Hollywood writers reportedly near deal with studios to end strike

Hollywood writers and studios are reportedly near an agreement to end one of the months-long strikes that have brought production of TV shows and movies to a halt.

Citing sources close to the negotiations, CNBC reported Wednesday night that the two sides were close to a deal following a face-to-face meeting earlier in the day. The sides are reportedly optimistic that an agreement can be finalized Thursday. However, the report also said the strike could drag on through the end of the year if a deal is not reached.

Separately, Deadline reported the meeting saw “incredible progress,” citing a source close to the talks.

The New York Times reported that Wednesday’s meeting was attended by the studios’ top executives, including Netflix
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Co-Chief Executive Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery
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CEO David Zaslav, Disney
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CEO Bob Iger, and Donna Langley, chief content officer of Comcast’s
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Universal Pictures.

In a brief joint statement Wednesday, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said only that they met for bargaining Wednesday, will meet again Thursday.

The strike by more than 11,000 writers began May 2, and they were joined by striking actors in July. A deal for writers would not immediately end the production stoppage, as actors are negotiating separately.

Among the writers’ key demands are better compensation and new rules to reflect the changing media landscape, where streaming has disrupted the traditional broadcast-and-cable business model.

The strike has taken a toll on Hollywood studios, some of which have delayed new TV shows and movies into 2024 in hopes that the strikes will be resolved by then. Warner Bros. Discovery said earlier this month that the strikes could cost it $300 million to $500 million in annual adjusted earnings.

“It’s an unfortunate situation. … We have to get back to work,” WBD Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels said Friday.

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