Discouraging news for show biz writers

WGA.jpgWould-be scribes take note: There's only one Aaron Sorkin. Only 4,338 writers reported earnings in 2011, according to the Writers Guild. That's a 2.3 percent drop from a year earlier and the lowest level in at least six years. The number of TV writers was up slightly, but screenwriters fell sharply - only 1,562 reported earnings. Total reported earnings were $911.7 million, down about 6 percent, with TV faring better than movies. From the annual report:

Residuals collected by the WGA in 2011 increased a modest 3.9% over 2010, to an all-time high of $328.54 million. This is the second year receipts exceeded $300 million. Residuals increased 14% in television but declined 10% in screen. Television was the stronger area, increasing $22.44 million to $183.14 million. The highlight was reuse of programs in foreign territories, where the revenue-based formula added to the contract in 2001 resulted in a large increase in collections.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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