TV, Digital Gains Drive WGA West Member Earnings to $1.68 Billion

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Members of the Writers Guild of America West noticed their earnings develop a wholesome 3.1% to $1.68 billion final 12 months, thanks to positive aspects in tv and digital platforms.

The guild’s newly launched annual report notes that the variety of writers working in characteristic movies rose 4% final 12 months in contrast to 2017, whereas the extent of employment for TV and digital platforms elevated by 3.2%.

The WGA West report additionally reassured members that the guild — which has been embroiled in a bitter authorized battle with high Hollywood expertise businesses for greater than a 12 months — is on strong monetary footing. The report, from the membership and finance committee chaired by Michelle Mulroney, was despatched to members Tuesday night time.

“We’re presenting the Guild’s annual monetary report at a tumultuous time for the trade and our nation,” the committee stated. “The report, which covers the Guild’s fiscal 12 months ending March 31, 2020, displays the onset however not the complete affect of the financial disruption attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequent 12 months’s report will likely give us a extra full image of the impact of the pandemic on the Guild’s funds.”

“For now, nonetheless, members ought to really feel assured that the Guild is on a powerful monetary footing, with important reserves that can allow us to face, and surmount, the present uncertainties,” it added.

Earnings of tv and digital platform writers reported for 2019 rose 4.7% to $1.17 billion. Complete employment was up 3.2% with 5,118 writers reporting earnings from tv and digital platforms, although this determine is probably going to improve with late reporting. The guild has famous that the precise numbers for TV writers’ compensation usually are not mirrored in its figures as a result of it doesn’t embody overscale earnings.

Screenwriter earnings remained flat in 2019 at $493.1 million, although this determine is probably going to improve with late reporting. Screenwriter employment rose by 4% to 2,188 writers.

Residuals collected in 2019 grew 1.9% to an all-time excessive of $471.1 million, a 1.9% improve over 2018. Residuals elevated 1.4% in tv to $311.9 million and a couple of.7% in options to $159.2 million.

The WGA West ended the fiscal 12 months with complete web property of over $77.eight million, which incorporates its headquarters positioned on the nook of Third Road and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. The guild had a small working surplus for the fiscal 12 months of $335,000 based mostly on complete revenues of $38.5 million, down from $42.9 million within the final fiscal 12 months.

“The decline in total income is basically attributable to unrealized funding losses ensuing from the pandemic-related declines in fairness markets on the finish of the fiscal 12 months in March,” the report famous.

Annual expenditures of $38.2 million had been greater than $5 million greater due to elevated payroll and profit bills, greater depreciation bills, the bills associated to member mobilization in reference to the grasp contract negotiations and continued actions in reference to the expertise company marketing campaign.

The WGA West additionally stated its Overseas Levies Program distributed $14.9 million to writers and heirs over the past fiscal 12 months from royalties in 21 international locations in Europe and South America. That was down from $16.Three million within the earlier 12 months with the report providing no clarification for the decline.

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