Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Hawk Koch broke today’s news naming its 86th Academy Awards producers — a rerun of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron – because I’d received a tip this morning and was about to scoop the news. This is either the worst or best publicity timing: just as the major Hollywood movie studios are presenting their slates at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. But I, you, and everybody should appreciate the hilarity of what just happened here. Because first it was Tom Sherak in 2012 and now it’s Hawk Koch in 2013 who will go down in Oscars history as giving new definition to the word chutzpah. Hawk is the outgoing president of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences who just pulled a fast one on whomever is elected the incoming president this summer. That’s after Tom tried to pull a fast one on Koch the year before. C’mon, choosing the producers of the Oscars is probably the single most important job of the AMPAS president. Yet Hawk, serving for only one year and knowing he was a lame duck, broke protocol and today announced the re-hiring of Zadan/Meron for the March 2, 2014 telecast. That should have been his successor’s privilege and responsibility. Sherak tried to do the same for the February 24th, 2013, telecast by soliciting Lorne Michaels as Oscars producer and NBC Late Night host Jimmy Fallon as Oscars host. Sherak went to the Academy’s Board Of Governors on his own initiative and said, “If I can find a producer, would you be interested?” The Board said yes. But Koch as 1st VP told colleagues Sherak shouldn’t be doing this within a mere matter of weeks before the new president was elected. Koch even complained directly to Sherak about it. Disney nixed the choice of Fallon – and Koch made his own choices. Now he took that choice away from his successor.
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