Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Writer's Write And The Biz Is Back In Show Business

The 100 day-long writers strike is officially over. After voting overwhelmingly to return to work Tuesday afternoon, writers returned to the job. It's clear just driving around Los Angeles that things are picking up again--the traffic's much worse! (No joke). Writers and the studios are rushing to throw together pilots for the fall TV season.

The movie industry fared pretty well, simply because movie script development takes so long, and the studios always work months and months in advance. But if the strike had lasted much longer, the movie industry would have really felt the pinch and the fall TV season--and more importantly the upfront ad sales period--would have felt a real pinch.

The CEOs that are members of the producers association, the AMPTP issued a statement saying:

"We can now all get back to work, with the assurance that we have concluded two groundbreaking labor agreements - with our directors and our writers -- that establish a partnership through which our business can grow and prosper in the new digital age. The strike has been extraordinarily difficult for all of us, but the hardest hit of all have been the many thousands of businesses, workers and families that are economically dependent on our industry. We hope now to focus our collective efforts on what this industry does best - writers, directors, actors, production crews, and entertainment companies working together to deliver great content to our worldwide audiences."

The CEOs, of Fox, Paramount, Disney , Sony ,Warner Bros. , MGM   and NBC Universal--the AMPTP members--all signed.

Meanwhile the WGA's statement was proud of its accomplishments, saying it was worth the revenue lost:

"We are profoundly aware of the economic loss these fourteen weeks have created not only for our members but so many other colleagues who work in the television and motion picture industries. Nonetheless, with the establishment of the WGA jurisdiction over new media and residual formulas based on distributor’s gross revenue (among other gains) we are confident that the results are a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future."

Was it really worth it for the writers? The amount of revenue TV writers will earn from digital distribution of their TV shows will in NO WAY compensate for the lost salary from the last three months. But the WGA will argue, these strikes are all about the future. So only time will tell if the foothold in digital revenues is worth it.

Questions?  Comments?