July 7

HERE’S WHAT WRITERS EARNED THIS YEAR

As reported today on Variety.com, this was a banner year for writers:

Despite the WGA strike, earnings for writers rose 4% to a record $943 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, reflecting accelerated work on feature scripts.

Feature work jumped nearly 16% to $502.5 million as studios stockpiled, but TV earnings were hit by the strike, sliding 6.8% to $437.3 million, according the June 17 report sent recently to WGA West members. WGA members struck for 100 days during that fiscal year, going out Nov. 5 and not returning until Feb. 12.



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Posted July 7, 2008 by TW in category "News

2 COMMENTS :

  1. By Jake Hollywood on

    If you calculate how much I made last year (2007) and into this year (thus far), you come up with a big fat zero. Four other writers, each of us never missing a day on the picket line, I know also report zip in the income department. One writer I spent time with on the line earned $7600 for the first part of last year. He’s still trying to get a staff job…I wonder which writers got that 4%, because almost none of my writing friends made a whole lot of dough last year, and things ain’t all the bright for this year.

    Given Variety’s pro-management propaganda during the strike, it seems like they’re keeping true to form.

  2. By TW (Post author) on

    I agree with you that Variety has a pro-management bent. However, the figures came directly from the WGA annual report, available at wga.org. According to the 2008 WGA annual report, 4395 writers reported any earnings, which is down 1.1% from the prior year. Considering TV without features, 2.1% fewer writers reported earnings.

    That means, in features, more writers earned nothing, but those that earned, earned more. In TV, more writers earned nothing and those that earned made less.

    It is reported that WGA writers average $62,000 a year over five years (again according to Variety).

    Nobody’s getting rich.

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