Friday, November 16, 2007

The WGA Strike- Our Thoughts

As members of the entertainment industry, and regular contributors to WGA scripted programming, Rosey Media has been among the many impacted by the current writer's strike. It would be less than honest to say we're excited about the strike. We're not. Several of our major clients are down for the count. We understand, however, what has brought the members of the WGA to the table. These negotiations, and arguably, the resultant strike, are not only necessary- they are an inevitability. Clearly, digital and internet distribution is no longer a sideline or broom closet experimental division of the major networks and studios. Rather, it has cemented itself as a staple, and is rapidly approaching flagship status. If this is where the industry is headed, it seems only reasonable that all parties involved in the creation of content to be used in this medium have defined responsibilities and benefits, just as they do in previously existing mediums. Internet programming is a viable marketing platform, and therefore comparable to other traditional mediums where it is considered fair that writers be compensated for their contributions. While the network and studio position that all revenue generated at this time is only going to repay investors for building the existing infrastructure is understandable, it does not excuse them from showing the same regard to their employees as they would in any other venture. No new business hires a staff and waits to pay its employees until it has broken even on its start up costs. Despite the logic of their position, we anticipate a long strike. It seems, however, that the network and studio hesitancy to grant the WGA the requested contracts only gives credence to the union position that there is quite a bit of money somewhere... And while neither of the involved parties are poverty stricken, their negotiation is necessary to set precedent for those who, years from now, could end up grossly exploited in a predominantly digital market. Having said all that, we urge both sides to stop the bitching, sit down and hammer out a deal!