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February 3, 2008
Striking Writers Close to Deal?
A breakthrough in talks between writers and TV studios is being reported that may lead to the end of the 3 month long strike that has crippled the television industry:
The two sides breached the gap Friday on the thorniest issues, those concerning compensation for projects distributed via the Internet, said the person, who requested anonymity because he were not authorized to speak publicly. The major networks have seen a precipitous fall off in viewership during the strike and some analysts say they will have a hard time getting them back. And given the tepid reception to most of the new shows this year, that may become a harsh new reality that the networks will have to deal with. For myself, an end to the writer's strike would mean the start of "24" and the continuing adventures of Jack Bauer.
A second person familiar with the talks, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment publicly, said that significant progress had been made and a deal might be announced within a week.
The people did not provide specific details on the possible agreement. Major points of contention include how much and when writers are paid for projects delivered online after they've been broadcast on TV.
Come to think of it, one wonders how long this strike would have lasted if one side or the other had employed Mr. Bauer as a negotiator.
I doubt whether the strike would have lasted 3 hours much less three months...