By many accounts, there were four key players among the leaders of the AMPTP companies who stepped up during the past week to work the backchannels and help bring about the agreement for the two sides to resume negotiations Nov. 26.
To their credit, none of them are beating their chests (despite our requests for interviews this weekend) and for sure it’s too soon to claim victory on any level other than that the WGA and the AMPTP have commited to going back to the table. At least the hopelessness of utter impasse has eased. And after the sniping that went on last week among the sides and among third-party players on the sidelines, the biz surely seemed like it was descending deeper into the mire of bare-knuckle management-labor warfare. So the news of talks resuming next week — after hopefully what we be a mellowing (and eating heartily) period during the Thanksgiving frame — was a welcome surprise indeed when it arrived Friday night.
WGA leaders Patric Verrone and David Young deserve all due credit for navigating the situation in such a way that led back to the bargaining table, and so do (listed alphabetically, for good reason) News Corp.’s Peter Chernin, Disney’s Robert Iger, Warner Bros.’ Barry Meyer and CBS Corp.’s Leslie Moonves. All of them have taken their lumps in chants and picket signs and quotes from emotional folks on the picket lines during the past fortnight of discontent, but they also seem to get that it’s in everyone’s best interest for the scribes get back to work. — Cynthia Littleton