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Cast of characters in the writers strike

By Paul Braus

November 6, 2007 at 9:46am

Awkward. That’s the best way to describe John Bowman’s position in the writers strike that began today. He is chairman of the negotiating committee for the Writers Guild of America, but also executive producer of the new series, “Frank TV,” starring comedian Frank Caliendo.

By striking, Bowman is walking away from his producer job.

This is the first industrywide writers strike since 1988. About 12,000 movie, TV, radio and animation writers are involved.

The writers are represented by the Writers Guild of America East and the Writers Guild of America West. Michael Winship is president of the WGA East. He has worked frequently with Bill Moyers and his writing credits include episodes of National Geographic and Nova. The Writers Guild West president is Patric Verrone, whose work consists primarily of animated shows, such as Futurama and The Critic. Bowman is a director of WGA West.

Nicholas Counter III leads negotiations for the producers. He is a Stanford University educated lawyer who has served as president of the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers for 25 years.

While Counter represents more than 350 movie and TV producers, “big studios and media giants such as Walt Disney, Warner Bros. and News Corp. hold sway within contract talks,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The big negotiating issues involve residual income for writers from DVD sales and digital downloads of shows and movies.

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