SAG's extra reel

Day 2 of contract talks stretches into night

The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and SAG engaged in a second full day of renewed contract talks Wednesday, meeting well into the evening at the AMPTP's Sherman Oaks headquarters.

The two sides have been locked in intense discussions to achieve a resolution to their long-stalled TV/theatrical contract conflict. The previous contract expired June 30, and the parties had not met since November as SAG fought heated internal battles.

In late January, John McGuire replaced Doug Allen as the chief negotiator for the guild.

While much of the industry hopes that a tentative agreement will materialize soon, absent a deal the actors guild will have to move on to joint negotiations with sister union AFTRA for a new broadcast commercials contract beginning Monday. That contract already has been extended twice.

Practically speaking, this could delay a resumption of SAG-AMPTP talks — assuming that progress is being made and no one walks away from the table again — until March. That Wednesday's meeting was still ongoing at 8 p.m. struck interested observers as a good sign. The two sides had convened about 9 a.m. and met Tuesday until 7 p.m.

Interim national executive director David White has scheduled a national board meeting for Saturday, presumably to accelerate board approval and the mailing of ratification ballots should a tentative agreement be reached with the AMPTP this week. Once a deal is approved by a majority of the board, the larger paid-up membership has three weeks to vote the contract offer up or down. (partialdiff)