Former CBS Comm. VP on Writer’s Strike

November 14, 2007


With the Hollywood writer’s strike already in full swing, the NY Times reported today that CBS, will face the prospect of a second one when news writers, producers, editors and artists take a strike authorization vote tomorrow and Friday.”

PRNewser caught up with Beth Feldman, Former VP of CBS Communications Group , who has since gone on to launch both Beyond PR and, to get her take on the entertainment strike.

From a PR Perspective

It depends on the show. There are certain actors doing no publicity to stand in solidarity with the writers.

Th worst thing that can happen for a new show is to have the premier and then have a void. Promotional money has already spent for the premier and now it’s a challenge to keep viewers coming back.

In PR, normally during sweeps you’re bringing people to New York and doing
a blitz of PR and that is just gone now.

Beth’s take on the current situation

I think it’s very unfortunate that it’s going on right now. The winners in this situation are reality shows. The less we see of dramas and other scripted shows, the more we see of reality shows. Unfortunately there are only a couple of top rated shows that are going to be missed, and that’s about it.

My feeling as a corporate employee is that if you did your job right, you get another good show or development deal. There is that factor of, you’ve already hit the big time. This is a gig that not many people get. With the strike, it’s potentially opened up the opportunity for other voices to come through.

I can understand a writer writing somthing additional for the web. But when it comes to re-purposing some of that material and writing things such as DVD extras, that is something that should be extra, and that is where they sometimes run into trouble.

We never want to see this happen. The writers are doing what the they love, and the union is trying to protect their rights, I hope they dont lose in the end.

On what other entertainment people will turn to

You’ve got shows that are alread in the can from a Showtime or HBO that were shot a while ago. The reality stuff is going to keep on churning out. You see game shows, you normally see all of that during the summer, but it’s happening now. Shows typically go into reruns around holidays. Unless they get their act together before January, if the strike is continuous to then that’s when it will get very frustrating.


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