TV landscape changed forever. As Ad Age went to press, the Writers Guild of America was set to meet over the weekend to vote on a deal to end the strike. But even if this work stoppage, which began Nov. 5, does get resolved this week, media buyers and analysts believe it has already changed the way broadcast TV operates and permanently altered advertisers’ relationship with the medium … Among the predictions: more reality TV, fewer programs overall and a staggered series of show launches that could move away from the fall and more toward the fourth quarter. And there will be plenty of other questions, including whether networks can get enough big-audience blockbusters on the air to allay concerns about ratings shortfalls during the strike. — AdAge

Bloggers next! The strike cost Guild members about $270 million, and there will be a bloody and bitter renegotiation in three years. In the meantime, writers receive a flat fee for work that appears on the internets, and after three years “that fee becomes 2% of some of revenue the studios receive.” And studios are very good at pretending they don’t make any money on the internets. On the plus side, now the actors probably won’t strike. And that would’ve actually shut down Hollywood … The WGA’s west coast president called the walkout “the most successful strike in American labor in the past decade,” which is ridiculously depressing and probably true. Until the great blogger strike of ’09 that is! — Gawker

Writers get their “new media” love. Although the Guild was forced to abandon some of its demands — most notably jurisdiction over animation and “reality” writers — the “new media” concessions are a huge step forward. Without getting into too much detail, the terms of the proposed deal offer writers a much larger chunk of those royalties than the Alliance previously seemed willing to give. (You can read the full outline at the second link below.) — Rotten Tomatoes

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Who wins? So why were writers so happy? The writers achieved their big goal of jurisdiction over the new, fast-growing world of digital content and online distribution, and they nailed down a revenue sharing model. The writers say they got a better deal than what the Directors Guild secured in its contract last month. (The writers get a percentage of revenues from online streaming of shows by the third year of their contract, instead of just a flat fee)…The media companies are happy because they got the guild to drop their demands for WGA jurisdiction over reality TV (a seriously profitable business for the studios) and feature animation. — Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Still fighting over an old world view. I’m sure that Hollywood views the Web as its “new syndication pipeline,” and that’s the problem. They view the disruption as just a shift from one form of mass marketing to another, and that is sadly ignorant. Jeff Zucker said the strike will make them stronger, because it allowed them to look at “the way we do business.” Right. His response so far has been to cut pilots and up-front parties. Now that’s creative! From my position, I see this a lot. Traditional media is caught trying to either maintain the status quo or move it elsewhere, and that alone won’t save the institution. While this is taking place, venture capitalists with deep pockets are investing in “what ifs” designed to dismantle what the old institution is trying to save. — Terry Heaton’s PoMo blog

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Peter Fray
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