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WGA’s latest deal: RKO

January 25, 2008 | By

Perhaps, still wracked by guilt decades after butchering Orson Welles’ “Magnificent Ambersons,” RKO has chosen to “settle up with the artists,” or at least the scribes, becoming the latest production outfit to ink with the writers. From the WGA’s official statement:

RKO SIGNS INTERIM AGREEMENT WITH WRITERS GUILD

LOS ANGELES – RKO Productions, Inc., a subsidiary of RKO Pictures, and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced today that they have reached an interim comprehensive agreement.

The company’s current production schedule, to be announced next week, includes several original screen projects, as well as the financing, production, and distribution of a number of new versions of classic films from RKO’s 1,300-film library.

RKO’s CEO, Ted Hartley, commented: “The negotiation with the Guild was smooth and business like; they kept their agreement and we kept ours. It all moved ahead at a steady pace and resulted in good feelings on both sides. This now releases the pent-up energies of the talented executives, producers, and writers at RKO. We all are eager to get back to creating great films and innovative programming today.”

“In the past, RKO gave the world such classics as King Kong, Citizen Kane, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Now it looks to the future, signing an interim agreement that recognizes fair and respectful compensation for writers on the Internet and in new media. We applaud their forward thinking and are pleased to join with them in this agreement,” said Miichael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East, and Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, in a joint statement.

The deal is similar to agreements the WGA recently reached with Lionsgate, Marvel Studios, The Weinstein Company, United Artists, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films, and Worldwide Pants.

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