Letterman strikes deal with WGA

by Paul William Tenny

david-letterman.jpgLate-night TV is about to come back on the air with all hosts returning to their shows, minus writers, with the exception of David Letterman who actually owns his show and has negotiated an interim deal with the Writers Guild of America. Naturally CBS distanced itself from the deal because they didn't want to look like they were making positive efforts to end the strike. They really want to own that "greedy retarded child" image, don't they?

News about it here, here, and here.

I can see how writers are upset that Leno, O'Brien, and Letterman are going back on the air during a strike when they are all WGA members, crossing picket lines, and damaging the strike by putting money back into the pockets of the networks who are refusing to share it online.

There are also a lot of below-the-line people who haven't worked in six weeks that will be getting their jobs back, and in a cruel bit of irony, too late to do much about financial Christmas shortfalls. That really, really sucks, but does it suck or more less in comparison to the multi-billion dollar conglomerates costing themselves $300 million per month over what amounts to a demand for $50 million per year in new media residuals?

Only Letterman will be coming back with his writing staff since his company owns the Late Show and they made a special deal with the WGA, everyone else will be back sans monologue and pre-interview skits. I'm curious though, what kind of deal did Letterman's company make, exactly? Does it include new media jurisdiction? Did the WGA get everything they wanted from the AMPTP in this deal?
in Labor, Television


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