Dec 01, 2020
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Headline, Industry News

Deadline looms for WGA leaders

A tacit deadline is looming for WGA leaders – within the next week and possibly within the next few days – to make progress on the key issues in their informal talks with studio brass or run the risk that the CEOs will end the sessions out of frustration.

As the strike enters its 88th day today, there has been no date set for the start of formal bargaining. That, combined with strike fatigue and SAG’s recent militancy, has darkened the town’s already gloomy mood, with some worrying that SAG will join the writers strike in July and that both guilds will stay out at least into the fall.

Sources have said that recent informal meetings between guild leaders and the moguls have remained largely unproductive on the biggest compensation issues, trying the patience of the strike-weary town.

Talks will resume today, with News Corp. president Peter Chernin and Disney topper Robert Iger repping the congloms.

The informal talks are in their second week, with both sides continuing their no-comment policy and observing a news blackout. Neither side had any comment Thursday about the meetings – which are serving as de facto negotiations aimed at setting the stage for the resumption of official negotiations.

With no official word, optimists have concluded that as long as both sides keep talking, they’ll be heading toward a done deal. But concerns have emerged from the writers’ side that the moguls were threatening to ditch the talks if the WGA won’t agree to the formula for downloads in the DGA deal.

Those worries have crystallized due to SAG’s bombshell announcement on Tuesday that expressed deep misgivings about terms of the directors’ pact. SAG claimed the DGA’s doubling of the download residuals formulas – to 0.7% for TV and 0.65% in features – was actually an AMPTP rollback since the WGA, SAG and the DGA had filed grievances over the fact that the download rate did not equal the pay TV rate of 1.2%.

The DGA told SAG to butt out and insisted it’s made an impressive deal, with major gains in new media and access to company data. The AMPTP shot back a day later by saying that the guilds hadn’t pursued the grievances seriously, opting to settle them at the bargaining table.

SAG’s announcement has been widely viewed as reflecting efforts by its close allies at the WGA to press the congloms for better terms at the informal talks – though moderate WGA members have questioned the wisdom of SAG issuing such a jarring announcement after the WGA told its members to cool down their rhetoric when informal talks started.

Some members of the WGA’s negotiating committee have been frustrated that those involved in the informal talks – WGA West prexy Patric Verrone, WGA West exec director David Young and negotiating committee chair John Bowman – have not shared information with fellow members of the 17-member committee.

Other high-profile writers, including showrunners Tom Fontana and John McNamara and WGA West board member Phil Alden Robinson, have continued to publicly criticize the DGA deal.

McNamara, whose overall deal at CBS Paramount Network TV was terminated Jan. 14, said Thursday that the DGA deal is "bad."

"It may be a bad deal with a few good points, but it is not the reverse," he asserted in a letter posted on the UnitedHollywood.com blog. "Don’t be swayed to think otherwise. You know what’s right here. Everyone does, no matter what they say out of anger, desperation, greed or exhaustion."

The WGA also announced Thursday that it had inked two more interim deals, signing with the Film Dept. and Intermedia in the 15th and 16th such agreements unveiled in the past month. The news came a day after the guild announced a deal with Overture Films and less than a week after similar agreements were signed with Lionsgate, Marvel and RKO.

The interim deals let the companies hire writers under the terms and conditions offered by the WGA before formal negotiations with the AMPTP collapsed Dec. 7.

For the WGA, the deals are a way to gain leverage in persuading the congloms to resume formal talks. The AMPTP has characterized the deals as meaningless because the companies signing them know they will not have to abide by their terms for very long, since they’ll be superseded by whatever final industrywide accords are reached.

"Companies like Intermedia and the Film Dept. recognize the importance of signing a deal that compensates writers fairly for the work they do," said Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship in a joint statement. "In turn, we’ve designed an agreement for the entertainment industry that takes into account the economic realities that it faces."

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

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Headline, Industry News

Deadline looms for WGA leaders

A tacit deadline is looming for WGA leaders – within the next week and possibly within the next few days – to make progress on the key issues in their informal talks with studio brass or run the risk that the CEOs will end the sessions out of frustration.

As the strike enters its 88th day today, there has been no date set for the start of formal bargaining. That, combined with strike fatigue and SAG’s recent militancy, has darkened the town’s already gloomy mood, with some worrying that SAG will join the writers strike in July and that both guilds will stay out at least into the fall.

Sources have said that recent informal meetings between guild leaders and the moguls have remained largely unproductive on the biggest compensation issues, trying the patience of the strike-weary town.

Talks will resume today, with News Corp. president Peter Chernin and Disney topper Robert Iger repping the congloms.

The informal talks are in their second week, with both sides continuing their no-comment policy and observing a news blackout. Neither side had any comment Thursday about the meetings – which are serving as de facto negotiations aimed at setting the stage for the resumption of official negotiations.

With no official word, optimists have concluded that as long as both sides keep talking, they’ll be heading toward a done deal. But concerns have emerged from the writers’ side that the moguls were threatening to ditch the talks if the WGA won’t agree to the formula for downloads in the DGA deal.

Those worries have crystallized due to SAG’s bombshell announcement on Tuesday that expressed deep misgivings about terms of the directors’ pact. SAG claimed the DGA’s doubling of the download residuals formulas – to 0.7% for TV and 0.65% in features – was actually an AMPTP rollback since the WGA, SAG and the DGA had filed grievances over the fact that the download rate did not equal the pay TV rate of 1.2%.

The DGA told SAG to butt out and insisted it’s made an impressive deal, with major gains in new media and access to company data. The AMPTP shot back a day later by saying that the guilds hadn’t pursued the grievances seriously, opting to settle them at the bargaining table.

