What If TV Went Away... and Nobody Noticed? It Might Be Happening

Photo: AFP

The actors and writers strikes that started in late spring continue to grind on as summer draws to a close. Some pundits thought they would eventually settle by Labor Day, but with the holiday weekend now hours away, no end appears in sight. The ongoing stalemates raise an important question: does anybody really care at this point if they ever settle? ABC News entertainment correspondent Larry Hackett addressed the issue on 710 WOR’s Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning program by drawing a parallel to his experience with the Daily News strike over thirty years earlier.

“I was on strike in 1990-91,” Hackett recalled for Riedel and former Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who was sitting in for Berman. “After a number of months, somebody not involved in either management with the paper or the unions got involved and helped settle this thing. In that case, it was [former MTA head] Richard Ravitch… They need someone like that to step in.”

Hackett continued to draw on his Daily News experience as a possible harbinger of things to come if the sides don’t settle. “The Daily News strike ended, we all went back to work, but you know what? The circulation never recovered. I think when it ended that people find other things to look at, and whether it’s reality television shows or TikTok, that’s where they’re going to go, and the longer this goes on, the more their viewers are going to find other ways to spend their time. There’s no way around that.”

But management and talent are dug in, and Hackett thinks their stubbornness is not promising. “It’s hard to imagine whether those individuals or their proxies can sit at a table and negotiate what is clearly a very, very complicated package… This is a card game, and it’s going to take someone in there who’s going to be able to manage and master all of those elements, because right now, these individuals simply can’t do it.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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