Strike Talks Continue as Rumors Swirl

Posted on January 31, 2008

Strike talks between the WGA and the AMPTP are continuing, as is the news blackout. Lots of rumors have been percolating around the Internets about exciting progress, but unfortunately they're just unsubstantiated rumors.

The Hollywood Reporter points to the WGA's cancellation of a planned meeting by the WGA with CBS' institutional investors to show that things are looking up.
n a signal that informal talks to end the writers strike may be gaining momentum, the WGA has offered an olive branch to the congloms by abruptly canceling a Wall Street confab for CBS' institutional investors. The guild -- now in its 87th day of striking -- pulled the plug Wednesday without explanation on what would have been a presentation aimed at persuading investors to put pressure on CBS honcho Leslie Moonves to make a deal with the WGA.

Next Tuesday's event at the Cornell Club in Gotham would have also been designed to persuade research analysts to lower their investment ratings on CBS stock. The get-together was billed as an hourlong event to present the WGA's analysis of the strike's impact on the congloms generally and CBS specifically, featuring speeches by WGA West president Patric Verrone, WGA East prexy Michael Winship, SAG president Alan Rosenberg and writers and actors from CBS programs.

Neither side had any comment Wednesday about the confab or the informal talks, which have entered their second week under a news blackout with the goal of setting the stage for the resumption of official negotiations.

But the WGA's move to deep-six an event that could have angered the congloms will likely be interpreted by the town as a sign that the talks -- despite their slow pace -- are yielding some progress. WGA West exec director David Young noted in the invitation, sent out Sunday to research analysts, that most analysts view CBS as being "especially vulnerable" to the strike because of its concentration in network TV.
We're cautiously optimistic.

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