Leslie Moonves is hopeful but not terribly excited about resuming talks between CBS Corp. and the striking Writers Guild of America (WGA).
We want to share the pie, but right now, we don't know what the pie is, Moonves, CEO of CBS said.
Speaking at the UBS Global Media Conference in New York, the chief expressed little enthusiasm for the negations scheduled to continue later today.
There are some personality disputes, he explained, I hope that both sides will stay in the room.
The WGA surprised the networks when it decided to strike November 4, only a few days after its contract expired. In its dealings with the networks' news operations, the guild traditionally has worked well past the expiration of its contracts.
The WGA strike, which started Nov. 5, has entered its fifth week, and has already derailed production on TV shows and movies.
Last Thursday the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said it was willing to offer $130 million in extra pay over the life of its proposed three-year deal, on top of the $1.3 billion already paid annually to writers. The WGA subsequently rejected this deal.
According to a report by senior analyst with Natixis Bleichroeder, Alan Gould said the writers strike could potentially cost CBS, ABC, and Fox a combined $300 million. The report did not include General Electric Co.-owned NBC.