The plot thickens for the writers' strike, now in its seventh week, as networks consider cancelling costly production deals, and late-night shows make plans to return to the air.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a “force majeure” clause in many production deals goes into effect six weeks into a labor action, enabling studios to cancel deals. Certain studios may jump at the chance to cancel deals with writers-producers and showrunners that weren't yielding hit shows.
The Late Show with David Letterman, including various other talk shows, plan to return to the air without writers the first week of January. However, Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants may set the stage for a break in the strike. According to The New York Times, Letterman is pursuing a deal with WGA that would allow for his show to return to air with content from his writers.
Michael Savage is the latest radio host to shake up the industry and invoke advertiser boycotts. However, unlike Don Imus, his controversial comments were aimed at Islam. His response to the main critics (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) came not in the form of an apology, but a lawsuit, according to The New York Times, for taking his comments out of context and then making audio of them available on Web site cair.com. A spokesman for the council, Ahmed Rehab, told the Times that they think the suit is a “PR ploy.”
Families representing firefighters who died on 9/11 plan to employ “Swift Boat” campaign tactics against Rudy Giuliani, and should release an official announcement early this week. According to the Gothamist, organizer James Riches Jr. told the New York Post that the goal is to set the record straight about 9/11.
Flip is in talks with Rosie O'Donnell to become the camera's spokesperson. O'Donnell has inadvertently promoted the company by using the camera to film for her Web site.
Jorn Barger created the term “weblog” ten years ago, and today he gives Wired ten tips for new bloggers.
LIRR has hired Maria Bartiromo to record new PSAs, and, according to mediabistro, they're also lining up other celeb spokespeople.