The Golden Globes aka the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has finalized a deal long in the making with Eldridge Industries to take them over.
Eldridge is a corporate name for companies owned by Todd Boehly, who also owns MRC, the entity that owns Dick Clark Productions, the company that produces the Golden Globes for NBC. MRC is also partnered with Penske Media in ownership of the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.
When the HFPA fell apart two years ago over diversity and financial practices, Boehly — who already had acquired Dick Clark Productions — made the offer to acquire the HFPA and the Globes. It sounds like conflict of interest but it also makes sense. The Globes are more of a TV production than a legit awards entity. If Boehly can straighten their sketchier aspects, he can own the Globes and produce them.
Eldridge — which sounds like it should be manufacturing farming chemicals — says it will “create a new private entity to manage its Golden Globes assets and preserve its charitable and philanthropic programs in a separate non-profit entity.”
The Globes already operate to two 501 c3 foundations under the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. As they have been paid tens of millions of dollars in licensing fees by NBC, the HFPA has been very charitable over the years so they can maintain their not for profit status. Usually around this time every summer they announced a bunch of grants and donations with a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
According to a press release sent on PR Newswire and not from a private publications firm:
“The proposal was offered by Eldridge Industries LLC (“Eldridge”), a global firm that makes investments in various industries including insurance, asset management, technology, sports, media, real estate, and the consumer sector. The plan involves the creation of a new private company, which would acquire all rights for the Golden Globes intellectual property and be empowered to oversee the professionalization and modernization of the Golden Globe® Awards.
“The transition will include the development of staff and an executive team to lead the new organization. Additional Golden Globes® voters will also be added to increase the size and diversity of the available voters for the annual awards.”
There’s a lot of mumbo jumbo here. They even put together a panel of three people to evaluate diversity at the HFPA. The fact is the HFPA was always diverse in the sense that it had members from many different countries. It just didn’t include African Americans or Black people from those countries. They also weren’t particularly interested in Black movies or actors.
All the mumbo jumbo is designed to get NBC back on board for a Golden Globes show next winter. Since the Critics Choice Association took Sunday, January 15th for their show on the CW (and CBS should pick it up if they were smart), the Globes could air a week earlier on January 8th. But that require not just the approval of NBC but cooperation of studios and publicists. Many of those are just as happy not to have to deal with HFPA, period.
So stay tuned t see if Boehly’s influence as part owner of the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard will be enough to bring everyone around. It may very well work. The studios, in particular, want the extra value of “Golden Globe nominated” on ads at Christmas time, so they may acquiesce and the awards show– which is admittedly fun– could return this winter.