Fox Is ‘Well-Positioned’ to Deal With Hollywood Writers’ Strike as CEO Touts Strength in News, Sports
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said the media company is “well positioned” to deal with any impacts from the Writers Guild of America strike, touting the company’s strength in sports and news.
“These are two areas that are not affected by the writers’ strike and the audience will pivot when they are watching television to those categories in entertainment,” he told analysts and investors during the company’s third quarter earnings call on Tuesday.
Murdoch emphasized that the company only programs two hours of entertainment per night, consisting of a mixture of both scripted and unscripted content.
“So we feel very well positioned there. With that [we won’t] be affected by the writers strike really at all,” he added. “There will be some scheduling changes with some of the scripted content but it’s not something that will have a significant financial impact on us.”
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The Writers Guild of America is on strike for the first time since November 2007 after the group was unable to reach a deal in contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Picketing began last week in New York City and Los Angeles.
The strike involves a long list of concerns that the writers want Hollywood studios to address, from the low pay involved in writing streaming series to reining in “mini-rooms” used to skirt contractual pay practices to addressing the use of artificial intelligence.
Murdoch’s comments come ahead of Fox’s Upfront presentation to advertisers next Monday.
“I think the timing of the strike, obviously, with the upfronts next week, creates some hesitancy,” he added. “It’s hard to present an exact schedule if you are only in entertainment. It’s not if you are in news and sports. So I think it positions us very well in the upfront.”
For all of TheWrap’s WGA strike coverage, click here.
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