HFPA Interim Boss Todd Boehly Proposes Reform: Increasing Voters To 300, Shaking Up Press Conference Protocols & Creating New Company

Todd Boehly
Todd Boehly Eldridge Industries; HFPA

EXCLUSIVE: In an effort to get the Golden Globes into a new era, increase and implement its diversity initiatives and boost its accountability, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s interim CEO Todd Boehly made proposals at a members meeting Thursday designed to help propel the organziation toward that mission.

Boehly’s outline included increasing total voters from 102 to 300 (also adding back emeritus voters), thus protecting the integrity of the Globes and diversifying the voting base.

In addition, Boehly made it clear that press conferences, often a point of controversy with the HFPA, were not required to win an award. Quite often the reputation of Golden Globe voters was that they received special treatment — including receiving immediate access to top talent and sundry tchotchkes — which would thus increase a contender’s chance for a nomination. That was the perception; that a presser was required for studios.

Boehly’s proposal today explicitly sends a message to studios and streamers: A press conference is no longer necessary to guarantee a win.

In addition, under Boehly’s new proposal, his Eldridge Industries would form a new company to buy the Golden Globes assets. These would be assessed by an independent valuation, which is currently underway. The proceeds, which would include cash and equity in the new company, would ultimately go to the charitable arm of HFPA and add resources to fund charitable and educational programing consistent with HFPA’s mission. This is all in an effort to have the new company open doors for new career paths and more journalism and revenue-generating opportunities, while giving members flexibility to sell their work to the new company and their existing outlets.

The new org would also offer members the opportunity to share in its profits, thereby giving them a stake in the success of the Globes. Thereafter, the 501(c)(6) would be dissolved. Essentially the new organization will create a cleaner process for members to earn their bread versus the old means of exploiting their articles to lesser-known, third-party outlets. It also would guarantee employment and benefits for members for at least three years, but could go beyond that term. The new HFPA would have a dedicated management team with a CEO, a Head of Human Resources, a Chief Diversity Officer, a Chief Technology Officer and training resources.

“As a result of the significant shifts in the media landscape, the original purpose and common business interest of the HFPA, its Members and the industry is no longer as relevant as it was when the organization was founded,” read the proposal, which Deadline has seen.

“The internet and social media has changed the newspaper and the magazine businesses forever which were the primary outlet for Member content,” it continues.

“A tax-exempt structure may no longer be the right fit as it presents constraints to promote the common business interests of HFPA’s Members.”

Boehly’s proposal is currently being reviewed and finalized with the independent committee established by the board. Once finalized, the committee will send the proposal to the board. If approved, the proposal would go to the full membership for its review and approval. The final approved proposal will then be sent to the California Attorney General.

While there’s no word of NBC re-televising the Golden Globes in 2023, the proposal is part of the process for the HFPA to get to that destination with a diversified organization.

Boehly was named interim CEO of the HFPA in October, the latest move from the group as it continues its promised reforms amid a backlash stemming from its lack of diversity and other issues. He already had ties to organization as chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries, which owns MRC and dick clark productions, the latter of which produces the HFPA’s Golden Globe Awards.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2022/04/hfpa-golden-globes-reform-1235002616/