SAG’s announcement has been widely viewed as reflecting efforts by its close allies at the WGA to press the congloms for better terms at the informal talks – though moderate WGA members have questioned the wisdom of SAG issuing such a jarring announcement after the WGA told its members to cool down their rhetoric when informal talks started.

Some members of the WGA’s negotiating committee have been frustrated that those involved in the informal talks – WGA West prexy Patric Verrone, WGA West exec director David Young and negotiating committee chair John Bowman – have not shared information with fellow members of the 17-member committee.

Other high-profile writers, including showrunners Tom Fontana and John McNamara and WGA West board member Phil Alden Robinson, have continued to publicly criticize the DGA deal.

McNamara, whose overall deal at CBS Paramount Network TV was terminated Jan. 14, said Thursday that the DGA deal is "bad."

"It may be a bad deal with a few good points, but it is not the reverse," he asserted in a letter posted on the UnitedHollywood.com blog. "Don’t be swayed to think otherwise. You know what’s right here. Everyone does, no matter what they say out of anger, desperation, greed or exhaustion."

The WGA also announced Thursday that it had inked two more interim deals, signing with the Film Dept. and Intermedia in the 15th and 16th such agreements unveiled in the past month. The news came a day after the guild announced a deal with Overture Films and less than a week after similar agreements were signed with Lionsgate, Marvel and RKO.

The interim deals let the companies hire writers under the terms and conditions offered by the WGA before formal negotiations with the AMPTP collapsed Dec. 7.

For the WGA, the deals are a way to gain leverage in persuading the congloms to resume formal talks. The AMPTP has characterized the deals as meaningless because the companies signing them know they will not have to abide by their terms for very long, since they’ll be superseded by whatever final industrywide accords are reached.

"Companies like Intermedia and the Film Dept. recognize the importance of signing a deal that compensates writers fairly for the work they do," said Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship in a joint statement. "In turn, we’ve designed an agreement for the entertainment industry that takes into account the economic realities that it faces."

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

Deadline looms for WGA leaders

A tacit deadline is looming for WGA leaders – within the next week and possibly within the next few days – to make progress on the key issues in their informal talks with studio brass or run the risk that the CEOs will end the sessions out of frustration.

As the strike enters its 88th day today, there has been no date set for the start of formal bargaining. That, combined with strike fatigue and SAG’s recent militancy, has darkened the town’s already gloomy mood, with some worrying that SAG will join the writers strike in July and that both guilds will stay out at least into the fall.

Sources have said that recent informal meetings between guild leaders and the moguls have remained largely unproductive on the biggest compensation issues, trying the patience of the strike-weary town.

Talks will resume today, with News Corp. president Peter Chernin and Disney topper Robert Iger repping the congloms.

The informal talks are in their second week, with both sides continuing their no-comment policy and observing a news blackout. Neither side had any comment Thursday about the meetings – which are serving as de facto negotiations aimed at setting the stage for the resumption of official negotiations.

With no official word, optimists have concluded that as long as both sides keep talking, they’ll be heading toward a done deal. But concerns have emerged from the writers’ side that the moguls were threatening to ditch the talks if the WGA won’t agree to the formula for downloads in the DGA deal.

Those worries have crystallized due to SAG’s bombshell announcement on Tuesday that expressed deep misgivings about terms of the directors’ pact. SAG claimed the DGA’s doubling of the download residuals formulas – to 0.7% for TV and 0.65% in features – was actually an AMPTP rollback since the WGA, SAG and the DGA had filed grievances over the fact that the download rate did not equal the pay TV rate of 1.2%.

The DGA told SAG to butt out and insisted it’s made an impressive deal, with major gains in new media and access to company data. The AMPTP shot back a day later by saying that the guilds hadn’t pursued the grievances seriously, opting to settle them at the bargaining table.

SAG’s announcement has been widely viewed as reflecting efforts by its close allies at the WGA to press the congloms for better terms at the informal talks – though moderate WGA members have questioned the wisdom of SAG issuing such a jarring announcement after the WGA told its members to cool down their rhetoric when informal talks started.

Some members of the WGA’s negotiating committee have been frustrated that those involved in the informal talks – WGA West prexy Patric Verrone, WGA West exec director David Young and negotiating committee chair John Bowman – have not shared information with fellow members of the 17-member committee.

Other high-profile writers, including showrunners Tom Fontana and John McNamara and WGA West board member Phil Alden Robinson, have continued to publicly criticize the DGA deal.

McNamara, whose overall deal at CBS Paramount Network TV was terminated Jan. 14, said Thursday that the DGA deal is "bad."

"It may be a bad deal with a few good points, but it is not the reverse," he asserted in a letter posted on the UnitedHollywood.com blog. "Don’t be swayed to think otherwise. You know what’s right here. Everyone does, no matter what they say out of anger, desperation, greed or exhaustion."

The WGA also announced Thursday that it had inked two more interim deals, signing with the Film Dept. and Intermedia in the 15th and 16th such agreements unveiled in the past month. The news came a day after the guild announced a deal with Overture Films and less than a week after similar agreements were signed with Lionsgate, Marvel and RKO.

The interim deals let the companies hire writers under the terms and conditions offered by the WGA before formal negotiations with the AMPTP collapsed Dec. 7.

For the WGA, the deals are a way to gain leverage in persuading the congloms to resume formal talks. The AMPTP has characterized the deals as meaningless because the companies signing them know they will not have to abide by their terms for very long, since they’ll be superseded by whatever final industrywide accords are reached.

"Companies like Intermedia and the Film Dept. recognize the importance of signing a deal that compensates writers fairly for the work they do," said Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship in a joint statement. "In turn, we’ve designed an agreement for the entertainment industry that takes into account the economic realities that it faces."

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

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