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November 3, 2007
Federal Mediator seeks to head off Hollywood Writers Strike
A Federal Mediator has called for a last ditch negotiating session between the Writers Guild and studios on Sunday in a desperate effort to avert a planned strike by the writers on Monday:
The place for the meeting -- just called by Juan Carlos Gonzalez of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service -- hasn't been pinned down yet. By all accounts, the two sides are far apart on issues ranging from residuals for DVD's to the split for internet income. The new media is especially troublesome because it is difficult to track downloads. Hardest hit if there is a strike will be late night talk shows and weekly comedy programs like The Daily Show.
The dramatically positive development Friday evening follows news earlier Friday that the WGA West board and WGA East Council had accepted a negotiating committee recommendation and set a writers strike for 12:01 a.m. Monday.
Barring a weekend agreement to forestall the walkout, pickets are expected at studios and networks on both coasts."We have 48 hours and what we really want to do is not strike and come to a resolution," John Bowman, chair of the WGA's negotiating committee, said at a news conference Friday to announce the strike decision.
If there is an extended strike, series television and films would be affected as well.