Saturday, November 10


Dear Management:

I am an audience member deeply affected by the constant coverage of the Writer's strike. Poor California, we are all thinking, first the disaster fires and now this strike happens. Will California, and the rest of the country, who can only watch with despair, survive all this turmoil and uncertainty?

Remember that old MTV addage: "Video killed the Radio Star?" It can now be the "Internet killed the TV Video Star."

The Writer's Strike and upcoming Actor's strike to contract for internet royalties and income has put management spin on panic alert, though you were thoughtful enough not to ruin the November Sweeps period. And the great white way and others may yet follow. How is California, our biggest state economy and home to our most profitable industry, going to survive this latest blow that insures a country-wide economic downturn? Everyone knows from celebrity and hard news coverage, where the interests appear to lie. From what is not being and said and done, there is too much speculation. That is always a bad sign.

The issues have become bigger than just two warring factions ignoring each other. Issues have quelled like a tsunami, respresenting our future, of things that haven't been dealt with since 1988. We all need to play technological catch up, and you guys are supposed to be the leaders of the charge (pardon the pun!). The internet, as an economic base, cannot be ignored forever, changes will have to acommodate the billions yet to be made in cyberspace. As they teach in management courses, global business follows the money flow and generates more capital which in turn generates more flow (rather like the evaporation cycle in nature).

The more people associated with the internet, get more involved in the multi-dimensional venues of it, and create a greater stake in its survival, thius, the internet his now a more stable medium. It internet is well on its way to becoming the standard medium.
The making of these legal associations must be constitutionally contractual to succeed. INCLUSION SUCCEEDS. Waiver will only delay progress and cause myriad forms of grief in and financial torture, uneccesary painful torture. The establishment and completion of this task basically falls on the management, the producers guild, who run the businesses and whose shareholders will surely hold you accountable for the results of this very public fight.

These following ideas are made from a concerned citizen who loves TV shows, and respectfully suggested with the hope that you will consider them, albeit slightly tongue in cheek, because this is what you are up against:

You may want to include mobile cellular and future such devices in the deal so you don't have to re-negotiate next year when Dick Tracy two-way radio wrist watches appear. And don't forget the brain chips will be marketed the year after that.

You should know the audience actually does have a life and they will find other things to do, music and games, for instance.

Bad publicity won't help either side; it benefits your growing competition. Game-makers are foaming at the mouth over the potential profit they can make off this strike and the future SAG strike. With American idol returning, the music industry will spike enough for radio to rebound and both will overcome the near death you have had them on for decades. You affect so much more than just your industry professionals.

Doing without you is not that big a decision. Book publishers, weekend warriors, political and community involvement, will all re-ignite. Discos, skating rinks, and Comedy Clubs will become cedible venues of activity. People will start to dress up for the theater and concert nadness....they are a lot of other things to do. REALLY!

The other crew and staff are in financial jeopardy, through no fault of their own, and during these holidays, you should make every effort to settle by Thanksgiving. You will be the good guys then, and save your own jobs. Threatening and blackmailing your entertainers to persevere without their writers is not the same as dealing with and resolving these issues. You are the ones responsible for quality broadcasting in this country despite your employees.

You can pre-empt the Actor's strike, if you resolve the writer's strike quickly, since they are striking on those same issues. Maybe you could open a dialogue now, with all your free time.
You lose power when you don't do the right thing, because your bosses and the audience will never take you seriously again.

The Governator, a famous actor, and in light of the CA fires and its toll, these strikes threaten more financial damage than has been covered, can help and probably will if asked--you do need his help. You don't want to force the government to crash your non-starter party.

The sports, news and reality TV people are the new future management, and are so very thrilled for the opportunity to take over before you die and they don't have to force you out. They never want these strikes to end, it is too good to be true for their part of the business. Your acceeding to them makes you look even weaker. I would like to see 7-days of daily hour long 3-D news in primetime, it has long been a dream of mine.

Too much pent up frustration can cause confrontation, misunderstanding and ballistic temperment. We have seen what that does to other professions. Drinking and drugs and spousal abuse won't change your ultimate responsibility of ending these strikes.

Read and apply the Donald's "THE ART OF A DEAL." It is a classic and his new book updates these basics. It should be a must read for going back into any talks for all sides.

This strike situation can get out of control so very easily, and it doesa behooves you to find a deal fast. Before Christmas, perhaps. Public opinion usually favors the celebrity--and they are your moneymakers--a status they have that you don't want to negatively affect because it will reduce your earnings. Their images will sell in any venue, under any boss.

It's just good business not to have two Guild strikes running into each other; or to have their lingering success as it all drags on for others to follow on. A pox on both your houses. Steroidal sports aside, you will likely not be able to salvage the shows you got on the air and were promoted with if the strike goes beyon February sweeps. The awards shows will lessen the and tarnish celebrity image and they will not like you for losing the business opps and publicity that
keeps them working.

It's just good business to companion with the theater venues on this because they are instant sources of footage that can be aired. And the stagehand strike is part of that, too. Downloads from all industry sources should be accounted for in the new contract. They are viable and can be made profitable with your maketing abilities.

A new revenue model to accomodate these new forms and 3-D, for compensation negotiations to be decided upon as other developing media become more profitable and the center shifts to pure digital would resolve all these issues very quickly. I believe capacity is key element to to bonfide and fair resolution.

You can make the future brighter or bleaker just by these next few deisions you make. You can look back on these new contracts as the beginning of the future form of entertainment for us all.

Apparently this someone needs to tell you this because apparently you just haven't figured out what you need to do. RESOLUTION QUICKLY AND PROFESSIONALLY.

You could have won a lot of respect for your position. People only tolerate writers anyway, with their general fussiness and lack of social grace, but the OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE SQUANDERED would have improved your management image.

A positive response from anyone about management is gone, baby, gone with every lost cent, every unspent buck, on every show that wasn't broadcast, to an audience's increasing disappointment; they will decide not to watch admist all these new technologies they haven't caught up on either, they use their time to catch up instead. And read again.

PLEASE DO ALL YOU CAN toward resolution because your neck is on the line more than any of ours. In this day and age we should be above the violence of beheadings....

It is worth your time and trouble now.

With the Warmest Regards and Respect,

K. Eaton