Dawn Hudson can thank the debacle of the James Franco-Anne Hathaway Oscar telecast for her new job as CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Otherwise the change-averse board of governors would have probably given the gig to status-quo functionary Ric Robertson, and the show would have probably continued its gradual slide into cultural irrelevance. Robertson has accepted what some are calling a humiliating second-in-command COO position under Hudson.

(l.) Dawn Hudson; (r.) Ric Robertson.

As one who feeds at the AMPAS/Oscar trough, I’m somewhat encouraged by Hudson’s appointment. Her years as exec director of FIND/Film Independent indicated a somewhat nervier, spritzier approach to running a film organization, certainly more so than outgoing AMPAS CEO Bruce Davis. Hudson isn’t a magician, but once she gets past the ritual of soothing Academy elders by demonstrating her allegiance to tradition, she may become a force for changing AMPAS into a somewhat less ossified oufit, and the Oscar telecast into a semi-vibrant, somewhat more connected event than it seems to be now. Maybe.

Who will get Hudson’s job at FIND? Senior director Sean McManus, festival director Rebecca Yeldham, etc.? I’m asking.