Posted by: Jon Fine on February 11, 2008
I went on CNBC this morning at an obscenely early hour to do this segment(possibly firewalled) with Vanity Fair columnist and fellow CNBC contributor Michael Wolff.
We discussed the all-but-official settlement of the writers’ strike, and Wolff’s short take is that the Writers Guild lost:
This is what they got: 2% of nothing . . . 2% in the third year of nothing. It is not nothing now; it will be nothing always. There is a very important wrinkle here. They didn’t get 2% of the online revenue stream. The online revevenue stream is advertising. They didn’t get that.
Two thoughts occur to me now.
1. Is there any situation in which the networks would split ad revenues with writers?
2. So since there is no massive revenue stream from paid online content now, there never will be—and thus the writers shouldn’t have pushed for what they got. which is a precedent to have some claim on some future online revenue streams? Or should they have pushed for a share of ad revenues, which was guaranteed to fail?
Not that I said any of this on the air, because--my bad!--I had yet to push the lack-of-sleep-cobwebs out of my brain. (I still have yet to, for that matter.)
Am I right? Is Michael right? Post your comments and let me know.