Tags: Hollywood | Writers | Announce | Deal

Hollywood Writers Announce Deal

Friday, 04 May 2001 12:00 AM

The agreement comes two days after the old contract expired.

It calls for producers to pay writers $41 million more over three years, and includes significant steps forward for the guild on issues such as emerging media and residual payments.

"This deal was unanimously accepted by the companies," said Nick Counter, chief negotiator for the AMPTP. "It's now up to the guild and the guild leaders to take it to their respective boards and their leadership."

Mike Mahern, co-chairman of the guild's negotiating committee, said the deal included an agreement for the Fox TV network to pay residuals at the same level as ABC, CBS and NBC within two years. It also removes a cap that had been in place since 1970 on residuals for TV programs in foreign markets.

The contract is also the first to contain language regarding programming written for the Internet.

"We have succeeded in bringing the rapidly growing market of programs written specifically for the Internet into the contract," said Mahern.

He also said the deal contains "greatly improved" residuals for made-for-pay-TV programs.

The announcement came as a relief to Hollywood professionals, and to Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who had warned that a long strike would have disastrous consequences for the economy.

Riordan said the WGA agreement would have a positive influence.

"I think it will be a small but meaningful boost," said Riordan, "because if nothing else it will bring a lot of confidence back to the people here about the future of our economy."

The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists issued a statement welcoming the news of an agreement between writers and producers.

"Since the AMPTP and TV networks have reached an agreement with the writers, SAG and AFTRA look forward to analyzing the new WGA deal in detail," said the statement, "to see if it will be helping in finding a way to address the specific needs of actors in our upcoming negotiations."

The contract between producers and the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists expires June 30. Union officials expect to begin talks with the AMPTP no sooner than May 10.

SAG and AFTRA announced last week that their Joint Board of Directors unanimously approved the wage and working condition proposals it will present to the AMPTP. The announcement said the package was "thought to be one of the most streamlined and focused in the history of these negotiations."

The unions said they would disclose details of their proposals "at a time SAG and AFTRA believe strategically appropriate."

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The agreement comes two days after the old contract expired. It calls for producers to pay writers $41 million more over three years, and includes significant steps forward for the guild on issues such as emerging media and residual payments. This deal was unanimously...
Hollywood,Writers,Announce,Deal
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2001-00-04
Friday, 04 May 2001 12:00 AM
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