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Writers' Talks, Progress Raise Hopes for Deal....

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Talks, Progress Raise Hopes for Deal

By LYNN ELBER
Associated Press
1-29-08

LOS ANGELES (AP) — While negotiators edge toward agreement on the thorniest issues in the 3-month-old writers strike, many in Hollywood are nurturing new hope that an end is near for the walkout that has brought their industry to a standstill.

The Writers Guild of America and studio executives, beginning a second week of renewed talks, have made progress on the key issue of payment for Internet-distributed work, said a person familiar with the talks who was not authorized to publicly comment and requested anonymity. But hard work remains to be done, the person said.

The guild agreed last week to take proposals to unionize animation and reality TV writers — demands that contributed to December's abrupt collapse — off the table. That left new-media compensation as the major hurdle to overcome.