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TV Writers Vote to End Union’s 3-Month Strike

Members of the Writers Guild of America returned to work Wednesday, after voting to end a 100-day strike that left many out of work and TV shows in reruns. Michael Winship, president of the WGA-East, discusses the details of the agreement reached with the studios.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    And finally tonight, writing a news story in Hollywood as the writers strike comes to an end. Jeffrey Brown has our Media Unit report.

  • UNION SPOKESMAN:

    The strike is over.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Those words brought an end to the 100-day writers' block, which took many popular TV programs off the air, turned this year's Golden Globe awards into a glorified press conference, and had threatened to disrupt Hollywood's biggest night, the Oscars.

  • STEVEN LEIVA, Writer:

    Our motto was, "If you make money, we make money." What could be more fair than that?

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    More than 3,700 writers cast ballots yesterday in Los Angeles, New York and by fax. And when it was over, 92 percent had voted to approve the agreement that their guild negotiators inked over the weekend with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

  • ROBIN SWICORD, Writer:

    I think this is the best contract that we could get under the circumstances. And I think that we fought really hard for it and that it really sets us up for the future.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    The writers won a key concession, guaranteeing payment for their work streamed over the Internet.

  • ACTOR:

    Oh, dude, are you crying?

  • ACTOR:

    No, I'm happy.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    But they gave in on other areas, including a demand that the union represent writers of feature animation and the reality TV shows that many networks leaned heavily on during the three-month work stoppage.

    A statement from the CEOs of eight major studios expressed satisfaction: "We can now all get back to work with the assurance that we have concluded two groundbreaking labor agreements with our directors and our writers that establish a partnership through which our business can grow and prosper in the new digital age."

  • ACTOR:

    I was going to throw this toast out, but it's yours if you want it.

  • ACTOR:

    When did I become the family dog?

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    CBS today became the first network to announce that its primetime sitcoms and dramas will be back on the air beginning in mid- to late-March.

    Writers for late-night comedy shows are back on the job today.

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