WGA strike news summary Dec 10 2007

Crossposted from dKos, where all teh kool kidz hang this time-a day

Since the AMPTP walked out on Friday, there’s been a whole lot of finger-pointing. I was a bit too busy having a life of my own the past few days to write up more than I did the other day, but I’ll get to it tomorrow — links to my sources below the fold, if you want to read the ‘look how evil they are’ stuff directly.

There is some actual news, though, and some more actions to take. Summaries follow…

Consumers Support WGA put up some more addresses over the weekend, including AT&T, McDonalds, and an assortment of beer companies. Their new post goes up shortly after 11 pm eastern. Please head over there when you’ve got a few minutes and use their info to send polite letters to these advertisers. In their words,

Be polite and respectful as you give them a chance to win your consumer loyalty.

And you can still buy  pencils, and visit StrikeSwag.com — profits donated to the WGA’s Solidarity Fund to help non-WGA members affected by the strike.

Some sites to check out for info:  

Nikki Finke, at DeadlineHollywoodDaily.com


WGAeast blog

Livejournal fan supporters


So, the AMPTP walked out of the talks on Friday. I wrote a bit up then, and spent the last couple days doing other things, so wow is there a lot of stuff out there. News, updates, reactions,  analysis, etc., etc., etc., etc. Favorite headline: WGA’s Bowman: Producers walked out “in a bit of a huff.” Luckily, Nikki Finke took what I assume was a sanity day today (either that, or she decided that that laundry needed to get done and those groceries needed to get bought), so I assume that cut the blog-load somewhat. I’m (foolishly) getting a late start tonight, so I’ll write up the not-about-the-negotiations stuff first.

In picket news: it’s cold in NYC. Also, today was Star Trek Day at Paramount. I assume videos will start showing up tomorrow. And

Viacom Freelancers Set to Walkout Today

Something’s rotten in the state of Viacom. Parent Company of the popular cable television networks MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon, among others, informed their permanent freelance workers that their benefits will be drastically slashed, just in time for the holidays. Today, Dec. 10th at 3pm, MTV Networks freelancers plan to stage a walkout in response to these cutbacks, outside the MTV building on 1515 Broadway. The contractors have made T-shirts emblazoned with the logo: “Viacom Freelancers Get Cancer Too.”

An estimated 50 to 65 percent of Viacom’s entire workforce is considered “freelance,” with close to 2,000 Viacom freelancers in New York City alone. The offense that originally prompted action on their part occurred December 4 when they were instructed to pick up their holiday party invitations. They were then instructed to fill out “additional paperwork,” that was due two days later on Thursday, December 6. This paperwork contained the news that they were no longer entitled to their 401k plans, dental insurance, paid vacation days (of which they had five, and now have 0), holidays, and that the 50-hour workweek would become the norm, after which hourly wage earners were eligible for overtime.

Check out the NYPress article for more, and a re-do of the MTV logo as “WTF.” It happens that Viacom is the NYC picket target this Thursday:

Students and future members of the Writers Guild will join us to march with us, learn about the issues of our strike and show their support.

 I’m thinking of going, but it’s supposed to be rainy and sleety and snowy… yeah, yeah.

Turns out that the AMPTP forgot to buy AMPTP.com. No wonder they can’t figure out this internet money thing…

A couple comics have commented on the strike. It’s an obvious take, but works. But then, I generally like those strips anyway.

Benefit concerts are scheduled in Boston and LA this week…

United Hollywood wrote up a fan-action summary, starting with

FireDogLake has launched a web site that makes it click-through-easy for a fan to email the studios behind their favorite shows.

Other sites joining FireDogLake in the campaign are Daily Kos (4,050,000 hits/week), Raw Story (2,833,500), Crooks and Liars (1,850,000), AlterNet (1,500,000), and Democratic Underground (1,500,000). Carried on all those sites, almost 12,000,000 visitors/week will have the opportunity to click and send a complaint to the studio of their favorite show.

WooHoo us-by-association! The Daily Show and Colbert Report aren’t on the FDL pulldown list, probably because it sends letters to show producers to inform them of your support for the WGA, and of course Jon’s on strike himself. Doesn’t need convincing. They also point to Television Unplugged, which so far seems to be videos of fans saying “I support the WGA,” and to consumers4wga.

And I found a couple articles about the financial impact of the strike (sample title Writers’ strike, disappointing box office spoil Hollywood’s big year). But what caught my attention was

NBC has quietly begun reimbursing advertisers for fourth-quarter prime-time ratings shortfalls, averaging about $500,000 per advertiser, according to media buyers, marking the first time in years a network has taken such a step to compensate marketers for ratings deficiencies.

…NBC isn’t the only net in makegood trouble. The CW has been out of sale for several weeks now, and while the network is not giving refunds, it has issued makegoods for the last month. CBS, ABC and Fox also are doling out makegoods, primarily for first quarter.

None of the networks would comment.

…The nets’ problems emerged even before the Writers Guild strike. …

And now it’s late, so I’m just adding links to that first paragraph. I promise to spend more time going over all the negotiation info/morale building/outrage expressing posts tomorrow.


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  1. I do over at dKos. However, that extra paragraph or so was so tough to figure out…

    Maybe it’s sleepytime for Tia.  

  2. “Turns out that the AMPTP forgot to buy AMPTP.com. No wonder they can’t figure out this internet money thing…”

    Yeah, it’s not making my life easier.  Not many of them have websites that are set up for networking.  They need one Main site not a bunch of blogs.


    I’ll do what I can with what they have.

  3. go to http://www.amptp.com — way, WAY too funny! Then send emails to advertisers, as instructed above. A couple writers I talked to said that, unlike politicians, corporate executives whose companies advertise on tv actually take those comments seriously.

    They also said that it’s good to remind people that writers are not the only ones being hurt — there are thousands of below the line people and outside vendors who are suffering, too. Plus, the studios are going to save a bundle by canceling all their holiday parties (hurting more vendors) and blaming it on the strike. Nice, huh?  

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