Talks wait as AMPTP huddles


It appears management negotiators might be cooking up something to present at their next negotiating session with the WGA.

What that is precisely won't be entirely clear until Thursday. The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers have asked for one more day to caucus among themselves.

The AMPTP's negotiating team did just that all day Tuesday. So the request for yet another day of caucusing today likely means a detailed presentation of some sort could be in the works.

Possibilities range from a more elaborate management presentation of existing proposals to something completely out of left field that could push the proceedings in a whole new direction — for better or worse.

Two previous AMPTP proposals won't be up for discussion when the parties reconvene at WGA headquarters for their 12th collective bargaining session since talks began July 16.

The AMPTP had proposed studying the difficult question of Internet compensation but withdrew the idea after the guild balked. The management group also proposed — only to later remove from consideration — a reworking of current residual formulas to allow studios to recoup certain basic costs before paying future residuals on film and TV projects.

On the writers' side of the table, key demands include doubling current compensation on DVDs and expanding pay for Internet and other new-media content.

The WGA's current film and TV contract with the AMPTP expires Oct. 31. After a recent strike vote, the writers could call a work stoppage at any point after that.

The guild, which had been set to resume negotiations this morning, agreed to the AMPTP's postponement request but had no immediate public comment.

Meanwhile, the WGA scheduled a separate bit of business of its own for this morning.

WGA West president Patric Verrone will lead a group protesting a refusal by producers of FremantleMedia's "Temptation" to allow writers on the game show to join the WGA. The Burbank protest — the second one aimed at Fremantle — is part of a recent campaign by the WGAW to step up organizing efforts on reality and game shows.