Friday, September 21, 2007

Three Free Men - Getty Images on Lockdown

The story first broke on Paul Melcher's blog, where Paul reported:

"Jeff Kravitz, President and Founder of Filmmagic, bought by Getty Images in the $200 million Mediavast deal, has officially resigned. Citing impossible working conditions within the Mega image distributor, antiquated distribution system, one of the most succesful, and influential, red carpet photographer is slamming the door in the face of the Getty management."

So, we called Mr. Kravitz, who was on the East Coast covering an event, and I asked him about the above quote, and he said, without actually confirming he wrote that in an internal e-mail "well, that sounds like something I would say" and then said that "all I'll say is it's an interesting time in my life, and everyone should just stay tuned." Mysterious? Yes, Ambiguous? I think Kravitz is smart like a fox to have provided just the right answer. (Check Jeff's blog for some cool insights into his life, but nothing about this - yet, anyway.)

Also, the rumor that Evan Agostini (hit this link for a brief story and headshot of him) and Peter Kramer, both of them prolific photographers, having nearly 200,000 images they produced on the Getty Images site (and wholey owned by Getty, from what I understand), are leaving GYI for the Associated Press is true.

(Continued after the Jump)

Well, I have it confirmed from a source inside Getty that they're leaving, but I don't have it confirmed that they're landing at the AP, but that would make a ton of sense for them, especially given the rumor that's floating around about an AP internal restructuring to throw more money at entertainment and sports (can you say, "shot across the bow of GYI?") in the near future, so as to beat down the getty inroads in those arenas of late.

That just leaves 12 (most likely) Angry Men left -stuck in Getty's quagmire, under NDA's and non-completes for probably 3-5 years, depending upon how the deal was handled. Kevin, Paul, Lester, Justin, Steve, Michael, Jeff, Jason, Josh, Stephen, Michael, and Mark - I wish you well, and I look forward you when you find yourself out of the labrynth of bureacracy and red tape and: A) depart, and B) finish up your non-competes while hanging out poolside. When you're free and clear, I know you'll all be back, and better than when you were under the Getty regime. By that time, GYI could well be a penny stock, or Google/Rupert Murdoch could have paid $10 a share to populate their respective photo services with great photos. Nice work on the $200 mil figure, you all look like geniuses, with JDK/et al as the happless dunces in the corner.

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Anonymous said...

Bravo. Maybe all the other sheep will follow in their footsteps.

"But no other agency can provide the return that Getty does" is not an excuse. People contributing to Getty, knowing full well what they stand for, is just as bad as micro-stock photographers--the difference between them is that most micro-stock photographers are new to the industr--many can use naivety as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

Not sure who this John Harrington guy is and why he's bitter, but I love the bitterness. If selling your company to Google is your only option for an out, then you've got nothing going for you and I'm officially calling for a shareholer ousting of JK and/or his resignation. Aren't we all sick of him puffing and spinning all over his interviews with his stupid accent? Klien is screwed and his new consumer site will be garbage poopy and make no money because there is no money in the consumer space at the kiddy level he wants to play at. The WireImage genious folks that ripped Klien off won't start another agency so hinting that they will after 5 years is irrelevant. 5 years is a lifetime in this industry. Getty is going down the toilet with the poop and jumping ship is the best thing anybody at Getty can do right now.

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