WGA agrees to public TV pact

Guild reaches agreement for freevee scribes

The Writers Guild of America has reached agreement on a new three-year deal for scribes writing for public television stations.

Deal covers work performed for Educational Broadcasting Corp. (WNET New York), WGBH Educational Foundation (WGBH Boston) and Community Television of Southern California (KCET Los Angeles).

The tentative agreement, reached May 25, is retroactive to Nov. 13. It must be approved by the boards of the WGA West and WGA East, then ratified by both memberships.

New pact includes increases in program rates, plus payments from stations’ new business ventures. Those cover downloading of programs from the Internet for viewing for an unlimited period of time; the licensing of audio portions of programs to satellite radio services for which listeners pay subscription fees; and the licensing or sale of excerpts from programs to schools and universities for educational purposes.

WGA West president Patric M. Verrone noted the guilds and stations also agreed to hold annual meetings addressing changing technology issues.

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