I’ve learned that SAG has just hired Sitrick and Company, the big strategic communications firm, to help with media relations for its AMPTP negotiations. Whereas AFTRA has had the small strategic communications firm 42West working for it for months and months. So, depending on your POV, the screen actors guild either saved a bundle of dough or should have spent a bundle of dough much earlier. That said, both PR firms are located in Los Angeles. And, like SAG and AFTRA, they have a history with one other. 42West’s Allan Mayer worked for Sitrick and Company for 9 years, five of them as a partner. Sitrick’s firm has long specialized in worldwide crisis PR, but Mayer became tired of the oops-we’ve-got-to-quickly-clean-up-this-mess stuff that sends major moolah Sitrick’s way. It was an amicable parting: though Sitrick wasn’t thrilled at losing Mayer, the boss did let Allan out of his contract in October 2006. And then Mayer started the LA-based strategic communications outpost of NYC showbiz flackery 42West founded by Leslee Dart. Sitrick then went on a hiring binge, and now a lot of ex-journalists work on his showbiz-related accounts. Though Sitrick and Company has a much bigger strategic communications business, 42West is an entertainment powerhouse. This’ll be the Olympics of union PR games!

(See my two SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP articles in LA Weekly: here and here.)