TCA cancels Jan. press tour


The January TCA press tour has become the latest casualty of the writers strike.

Dave Walker sent word to members of the Television Critics Assn. on Monday night that he has reluctantly become the first TCA president ever to cancel one of the biannual press tours.

"The machinations that forced this outcome were outside our control," he told members. "It was and remains the TCA's preference to stage a January 2008 TV tour, strike or not. Given the current woeful state of the negotiations, as well as broadcast network reluctance to present during a strike, that does not appear possible."

Last week, Walker said he would wait until the end of this week before making a decision. He sped up the process, he said, because prospects of a settlement were dim and the host hotel, the Universal City Hilton, will need as much time as possible to fill the space previously committed to the press tour.

Up until last week, the TCA had a fallback position in case the strike didn't end and the broadcast networks would not participate. There were plans for a shorter tour, based on a commitment from PBS and cable networks. That unraveled, though, when PBS abruptly changed its position.