In Depth

WGA, Studios to Start Informal Strike Talks

Confirming several days of speculation, the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced late Tuesday they will begin informal talks on a new contract.

The parties issued a joint statement pledging they will commence talks tomorrow:

“On Wednesday, January 23, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will begin informal discussions to determine if there is a basis for both parties to return to formal negotiations. Both the AMPTP and the WGA have agreed to make no public comments about the informal discussions until those discussions have concluded.”

The meeting represents the first motion toward renewed talks since WGA negotiations broke up Dec. 7.

The announcement follows the Directors Guild of America firming up their contract with the AMPTP after only six days of formal talks that were preceded by informal discussions. The purpose of the informal talks is to get both sides close enough to an agreement so that the next round at the table will lead to a deal.

Also, the WGA announced Tuesday that they will not picket CBS’s Feb. 10 presentation of the Grammy Awards, having reached an agreement with producers.

“This is very welcome news,” CBS said in a statement. “We appreciate the WGA's consideration in this matter. The Recording Academy has put tremendous effort and planning into this 50th anniversary event.”

(Editor: Baumann)

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