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NBC loses Globes

January 12, 2008|Matea Gold | Times Staff Writer

NBC's efforts to salvage its Golden Globes exclusive fell apart Friday when the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. announced that it would allow all media outlets to carry live coverage of Sunday's news conference announcing the winners.

The move by the association, which hands out the accolades, came after a financial dispute between NBC and Dick Clark Productions Inc., the company contracted to produce the original Golden Globes telecast.

The decision means that the Writers Guild of America will not picket the event, opening the door to possible appearances by actors and directors.

But it may be too late to restore any glamour to the ceremony, which has gone through a dizzying series of incarnations in recent weeks resulting from the politics of the writers strike.

Once the kickoff to the awards season, this year's show has been reduced to a half-hour news conference.

Presenters will include Mary Hart of "Entertainment Tonight," Lara Spencer of "The Insider" and Jim Moret of "Inside Edition."

NBC was originally slated to be the exclusive broadcaster of the news conference, with Nancy O'Dell and Billy Bush of "Access Hollywood" as hosts.

But after signing off on that format, Hollywood Foreign Press President Jorge Camara said Friday that the group would allow other television outlets to carry it live as well.

The abrupt turn was triggered by a demand by Dick Clark Productions for NBC to pay what it called a "nominal license fee" for its coverage Sunday, which includes a two-hour "Dateline" special on the Globes nominees.

"NBC wanted to have an exclusive three-hour broadcast special disguised as a news conference that would bar all other media," Dick Clark Productions said in a statement.

NBC executives refused, saying it was inappropriate.

The network, which said the company had demanded a license fee "north of seven figures," added that it was considering legal action to address a possible breach of contract by the production company.

"We are feeling very strongly that this was not handled legally or correctly by them," said an NBC executive, who called the license fee request insulting. The executive declined to be named while discussing financial specifics of the deal.

The network, facing a hole in its schedule, still plans to broadcast the news conference after its "Dateline" special. (In Los Angeles, KNBC-TV Channel 4 will show the announcement of the winners live at 6 p.m., followed by "Dateline" at 7 p.m. and then a 9 p.m. rebroadcast of the Globes announcement.)

But what already was likely to be a lackluster event for the network now faces competition from other outlets. CNN, E! and TV Guide Network also plan to cover the announcement.

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matea.gold@latimes.com

Times staff writers Maria Elena Fernandez and Martin Miller contributed to this report.

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