CAA's Lourd helped set WGA, studio meeting



CAA partner Bryan Lourd helped broker the planned resumption of talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers.

That back-channel assistance came to light Saturday, a day after the dramatic announcement that the warring parties were headed back to the bargaining table Nov. 26.

It was unclear how long Lourd has been in communications with guild and studio brass. But a well-placed source said several studio execs attended a meeting at Lourd's residence on Friday, and by Friday night the AMPTP and WGA each put out identical statements announcing the planned resumption of talks.

The WGA has been on strike since Nov. 5, after its film and TV contract with the AMPTP expired Oct. 31. Picketing will continue even after the resumption of talks until a settlement is reached, WGA West president Patric Verrone said in a statement posted to the guild Web site.

The parties have instituted a press blackout, so it was unclear when AMPTP president Nick Counter withdrew his demand that picketing stop prior to any resumption of talks.