I wish I had better news about the AMPTP-WGA contract negotiations, but I don't. To sum up, they suck. I took extra time reporting tonight, and some very surprising developments came to light. For instance, Peter Chernin is privately telling Hollywood that the producers plan to quit the talks any day now. That they have no intention of coming back with another streaming proposal "until we are close". And that they'll only give a better electronic sell-through formula "at the last minute" when a contract with the writers is virtually signed.
These quiet remarks by the Fox/News Corp No. 2 are the complete opposite of what the AMPTP is telling the WGA around the bargaining table.
I'm told Thursday's talks began at 10 AM, and both the WGA and AMPTP had a brief discussion about streaming, made-for-web content pay and jurisdiction, and electronic sell-through. Then one of the negotiators from the network and studio CEOs' side declared, "The DVD formula is good for you, and you should embrace it with open arms."