Wednesday, April 2, 2008

WGA-East Says Soap Producers Broke Agreement

The Writers Guild of America-East claimed Tuesday that ABC and Corday Productions violated the terms of their recent agreement when they refused to hire nine writers working on ABC's All My Children and Corday's Days of Our Lives, which airs on NBC.

Filing a petition for arbitration of the dispute, the WGA-East said that in the Feb. 11 agreement ending the writers' strike, the producers agreed that no writer working as a replacement during the strike would be retained when striking writers returned to work.

The guild said in arbitration papers that the companies had permanently replaced all 9 writers on soap operas "All My Children" and "Days of Our Lives."

However, in the case of the nine writers referred to in its filing, the WGA said, the companies refused to rehire them when the strike ended and retained the strike staff instead.

ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover said the allegation was untrue. Corday could not be reached for comment.

CBS Denies It Ordered Its Stations To Axe News Teams

Despite the fact that they occurred on the same day and that station executives used similar language to explain them, Monday's layoffs at the newsrooms of major CBS affiliates were not ordered by corporate headquarters, a CBS spokesman said Tuesday.

"This is not the result of any corporate mandate," CBS spokesman Dana McClintock told the New York Times.A CBS station executive confirmed, "It looks big and ugly, but it's not something that was ordered from on high."

He suggested that the action by the station resulted from reduced budgets imposed on the stations. Meanwhile, the website TVNewser reported Tuesday that CBS News had cut about 1 percent of its 1,200-member staff. (That would amount to 12 persons; CBS-owned WBZ-TV in Boston alone fired 30 staffers on Monday.)

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