only to be brought back recently as the primary spokesperson for the AMPTP, was exiting that role. Now I can confirm that “Brog” is taking on a newly defined gig with the CEOs group as a senior advisor. “She decided over the Thanksgiving Weekend to get out of the day-to-day. Or in her words, ‘she’s taking her life back,’ ” a pal of hers told me.
This is no big surprise because Brogliatti would much rather be at her multiple homes up north in wine country. But I also know first-hand that she was increasingly frustrated at having to take all those dopey calls from too many journalists who prefer to be spoon-fed than actually spend a little shoe leather chasing down the WGA walkout story. Jeez.
Of course, the AMPTP’s PR has been abysmal, and the word is this was a palace coup, but on the other hand it’s awfully hard to make Big Media corporations sympathetic during a strike. Especially when the studios and networks refuse to resort to the YouTube snark those witty writers are so good at thinking up. I’ve known Barbara for eons so I’m not going to get on her case. But I do know that I’ve been trying and trying to get the producers to cough up content that would present their side in forums like Deadline Hollywood Daily rather than simply paid full-page ads in the trades, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
At first, Brogliatti had several folks on the AMPTP’s PR payroll, including young Jesse Hiestand and briefly some guy from Burston Marsteller. Then, a week or so ago, Brogliatti formed a PR group culled from the flack offices of the networks and studios to give her help. Now that group is looking for a firm or in-house rep to replace what ended up as a way bigger job than the retired PR maven wished to orchestrate as a personal favor to her longtime ex-boss Barry Meyer.
Meanwhile, I received a very strange call today from Hill and Knowlton denying that they’re working for the AMPTP even though the CEOs group previously confirmed it to me. If you can’t believe a flack about a flackery, what the hell is this world coming to?