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Hollywood Strike Trade

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With union writers walking picket lines for 7 weeks now, the WGA strike is beginning to reshape the business of entertainment. Can you profit from the change?

TV and film producer Gavin Polone joins the panel for this conversation. Following is a synopsis of his main points.

Is there any end in sight?

Yes says Palone, and I think it will come sometime in the spring. WGA (Writers Guild) talks broke down on December 4th but I believe the DGA (Directors Guild) will work out a deal that will break ground in new media and that will become the template.

So are the writers a lost cause?

They’ve shown too much hostility, replies Palone, where the DGA has handled it in a more business like way. Soon, the WGA will feel pressure from their constituents who have been out of work for a while.

At the time of the strike CBS appeared the most vulnerable. Are they now?

Absolutely not, says Palone. They own a radio company, a billboard company and TV stations. And all their businesses will likely benefit in the upcoming election year. CBS will be fine.

How does the strike change the TV model?

One model that’s been broken for a lot of years is the pilot season, replies Palone. The way it’s done now is all the TV networks make pilots between January and April and then present them in upfront presentations to advertisers.

Because the pilot season is effectively dead this year, I think they will have to make pilots all year and figure out a way to partner differently with the advertisers.

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DIS
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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 19, 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (ATVI), (DIS), (SWY); Najarian Owns (C), (MS), (ORCL); Najarian Owns (RIMM) Options; Najarian Owns (BSC) Options; Seymour Owns (MER), Seymour Owns (MSFT); Seygem Asset Management Owns (CCJ) Uranium One; NBC Universal Is The Parent Company Of CNBC; Polone Has Done Business With Viacom, Time Warner, News Corp., CBS, NBC Universal, Disney