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Writers, producers set date for talks

They agree on a second round but remain far apart on several issues.

August 29, 2007|Richard Verrier | Times Staff Writer

Hollywood's writers and producers have agreed on at least one thing: a date to resume contract negotiations.

J. Nicholas Counter III, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, on Tuesday accepted an offer from David Young, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, West, to begin a second round of talks Sept. 19.

The guild's contract expires Oct. 31. Negotiations on a new three-year deal began July 16 but ended a few days later with each side lambasting the other's proposals.

The sides are far apart on several issues, notably pay for work that is distributed via the Internet and other new media.

Nonetheless, the parties were expected to resume talks after producers successfully concluded negotiations with several basic crafts unions.

Guild officials wanted to wait until after the Writers Guild of America, West, tallies results from the election of officers and board members Sept. 18.

The election will be an important referendum on the leadership of animation writer Patric M. Verrone, who is seeking a second term as president and has vowed to take an aggressive line in negotiations.

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richard.verrier@latimes.com

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