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Grammys Gets
Interim Deal With Writers

Grammys Gets
Interim Deal With Writers

The Grammy Awards will be in full voice next month, with the striking writers guild agreeing Monday to allow its members to work on the show.

The Grammy Awards will be in full voice next month, with the striking writers guild agreeing Monday to allow its members to work on the show.

The Writers Guild of America gave its blessing last week to a picket-free Grammys. Now that the guild's board of directors has decided to sign an interim agreement for the February 10 ceremony, the Grammys will escape the fate that befell this month's Golden Globes.

The Globes were stripped of stars and pomp when the guild wouldn't agree to an interim deal and the Screen Actors Guild encouraged its members to boycott the ceremony, which was reduced to a news conference.

The agreement allowing guild-covered writing for the Grammys is in support of union musicians and also will help advance writers' own quest for ''a fair contract,'' the guild said in a statement.

''Professional musicians face many of the same issues that we do concerning fair compensation for the use of their work in new media,'' Patric M. Verrone, president of the guild's West Coast branch, said in the statement.

Payment for projects distributed via the Internet is a central issue in the contract dispute between the writers union and the alliance that represents studios.

Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy, called the guild's Grammy decision gratifying and promised a 50th anniversary show ''with an amazing lineup of artists and performances.''

Earlier this month, Portnow had vowed to stage a full-scale show with or without guild support.

Informal talks began last week between the union and several studio chiefs in an effort to resolve the nearly three-month-old strike that has disrupted movie and TV production. Formal negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers broke down in early December.

During the impasse, the Directors Guild of America reached a tentative deal with the alliance that addressed new-media issues and created pressure for the writers to resume talks.

The Writers Guild has agreed to allow next month's NAACP Image Awards to proceed with guild support, a courtesy also granted to Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards.

But the guild has declined a waiver for the Academy Awards, raising doubts about how the February 24 ceremony will be staged if the strike continues and actors stage a boycott. The ceremony's producer has vowed the show will go on, hinting it could be padded with clips from 80 years of Oscar history if writers and stars do not cooperate. (AP)

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Matthew Van Atta