Writers, Studios Agree Only That Stakes Are High

'We have to get this one right,' striker says of long-term implications
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2008 1:00 PM CST
Writer Steve Byrnes walks past a mural depicting legendary Hollywood actors as he joins thousands of people from unions including the Teamsters, Service Employees International, the California Nurses...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The $150 million or so the Writers Guild's demands would cost over the next 3 years is chump change by studio standards, but the long-term stakes in the deadlocked 2-month-old strike are high, reports the Washington Post. It's now or never for the writers to seal their piece of the nascent digital programming pie.

"We have to get this one right or it's the beginning of the end for us," says one striker, still bitter over an '80s deal that shortchanged scribes on home video residuals. Meanwhile, the sides can't even agree on how much money the average TV writer earns—studios say $204,000 a year, writers say $62,000—but neither seems in a hurry to end the strike.