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Writers-Producers Continue Contract Talks

June 5, 1988

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Negotiators for striking scriptwriters and movie and television producers met for about seven hours Saturday and agreed only to return to the bargaining table Sunday, a spokeswoman said.

The two chief negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers met from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday at the producers’ headquarters, said WGA spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden.

The two sides were scheduled to meet again Sunday in an effort to end the 13-week-old walkout, she said.

The substance of the talks was withheld, as were details of a negotiating session on Friday. ″I can only say the discussions are ongoing,″ Rhoden said Saturday night.

The writers walked out March 7 in a dispute that centers on payments, called residuals, for reruns of one-hour television shows. Demand for one-hour shows in rerun, or syndication, is declining, and the producers had sought to tie payments to a show’s success in reruns.

Also at issue in the strike are writers’ demands for more say over changes made in scripts during filming and more credit on and off screen for their work.

The guild has signed other contracts with about 80 independent producers, but the alliance maintains none of its larger members have signed and that the producers who did defect employ only a tiny fraction of the 3,000 active writers.

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