The Memos Part X: George Schaefer resigns as RKO president; urges studio to save extra negative and postive cuts made to Orson Welles’ ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’Thursday, July 5th, 2012
By LAWRENCE FRENCH
As George Schaefer's position as head of RKO (as well as the Mercury's chief supporter) became extremely precarious, Herbert Drake, the press representative for Mercury productions, sent Welles this plan to help with his public relations efforts regarding IT'S ALL TRUE and the increasingly hostile RKO regime, which would soon be headed by RKO vice-president Charles Koerner.
HERBERT DRAKE TO ORSON WELLES (excerpt):
June 1, 1942
You have got to come home right away - hugely - and not sneak in on a plane. You must return with trumpets and banners because the campaign really needs a good hot fillip of the old Welles personality. I have been planting pretty solid stuff locally and nationally and I think we have made par for the course.
There have been two other Welles pictures to keep alive, and the RKO anti-Welles battle to fight. It has never been so virulent. The juggling act done by your press office here has been nothing short of extraordinary.