David Letterman’s late-night show may be back as soon as early January, along with his full complement of writers. The NYT explains that since Letterman owns his show, he’s able to strike his own deal with the writers’ union, and says an interim deal may be in place next week.
We’ll reserve final judgment until we hear more about the deal’s terms, but it’s hard to see this as anything but a concession by the writers’ guild. The loophole that lets them cut a separate deal with Letterman is convenient but not convincing: If Dave really is his own studio, then why not cut a deal with him from the get go?
Because giving Letterman — and CBS, his employer — a pass would weaken the bargaining power of the rest of the striking writers. And that’s exactly what’s happening now.
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