SAG, agents see progress in talks

Discussions to continue Sept. 25

The Screen Actors Guild and agents have achieved significant progress during negotiations to work out a new set of regulations governing talent agencies.

Reps of SAG and the Assn. of Talent Agents have held two days of face-to-face discussions in Los Angeles to set out the framework for an eventual deal. Sources close to the talks said both sides found the sessions productive.

Thursday’s talks, which lasted well into the evening, are expected to resume Sept. 25. SAG negotiators, led by assistant national executive director John McGuire, will begin talks next Wednesday in New York with the ad industry to seek a settlement in the 4-month-old strike by SAG and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.

The ATA asked for the negotiations in April after the collapse of a deal with SAG to grant agents a two-year waiver of its financial-interest rules. SAG prexy William Daniels blocked passage on the grounds that the proposed agreement — which would have allowed agents and production companies to invest in each other — offered too much potential conflict of interest.

Despite the failure of the earlier deal, the ATA has been strongly supportive of SAG during the strike. The ATA’s request for negotiations means SAG and the agents org must make a deal by Oct. 20, although negotiators could agree to waive that provision.

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