As negotiations remained at a standstill between Hollywood producers and the Screen Actors Guild, the producers group, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, announced that their long-time AMPTP President Nick Counter will retire on March 31, 2009.
The statement said: "Following his retirement, Counter will serve as a consultant to the AMPTP on all labor matters including the SAG negotiations."
Counter has served as AMPTP President for 27 years and was the chief negotiator for 311 major labor pacts, including six in 2008 with the DGA, WGA, AFTRA, Casting Directors and IATSE.
His current contract was renegotiated in 2004 for an additional five years, plus five years as a consultant to the AMPTP upon retirement.
The statement said that a search is currently underway for Counter’s successor. Carol Lombardini, AMPTP executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, will serve as acting President of the AMPTP.
No word on how this may – or may not – affect the ongoing standoff.