With strike over, TV writers back to work

Students breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday, as the writers' strike that left many Americans without their favorite TV programs for approximately three months came to an end.

Governing boards of the unions that comprise the Writers Guild of America agreed unanimously to a tentative three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers over the weekend.

The strike, which began on Nov. 5, officially ended on Tuesday when over 12,000 television and movie writers who belong to the guild voted to conclude the strike before formal ratification of the agreement.

The Directors Guild of America, which faces a similar situation, has also reached an acceptable provisional agreement, according to its director, Michael Apted.

"Our fundamental goal was to protect our interests today while at the same time laying the groundwork for a future whose outlines are not yet clear," Apted said in a letter to DGA members. "We have done just that."

The three-month-long strike began after the AMPTD failed to meet the WGA's demands, which included an increase in royalties on DVD and Internet sales, as well as extensions in pay and benefits for reality TV writers.

Production studios argued that sales revenue from DVDs is necessary to offset the rise in costs of production and that it was too early to settle pay for online shows since technology is still changing quickly.

The strike has not only disrupted the TV industry but the daily lives of many viewers, including Geneseo students.

"I was just continuously upset and I'll be so much happier when I can watch the shows I look forward to every week," said senior Alicia Austin.

"The talk shows were awful," said junior Nicole Vershay. "They lacked humor. I'll definitely enjoy them more once the writers are back."

A Feb. 8 article in the Los Angeles Times noted that although the strike is coming to a close, the industry may have a hard time starting back up again.

"It's not just flipping a switch and having everything come right back on," said Barry Jossen, ABC Studios executive vice president of production. "There are a lot of factors and considerations that go into these decisions."