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David Poland

By David Poland

The WGA On The Letterman Deal

To Our Fellow Members,
We are writing to let you know that have reached a contract with David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production company that puts his show and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson back on the air with Guild writers. This agreement is a positive step forward in our effort to reach an industry-wide contract. While we know that these deals put only a small number of writers back to work, three strategic imperatives have led us to conclude that this deal, and similar potential deals, are beneficial to our overall negotiating efforts.
First, the AMPTP has not yet been a productive avenue for an agreement. As a result, we are seeking deals with individual signatories. The Worldwide Pants deal is the first. We hope it will encourage other companies, especially large employers, to seek and reach agreements with us. Companies who have a WGA deal and Guild writers will have a clear advantage. Companies that do not will increasingly find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Indeed, such a disadvantage could cost competing networks tens of millions in refunds to advertisers.
Second, this is a full and binding agreement. Worldwide Pants is agreeing to the full MBA, including the new media proposals we have been unable to make progress on at the big bargaining table. This demonstrates the integrity and affordability of our proposals. There are no shortcuts in this deal. Worldwide Pants has accepted the very same proposals that the Guild was prepared to present to the media conglomerates when they walked out of negotiations on December 7.
Finally, while our preference is an industry-wide deal, we will take partial steps if those will lead to the complete deal. We regret that all of us cannot yet return to work. We especially regret that other late night writers cannot return to work along with the Worldwide Pants employees. But the conclusion of your leadership is that getting some writers back to work under the Guild

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5 Responses to “The WGA On The Letterman Deal”

  1. doug r says:

    There you go. World Wide Pants agreed to what the Guild wanted, they get to go back to work.

  2. RDP says:

    Pretty easy to agree to something that 1. WWP doesn’t control (they don’t own their Internet broadcast rights), and 2. will likely simply revert to the deal that’s eventually negotiated.
    Not to mention that many companies have been asking for waivers, signaling they would agree to the terms the WGA is seeking and have been turned down. What makes Dave so special and other companies not?
    Why should the Letterman writers get to go back to work when other companies are just as willing to cede to the demands and put their writers back to work, too?

  3. Roman says:

    “Why should the Letterman writers get to go back to work when other companies are just as willing to cede to the demands and put their writers back to work, too?”
    Now that the precedent has been set other companies willing to agree to the very same terms might get to get waivers signed too.

  4. Working AD says:

    From today’s Variety article, it appears that Hollywood Foreign Press and Dick Clark Productions are now trying to get the same interim deal that David Letterman got from the WGA. We’ll have to see if the WGA changes its mind about this. They have been quite firm that they will not provide any waivers or exceptions for the Golden Globes or the Oscars. The information at this point seems to be coming completely from the HFPA, not from the WGA, so this sounds more like a final, and desperate, attempt to get their show on the air. The press release was everything I would expect the HFPA to say, but it’s telling that they’re the ones pushing the idea.
    My gut says that the WGA will say no, as they did before. And then we’ll see the cancellation of the broadcast. But I could be wrong, and I’ll wait to see if WGA does something different.

  5. Working AD says:

    Oops. Looks like the WGA isn’t going for it. Once they made their own statement (now available on their website), it was very clear that what we’ve been thinking was correct: The WGA will not be making any interim deals with Dick Clark Productions, and there will be pickets at the Golden Globes. Meaning there will be very few celebrities at the Golden Globes unless they wish to be known for crossing picket lines. Meaning that the cancellation announcement should be coming by next Monday or so. If they try to put that show on without the faces, it could be a really unfortunate evening.

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