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Writer's Strike Over?


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Michael Eisner, the former CEO of Disney and host of CNBC's "Conversations with Michael Eisner" revealed on Fast Money that the writers strike is effectively over and that a deal should be announced this week-end. Here's what was said.


Where do we stand on the WGA strike?


“It’s over,” says Eisner.


That’s it?


“They’ve made a deal, they shook hands on a deal,” he replies. "The deal is going on Saturday to the constituents (for a vote)… I think it’s impossible that they turn it down. A deal has been made and (the writers) will be back to work reasonably soon!”


That seems like pretty big news. As far as you’re saying the strike is over?


“Yeah, I know the deal’s been made and I know the strike is over.”


He adds, “I have some friends in certain places and I believe there was a handshake last Friday… it’s possible they (the writers) will turn it down but it would be insane if they turned it down.”


What are the implications of the deal as you understand it?


“Most of the companies that own the content are very large," says Eisner. “Yes, most of them might have a teeny write-downs… and some of the syndication values could be delayed but I don’t think it’s a big deal. I don’t think it will hurt Time Warner or Disney or News Corp or Viacom. It’s not of no consequence but I don’t think it’s earth shattering.


A lot of writers had their deals torn up when they went on strike. What now?


“I think a lot of writers lost their deals and they won’t be reinstated," Eisner replies. "One of the reasons these media companies don’t have economic problems is that they cut back on these big (writer) deals….Of course the talented writers will get new deals but in the short term I think the strike was a mistake (because) it was fairly ill-timed," he says. "If there was going to be a strike I think it should have been 3 years from now when (the writers) really understood the definition of the online business and where the revenues are coming from."


What do you make of the recent strength in media earnings?


“Most investors know that media companies are resistant to slowdowns,” Eisner replies. “I think a recession has already been built into the media stocks and most of them are undervalued right now.”


“If you look at media companies, these brands sustain themselves,” he says. “You really can’t say the sky is falling unless you’re making Chicken Little as a movie!”


Empy what news can you find, I know you have better resources than me.

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Awesome news.


From BBC:


Deal 'may end US writers' strike' 


Writers are still on strike but awaiting details of a deal

There is optimism that the writers' strike in the US could be resolved at the weekend, according to reports.

It is expected a three-year deal will be presented to writers on Saturday, aiming for ratification by Sunday.


The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been conducting confidential talks with studio bosses to resolve the dispute, which began on 5 November.


Scriptwriters want to be paid more for films and TV shows that are downloaded from the internet or sold on DVD.


The Los Angeles Times said guild leaders would put the contract to thousands of members at two meetings in Los Angeles and New York.




If accepted, the WGA's board could approve the contract on Sunday and urge writers back to work the following day, the newspaper added.


But industry journal Variety said there was some concern from guild members about the potential deal.


"I'm going to hear what they have to say on Saturday before I decide," striking writer Jim Kouf told the publication.



Fox's House starring Hugh Laurie is expected to return quickly

"I do not want us to prematurely accept a bad contract, after everything we've been through."


Any deal would have to be approved by a majority of the guild's active members, which number more than 10,000.


If agreement is reached, studio executives said it would take about two months for new programmes to emerge.


Some experts calculate episodes could cost an extra $200,000 (£102,700) each because of the extra costs to restart production.


Cancellation risk


Studios will have to decide which of the 65 affected series will come back, with hits House, CSI, Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives likely to get priority.


Other series including Cane and Bionic Woman are at risk of cancellation, according to the LA Times.


Movies have been less severely affected because they have longer production times.


Two high profile productions, the Da Vinci Code prequel Angels and Demons and Johnny Depp's Shantaram, could be up and running quickly.


A deal would also guarantee that this month's Academy Awards ceremony will take place as planned on 24 February.


The strike has hit film and TV production across the US and caused the cancellation of last month's Golden Globes awards ceremony.




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I sure hope so, but it kind of sounded to me like Michael Eisner is putting his cart before his horse.  I mean, the writers Could still oppose the deal.  Even he said that in his interview.  I wish they wouldn't say things like "the strike is over" until it was Actually Over.

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I'm a bit skeptical.


Check out Nikki Finke's blog (http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/) who seems to think that the strike would only be called off after there is a vote in the union to accept the strike.  The deal would be presented to the WGA over the weekend, and if the negotiators accept it, then the union will have to vote.  At least thats how the Teamsters work.  



Also, http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/tv/ny-etstrike0208,0,5180930.story points out that there is a blackout on the WGA side of the table, and they are the one to call an end to the strike.  Eisner may be hinting at a better deal than they've offered, but he isn't in a position to know what the WGA will or won't do as far as accepting the deal and calling off the strike.

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