20071105 wga strike 77657720 18
Heads of the Writers Guild of America, East announce the union going on strike. - 


Doug Krizner: Film and TV writers are officially on strike today for the first time in nearly 20 years. Talks between the writers' union and representatives for the major studios broke down late last night.

The immediate impact will be television. Late-night talk shows will be in reruns. That'll mean headaches for advertisers. From WLRN, Marketplace's Dan Grech reports.

Dan Grech: "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno pulls in roughly $50 million a year in profit for NBC. But without writers, late night and other talk shows will go to reruns. That means smaller audiences for programs -- and for commercials.

Brad Adgate is with Horizon Media. He says networks will give advertisers extra time or money back if audiences shrink too far.

Brad Adgate: Marketers will be protected, and I think they have other opportunities to spend their ad dollars besides a 30-second commercial on television.

And therein lies the risk. While writers and studios fight over digital revenues, viewers and advertisers could flock to the web.

Adgate: The irony about all of this is you might start to see people go online to get entertainment, rather than watching television.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.