NY Times: new agreement may come this week


Informal talks between WGA and AMPTP have eliminated the major roadblocks to a new contract, which could lead to a tentative agreement as early as this week, according to NY Times sources.

The agreement may come without renewed formal negotiations, though both sides still need to agree on specific language of key provisions. If that process goes smoothly, an agreement may be presented to the governing boards of the WGA by the end of this week, the story said.

The breakthrough occurred Friday after two weeks of closed-door discussions confronted the difficult questions related to pay for digital distribution of shows and movies and paved the way for Friday’s movement toward a deal.

If approved, a deal would require ratification by a majority of the more than 10,000 active WGA members.
The informal sessions involved Robert Iger, Disney CEO; Peter Chernin, News Corp. President; and Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. CEO. Negotiations got a kick-start Friday when Peter Chernin returned from London and rejoined the talks in person. He also cancelled his Super Bowl tickets in order to stay in town for talks over the weekend.

Writers were represented by Patric Verrone, the president of the West Coast guild; David Young, its executive director; and John Bowman, who headed the guilds’ negotiating committee. Alan Wertheimer, a prominent entertainment attorney, also worked with the writers.