To Members of the Writers Guilds East and West,


four days of bargaining with the AMPTP, we are writing to let you know

that, though we are still at the table, the press blackout has been


Our inability to communicate with our members has left a

vacuum of information that has been filled with rumors, both well

intentioned and deceptive

Among the rumors was the assertion that the AMPTP had a groundbreaking proposal that would make this negotiation a "done deal." In fact, for the first three days of this week, the companies presented in essence their November 4 package with not an iota of movement on any of the issues that matter to writers.


morning, the first new proposal was finally presented to us. It dealt

only with streaming and made-for-Internet jurisdiction, and it amounts

to a massive rollback.

For streaming television episodes, the

companies proposed a residual structure of a single fixed payment of

less than $250 for a year's reuse of an hour-long program (compared to

over $20,000 payable for a network rerun). For theatrical product they

are offering no residuals whatsoever for streaming.


made-for-Internet material, they offered minimums that would allow a

studio to produce up to a 15-minute episode of network-derived web

content for a script fee of $1300. They continued to refuse to grant

jurisdiction over original content for the Internet.

In their

new proposal, they made absolutely no move on the download formula

(which they propose to pay at the DVD rate), and continue to assert

that they can deem any reuse "promotional," and pay no residual (even

if they replay the entire film or TV episode and even if they make


The AMPTP says it will have additional proposals to make

but, as of Thursday evening, they have not been presented to us. We

are scheduled to meet with them again on Tuesday.

In the

meantime, we felt it was essential to update you accurately on where

negotiations stand. On Wednesday we presented a comprehensive economic

justification for our proposals. Our entire package would cost this

industry $151 million over three years. That's a little over a 3%

increase in writer earnings each year, while company revenues are

projected to grow at a rate of 10%. We are falling behind.

For Sony, this entire deal would cost $1.68 million per year. For Disney $6.25 million. Paramount and CBS would each pay about $4.66 million, Warner about $11.2 million, Fox $6.04 million, and NBC/Universal $7.44 million. MGM would pay $320,000 and the entire universe of remaining companies would assume the remainder of about $8.3 million per year. As we've stated repeatedly, our proposals are more than reasonable and the companies have no excuse for denying it.

The AMPTP's intractability is dispiriting news but it must also be motivating. Any movement on the part of these multinational conglomerates has been the result of the collective action of our membership, with the support of SAG, other unions, supportive politicians, and the general public. We must fight on, returning to the lines on Monday in force to make it clear that we will not back down, that we will not accept a bad deal, and that we are all in this together.

In Solidarity,

Michael Winship


Writers Guild of America, East

Patric M. Verrone


Writers Guild of America, West