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Strike Negotiation Progress News


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#1 Hal Smith

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 03:26 PM

By Paul Farhi and Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, February 3, 2008; Page A04

After weeks of stalled talks, negotiators in the entertainment writers' strike have suddenly made "substantial progress" in their discussions, people with knowledge of the talks said yesterday, raising hopes in Hollywood that a settlement could come as early as this week.

Representatives of the Writers Guild of America and the major movie studios and TV networks appear to have tentatively resolved the major issues that led the labor union's 10,500 members to walk out on Nov. 5, sources said.

Both sides have agreed to a media blackout regarding negotiations, and officials from the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers declined to comment yesterday.

"No one will say it's done," a person with knowledge of the discussions said, but a "staggering amount" of progress was made Friday after nine hours of informal discussions in Los Angeles. The next step, the person said, is to get the results of the negotiation on paper. "Until it's on paper, no one is saying anything" publicly, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the no-comment agreement.

A settlement would restart production of TV dramas and sitcoms, which ground to a halt not long after writers on both coasts walked out 13 weeks ago. A quick resolution would enable the broadcast networks to wind up this disrupted TV season with at least some original fare. However, industry executives say that, even if a deal is struck in the next few days, it could take a few weeks for benched series to get going again.

With television production effectively shut down in Hollywood and in much of New York, the networks have filled their prime-time schedules with reruns and "reality" series, some of which had been ordered as part of the networks' strike contingency plans. Movie production has been less impaired.

A more immediate beneficiary of a quick settlement would be the Feb. 24 Academy Awards telecast. The Screen Actors Guild has said that its members will not attend the event if the writers are still on strike, a move that probably would reduce the Oscars to a glamour-less, celebrity-free event. That fate befell NBC's broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards last month and sent its ratings plunging.

Word of progress in the negotiations, including a report yesterday on the New York Times Web site, set off a flurry of optimistic e-mails in the entertainment industry. Although several people said a deal could be announced as soon as late yesterday, those hopes were quickly dashed. The two sides have yet to commit their agreement to writing.

A member of the guild who writes TV comedies sounded a skeptical note. "I'm hopeful but wary, as these types of early, optimistic rumors have been deliberately seeded by the [producers] in the past to artificially raise and then dash our hopes as a bargaining bludgeon," said the writer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Writers Guild's negotiating committee has scheduled a videoconference for tomorrow to discuss developments. Any settlement proposal would have to be ratified by the guild's members.

The negotiations got a boost on Friday, sources said, when Peter Chernin, the president of News Corp., returned from London and rejoined the talks. Chernin's company owns the 20th Century Fox movie studio and the Fox broadcast network, and he is one of the powerful moguls leading the discussions, along with Robert A. Iger, the chief executive of the Walt Disney Co., as well as Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS.

The studios walked away from negotiations on Dec. 7. But Chernin and Iger resumed informal talks with top Writers Guild officials on Jan. 22 after producers reached an agreement with the Directors Guild of America.

Writers have been seeking bigger fees, known as residuals, from the sale of home videos, and compensation from Internet downloads and streaming of TV programs and movies. The big stumbling block has been the precise formula for Internet residuals
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 01:14 AM

Sounds pretty good. Keep those fingers (and toes for good measure) crossed.
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#3 robert duke

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 09:54 AM

I received a rumor that the impending resolution to the WGA strike was just a rumor being floated by the producers to sling mud on the wga. It was intended as the rumor goes to frustrate the below the line crew and make the WGA unpopular.

any one else hear this?
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:40 PM

There was an article in Variety last Friday saying that they're not as close as previously thought. But I saw a more recent headline saying the opposite. Bottom line, Variety doesn't really know, and rumors are even less reliable than that. The best advice is fuggedaboutit.




-- J.S.
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#5 robert duke

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 06:41 PM

Just starting to bite my nails a little lookin at the calender.
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#6 Walter Graff

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 07:20 PM

The strike will be over in about ten days form this post.
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#7 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 09:11 PM

...Strike? What strike? :blink:

(Hey, you said forget about it!)
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#8 darrin p nim

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 05:31 AM

strike over? got this from my brother (not in the industry).

http://www.cnbc.com/id/23057002
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#9 Alex Ellerman

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 12:03 PM

http://www.deadlineh...-next-few-days/

nikki finke always seems to know what's up... sounds like this may get done, but may not. if it doesn't get done in time for the Oscars... probably not good.
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#10 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 12:29 AM

That guy with the sign is my favorite.

Maybe we should all start a pool or something... :lol:
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 05:29 PM

I've been hearing stuff about a 'tentative agreement' on the radio around town. Hopefully it's reliable and everyone can get abck to work soon.
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#12 Walter Graff

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 01:58 PM

http://blogs.mediapo...?p=879#comments
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#13 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:01 PM

So how long do you think it'll take for things to get back to normal if the strike is resolved soon? I mean "things" like the whole film industry not just the writers. I wonder if there will be a big surge in production...
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#14 F Bulgarelli

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 07:00 PM

So how long do you think it'll take for things to get back to normal if the strike is resolved soon? I mean "things" like the whole film industry not just the writers. I wonder if there will be a big surge in production...



Well, I think there is going to be a lot of catch up to do so it's going to be crazy! get ready!
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#15 John Sprung

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 09:30 PM

So how long do you think it'll take for things to get back to normal if the strike is resolved soon? I mean "things" like the whole film industry not just the writers. I wonder if there will be a big surge in production...

About three weeks to re-boot the TV industry....


-- J.S.
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#16 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 12:05 AM

Haha...nice analogy!

Wow, life is interesting. The strike's almost freakin' over and I guess this means I have to tell that trashy nightclub in the Village that I'm not coming back to work.

...I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
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#17 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 06:20 AM

Wow, life is interesting. The strike's almost freakin' over and I guess this means I have to tell that trashy nightclub in the Village that I'm not coming back to work.

And I guess I'll have to tell that trashy bar in Hollywood that I won't be there as much....
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#18 Paul Maibaum ASC

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:27 PM

It's official: WGA strike is over
92.5% of guild vote in favor of strike's end
http://www.variety.c...2...yid=10&cs=1
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#19 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 02:55 AM

Well it's about goddamn time.

I mean....

werd. ;)
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#20 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 03:11 AM

Well it's about goddamn time.

I mean....

werd. ;)


Now that that is over with, when are you coming out west, Annie? :lol:
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