CBS news writers set to strike

NEW YORK: CBS news writers are close to authorizing a strike, which could put the network in a more tenuous position, considering its entertainment writers have already stopped working.

NEW YORK: CBS news writers are close to authorizing a strike, which could put the network in a more tenuous position, considering its entertainment writers have already stopped working.

The 500 CBS news writers represented by the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE), will announce Monday whether they have authorized their union to strike, according to Sherry Goldman, WGAE spokesperson. The vast majority of members are expected to approve the strike, after which the union can walk out at any time. The contract dispute centers on issues of salary and wage scales. The two sides are not currently negotiating.

"I would hope [the vote] would bring CBS back to the table," Goldman said.

The vote's timing is not tied to the ongoing WGA strike, according to Goldman, but she acknowledged that the situation is helpful because "CBS knows it's not an idle threat."

She added that media coverage is important in strike situations, noting that in the TV writers' strike "the public is understanding of writers' issues, so that can only be helpful."

CBS News VP of communications Sandy Genelius would say only that the network "has been and is prepared for the possibility of a strike."

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