Did talks slow for Petty cache?

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If Tom Petty sings his classic rocker "The Waiting" (" ... is the hardest part") during his Super Bowl halftime set Sunday, cast a sympathetic thought in the direction of the Hollywood press corps.

Day by day, journos scramble to figure out what's going on in the "informal" contract talks between WGA brass and studio execs, confounded by a veil of secrecy known as a "press blackout." Indeed, all of Hollywood has been straining for signs that the talks soon will produce an announcement that the discussions had gone well enough for the parties to resume formal negotiations to end the three-month writers strike.

So a reporter, playing the nudge with yet another prospective negotiations "Deep Throat" on Thursday, was taken aback by the strength of conviction with which the tipster proclaimed that no announcement would be forthcoming from the talks until next week at the earliest.

The explanation: Any announcement before then would mean holding a negotiating session Sunday, when all good labor and management representatives will want to be in front of their TV sets watching the Super Bowl.

Of course, there's another Petty classic that perhaps best captures the mood of the protracted negotiating impasse: "I Won't Back Down."
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