Work in new media eyed for WGA


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As television networks set their strike schedules, one producer is forming a company that could pave the way for guild scribes to pen content for the Web--assuming the WGA gives its okay.

Actor-producer Huntley Ritter has created Nu Media Productions, a shingle that could sell digital content to nonstruck companies.

Right now Nu Media is only courting non-WGA members such as younger scribes and reality creators, but hopes, pending WGA approval, to eventually sell content from guild members.

"Writers don't want to sneak around and write under aliases, but they want to work," Ritter said. "I see this as a positive for the WGA and for writers."

Ritter and his reps have emphasized the inclusion of only non-guild content at present.

ICM, which reps Ritter, is helping to package the projects; agency is seeking new media partners to distribute the content as well as brand sponsors to finance the projects.

An ICM rep stressed that the agency was selling only non-guild content; a spokesman said he couldn't offer comment on whether it would offer content from guild writers until the WGA had made more specific rulings on its digital strike rules.

Ritter is an actor from movies such as "Bring It On" and a producer on Warners project "The Day The Sea Came" and Par's "Go-Fast Seven;" he also has a development deal for a reality show on MySpace.

Hyphenate said he had a number of meetings over the last year about collecting digital content but decided to officially launch his company once the strike became a certainty.

"Things that were being circled became more firm," he said.

Agencies and digital producers have been eagerly awaiting clarification from the guild on digital issues.

A series of big Web players, including Yahoo and YouTube, would be considered nonstruck companies and thus potential buyers of Nu Media and other digital firms; players like MySpace would fall into the struck-company category.

On Wednesday the WGA took out ads saying that animation writers could go to work if they were members of another union, such as IATSE, in one of the first clarifications of its strike rules since the walkout began.