CBS TV Studios has warned that the looming standoff between the WGA and ATA is “not its battle” and it’s “business as usual” in terms of writers and their agents.
The revelations came as part of a wide-ranging interview with CBS Television Studios President David Stapf, CBS All Access content boss Julie McNamara and Deborah Barak – President, Business Operations, CBS Entertainment, CBS Television Studios and CBS News.
On the matter of the looming battle between the WGA and the ATA over packaging fees, Barak said that it’s “business as usual”.
“I think that we, as a studio and a company, greatly value our relationships with writers and with agencies and for us right now, it’s business as usual. Our assumption is that this will be resolved in a way that is suitable for all parties. It’s not our battle. This is a dispute between writers and their agencies. We’ll make deals with writers one way or the other,” she added.
The comments come a day after the WGA released five new position papers on its key demands for a new franchise agreement with the Association of Talent Agents. It also comes ahead of a meeting between the two sides on Tuesday. It will be the first time they’ve sat down together since Feb. 19.
These thornier issues are the WGA’s proposed bans on packaging fees and agency production deals with related entities. The WGA East and West have set aside only one day – March 25 – for members to vote on a new Code of Conduct that would allow the guild to order its members to fire all agents who refuse to sign the Code after the existing agreement expires April 6.