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Hollywood writers, studios keep talking; no strike yet

The continuation of talks is announced early Wednesday  

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A threatened Hollywood writers' strike was on hold as negotiators planned to resume talks Wednesday.

Negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studio executives continued past a midnight Tuesday strike deadline, breaking up about 3 a.m. (6 a.m. EDT) with plans to resume at noon.

"We are working very hard to reach an agreement," said WGA spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden.

Writers have not yet voted to authorize a strike, which means any walkout could be delayed for several more days if negotiators fail to strike a deal.

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The negotiations at a glance:
Players: Writers Guild of America (WGA), Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP)

Among the issues:
  • Residual payments for overseas broadcasts, domestic reruns
  • Money from videocassettes and DVDs
  • Raising minimum pay for writers

    Costs of a prolonged strike:
  • Loss of $6.9 billion to the Los Angeles economy and 81,900 jobs, according to a study commissioned by Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan
  • Delay in production for fall television season

    Source: Wire services
  • A strike could have a major economic impact on Los Angeles, where tens of thousands of people are employed in the film and television industries. Mayor Richard Riordan called on both sides to reach an agreement Tuesday.

    "Time is running out," he said. "Once again, I call on the producers and writers to work together in a spirit of compromise and save tens of thousands of Los Angeles jobs from the cutting room floor."

    A recent municipal study estimates the possible long-term impact of a strike at $6.9 billion.

    The most immediate impact for viewers would be on the late-night talk shows, which air daily. Soap operas have completed several weeks of new segments, but a prolonged strike would eventually affect them, according to Soap Opera Digest editor Lynn Leahy.

    Prime-time television production has wrapped up for the season, and most summer motion picture production has been completed.

    The wider effect of a Hollywood strike could imperil the vending industry, from caterers to costume rentals and even transportation suppliers.

    The Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have imposed a gag order on the talks, but sources close to the negotiations say writers still haven't bridged a $100 million gap in salary demands over three years.

    Writers want greater compensation throughout the life of a show, including money from international syndication and potential future airings on the Internet. Studios say the demand would actually cost more than $200 million.



    RELATED STORY:
    Industry, writers in 11th hour contract talks
    May 2, 2001
    Writers, actors unions gird for strike
    April 12, 2001

    RELATED SITES:
    Writers Guild of America
    Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers
    Screen Actors Guild

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