Telegdy, who became sole Chairman of NBC Entertainment in October, admitted that the network is remaining cautious and will be prepared in case of industrial action.
He said that NBC is “one of a number of very big companies that have their own commercial agenda to run” but that they “rely” on the talent and are proud of how they pay them.
“We think of ourselves as very talent friendly and we’re proud of how we remunerate people who work here and come here as performers, writers and directors,” Telegdy said. “This is a circuitous way of saying, that while I’m not directly involved in those negotiations, we’ve been told that we should be cautious as always and that a strike is something we should always be prepared for but that things seem to be quite peaceful right now.”
Telegdy’s comments come as the WGA’s current film and TV contract with AMPTP expires in a few months. As Deadline has reported, the TV studios have been preparing for a possible writers work stoppage, but a number of industry insiders, including Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin and John August, who is a member of the WGA’s negotiating committee for the contract talks, have stressed that a strike is not inevitable.
As part of their preparations, TV studios have been banking extra scripts for their ongoing series where they can, in order to keep series in production in case of a strike. They also have been pursuing more limited series as well as ramping up unscripted plans.
The changing nature of the business is set to be a key component to the talks, including the rise of the streamers, which has put streaming residuals at the forefront. The WGA is also heading into the AMPTP negotiations under unprecedented circumstances — the guild is currently in a standoff with the major talent agencies.
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