SAG Replaces Executive Director

Greg Hessinger was elected Sunday to the top staff post at the Screen Actors Guild, Hollywood's largest actors' union. Hessinger, national executive director of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, replaces Bob Pisano, whose tenure ends in May, Daily Variety reported on Monday.

Pisano's term was marked by failed attempts to merge SAG and AFTRA, to increase dues and to revamp SAG's master franchise agreement with talent agents. The guild faction that defeated these moves, called "Membership First," also succeeded in blocking a consulting agreement with Pisano, thereby ensuring that his ties to the union will end in May.

Disney to Sell Discover Magazine
The Walt Disney Co. will sell popular science publication Discover magazine to concentrate on family-friendly titles such as FamilyFun and Disney Adventure, The New York Times reported on Monday. Disney bought Discover in 1991 as part of its Buena Vista Magazines, a subsidiary of Disney Publishing Worldwide. Discover has a circulation of 850,000. The sale will be handled by investment bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

'Pacifier' Tops Box Office
The Vin Diesel film "The Pacifier" claimed the top box-office spot for the weekend, besting "Be Cool," a sequel to the 1995 hit, "Get Shorty." "The Pacifier," a Disney-Spyglass production, came in at $30.2 million, much higher than the expected $20 million. MGM's "Be Cool" finished with $23.5 million.

Bakersfield Refinery Changes Hands
Flying J Inc., a Utah truck-stop operator, will take over the Bakersfield refinery that Shell had planned to close, according to Monday's Los Angeles Times. The $130 million sale will result in the new owner doubling the plant's gasoline production.

Shell's 2003 plans to shutter the plant had politicians and officials alarmed because they feared supply problems and related price hikes. Shell had said it wouldn't try to sell the facility because it was a small and inefficient operation that couldn't attract any buyers. Flying J's Big West Oil subsidiary holds a small refinery in Utah.

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