The AMPTP tonight issued its response to today’s letter from SAG‘s Alan Rosenberg & Doug Allen asking Peter Chernin, Bob Iger, and Nick Counter to restart formal negotiations. Disappointing, but not surprising. Obviously, no one has bothered to tell Counter that his Big Media bosses keep telling Wall Street their business isn’t being hurt by the economic downturn, and, if anything, New Media revenues are through the roof. Yet Counter still tries to plead poverty to SAG. Hey Nick, you want cheese with that whine?

September 29, 2008

Dear Alan and Doug:

This is in response to your letter dated September 29, 2008 to Peter Chernin, Robert Iger and me.  Your letter indicates that the Screen Actors Guild is not prepared to change its position on any of the threshold issues in our negotiations.  The Guild’s position remains unchanged since we last met on July 16, 2008.  Further, in addition to new media, there are a number of significant issues which, in and of themselves, prevent the parties from reaching agreement.

Our Final Offer to the Screen Actors Guild is comparable to our agreements with the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America and AFTRA.  Our Final Offer memorializes a set of compromises, including in the area of new media, worked out with other Guilds and Unions and particularly addresses actor specific issues raised during the Screen Actors Guild negotiations.

We do not believe that it would be productive to resume negotiations at this time given SAG’s continued insistence on terms which the Companies have repeatedly rejected.

In light of the unprecedented economic difficulties facing our industry and the nation, the Companies continue to hope that the Guild’s leadership will recognize the five major labor agreements that have already been concluded this year and will accept our Final Offer while it remains on the table.

We want to reemphasize that we value greatly our industry’s talent – the directors, writers, actors, and below-the-line people who create entertainment products for audiences around the world – and hope that our Final Offer can serve as the basis of an agreement.

J. Nicholas Counter III