Film Academy Chief Gets a Sequel: Bill Kramer’s Contract Is Renewed

In a time of flux in Hollywood, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that oversees the Oscars, placed a bet on continuity, announcing Monday that it would extend Bill Kramer’s tenure as chief executive through July 2028.

Kramer’s contract, which was up for renewal in 2025, was approved one year early “due to his exceptional leadership and significant contributions,” the academy said.

“He is the ideal person to continue to broaden the Academy’s reach and impact on our international film community and successfully guide the organization into our next 100 years,” Janet Yang, the academy’s president, said in a statement.

The academy has faced a number of challenges in recent years: It has worked to diversify the Oscars after nominating only white actors in 2015, faced the steep drop-off in television ratings facing award shows, struggled with the fallout after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards and opened a museum.

This year’s Academy Awards drew 19.5 million viewers, a four-year high, according to Nielsen. It was the third consecutive year that Oscar viewership had grown, but it was still far below previous levels: Before 2018, the telecast never had fewer than 32 million viewers. This year’s telecast started an hour earlier than usual.

Before becoming chief executive of the Academy in June 2022, Kramer served for two years as the director of its new museum, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, and he was credited with helping get it open after years of delays. Kramer’s total compensation was $865,568 from the academy and related organizations in 2022, the year he started as chief executive, according to the academy’s most recent tax filing.

Kramer’s contract extension comes as the Academy Museum is working to recover from criticism over how it tells the story of the Jewish immigrants who started movie studios and helped create the U.S. film industry. When the museum first opened, it was faulted for saying relatively little about them, even as it celebrated diversity in film. The museum responded by opening a permanent new exhibition highlighting the contributions of Hollywood’s Jewish founders, but when that installation was criticized by some Jewish film professionals, the museum announced that it would makes changes.

Kramer now oversees all aspects of the academy, which has more than 700 employees in Los Angeles, New York and London.

The academy has an annual operating budget of about $170 million, 70 percent of which comes from its Oscars broadcast deal with Disney and ABC, which runs through 2028. Last month, the Academy announced a global $500 million campaign to shore up its financial future.

“Like any healthy organization or company,” Kramer said in an interview as he announced the international fund-raising effort, “the academy needs a sustainable and diverse base of support to allow for solid long-term planning and fiscal certainty.”

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