Writers, Studios Reach Tentative Deal

Key provisions of
the proposed deal:

  • The WGA is recognized as "exclusive bargaining agent" for new media such as the Internet or cellular broadcasting
  • Minimum pay rates will increase by 3.5 percent, except for prime time and daytime serial fees, which will increase by 3.0 percent
  • Pension and health insurance benefits for new media programs will be identical to those paid by TV and movie producers
  • New media programming that is reused by broadcast television will pay standard residuals
  • If a viewer pays for a download, WGA writers will earn 1.2 percent of the gross payments
  • Old TV shows and movies that are sold over the Internet will result in 1.2 percent of gross receipts to writers, new shows will pay 2 percent
  • WGA members will have access to financial data about new media programming
  • The WGA will determine writing credits on all new media programs
  • The union representing television and film writers says it has reached a tentative agreement with production studios in its dispute over pay for Internet programming.

    Writers Guild of America presidents Michael Winship and Patric Verrone announced the tentative deal to members Saturday. In a letter on the union's Web site, they say the agreement protects a future in which the Internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery, and establishes the principle that, "When they get paid, we get paid."

    They say the agreement is "neither perfect nor perhaps all that we deserve" but that the time has come to accept this contract and settle the strike.

    Members in New York and Los Angeles are reviewing the contract and could vote on ratification this weekend.

    Winship and Verrone called the three-month walkout a success but acknowledged the ongoing struggle was exhausting and took an enormous personal toll on the guild's membership.

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