Smith cameo takes Lions into top spot

first_img Lions have 18 points, two clear of Sunrisers Hyderabad, with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai and Delhi Daredevils, all two points back on 14 points. Sent in, Mumbai were carried by Nitish Rana’s top score of 70 off 36 deliveries, while Englishman Jos Buttler gathered a patient 33. Smith, who grabbed a career-best four-wicket haul in his last outing, again shone with the ball, picking two wickets for 37 runs from four overs of seam. Fellow medium pacer and West Indies player Dwayne Bravo also claimed two wickets. In reply, Australian Aaron Finch fell to the second ball of the innings without a run on the board, but Raina and opener Brendon McCullum, who scored 48 off 27 balls, added 96 to put Lions back on course. When three wickets fell for 26 runs in the space of 18 balls, Smith put his head down, belting four fours and two sixes, to ensure Lions got home safely. KANPUR, India (CMC): Dwayne Smith’s late cameo earned Gujarat Lions a convincing six-wicket victory over Kieron Pollard’s Mumbai Indians with 13 balls to spare here yesterday and propelled them to the top of the Indian Premier League standings. The West Indies all-rounder, batting at number five instead of his usual position at the top of the order, stroked an unbeaten 37 off 23 balls as Lions overhauled their target of 173 at Green Park. Lions were 122 for four in the 13th over when top-scorer and captain Suresh Raina departed for 58, but Smith ensured there were no hiccups as he added 51 for the fifth wicket with Ravi Jadeja, who finished on 21 not out. Smith raced to 27 from 18 balls to kick off a methodical run chase Last outinglast_img read more

Fractured SAG may split

first_imgThe largest union representing actors has promised a new, tougher stance in contract talks with powerful media conglomerates. But the Screen Actors Guild may self-destruct before it ever gets the chance. The labor union’s long-running infighting has escalated into what could become a mutiny after the election in September of SAG President Alan Rosenberg. Rosenberg and his allies gained a majority on the national board by pledging to squeeze more money from the studios from the sale of DVDs and new technologies, including downloading of films and TV shows. He also pledged to unite SAG’s feuding factions. Membership in the union is all but required to work in films, television and commercials. Many SAG members also belong to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which has jurisdiction over the prime-time schedule of major networks, among other areas. Rosenberg’s agenda mirrors that of the newly elected president of the Writers Guild of America West. Patric Verrone also ran on a promise to get tougher with studios and also fired his executive director soon after taking office. Both men justified the firings by saying they needed staff who would push their agendas of increasing membership, fighting the rise of reality TV shows and gaining more economic concessions from studios. Rosenberg’s action deepened the geographic rift that already existed in the union. Actors outside Hollywood are not as reliant on residuals from DVDs and other technology and are less inclined to endure a lengthy, costly strike over the issue. Those actors also fear Los Angeles-based members, who control the guild because of their numbers, will abuse their power and push through an agenda that ignores the needs of actors in other regions. Rosenberg acknowledges that bridging these differences is his most pressing challenge. “You have people living in all different areas of the country who feel like they’re muzzled and don’t have a voice or are afraid they’re going to be muzzled,” he said. He has visited the New York and Miami branches in recent weeks and plans on visiting other locals in the hope of creating a more unified front for upcoming contract talks. Uniting the union will be critical for Rosenberg, who faces his first big test next year when SAG’s contract with advertising agencies expires. The guild’s pact with studios expires two years later. “If we don’t strengthen the core of our union, we’re going to be fighting a losing battle,” said Kathy Christopherson, a Los Angeles actress, writer and producer. In the latest sign of dissension, three SAG members last week asked the U.S. Department of Labor to void Rosenberg’s election, alleging illegal campaign tactics by Rosenberg’s Membership First party. Based on new, tough talk from SAG and the Writers Guild of America, media companies have developed contingency plans that would include stockpiling scripts and productions in anticipation of a strike. That move could lead to a “de facto” strike, similar to the one that led to an industry slowdown in 2001 that put thousands of entertainment industry employees out of work. Rosenberg’s election underscored dissatisfaction with last year’s contract talks, which won higher wages but failed to budge the studios on paying a bigger share of the lucrative DVD market. “I think we just walked away too soon and too easily without fighting,” Rosenberg said. “We sent a message of weakness.” Now, studios are also experimenting with new sources of revenue, offering TV shows on demand over the Web, without explaining how they intend to pay actors and writers. Rosenberg’s views, especially on the challenges of new technology, aren’t that different from those of Christie or others in the union. But guild members differ over whether they should strike to win concessions. “It’s not going to be the toughest guy at the table, it’s going to be the smartest guy at the table,” Christie said. Fighting over DVD revenue may be a waste of time, Christie said, as the industry looks at new ways to distribute content, including sending movies and TV shows to cell phones, iPods and other devices. “We’re having a fist fight over something that’s going to be a memory in a very short period of time,” he said. “What are the next three of four things beyond DVD? That’s what I want to deal with.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Instead, Rosenberg, 55, divided the union even more by almost immediately firing popular SAG national executive director Greg Hessinger. He had been hired by the previous leadership, which Rosenberg accused of surrendering too easily on key economic issues in contract talks last year. Many union members see the firing as an arrogant display of power by Rosenberg that could finally split the union into two groups – one that represents film and TV actors, primarily based in Hollywood, and another mostly comprised of members in New York, Chicago and elsewhere who do commercials and voice-overs. Paul Christie, president of SAG’s New York branch, said talk of a split has heated up since the election of Rosenberg, who was a regular on the TV series “LA Law” and “The Guardian,” and is married to “CSI” star Marg Helgenberger. “I think he’s capable of better things,” Christie said. With 120,000 members, SAG has always been a fragmented labor union, representing both multimillionaire superstars and rank-and-file membership with an unemployment rate of more than 80 percent. last_img read more