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UPDATE: Studio Ad Touts Contract Offer To Actors Guild

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A newspaper ad placed by Hollywood studios touts their contract offer to the Screen Actors Guild as a groundbreaking deal that mirrors those already accepted by other industry unions.

Meanwhile, guild leaders pressed their case at a weekend SAG meeting attended by an estimated 700 people and got an enthusiastic reception, Daily Variety reported on its Web site Sunday.

SAG President Alan Rosenberg and Doug Allen, national executive director, said over the weekend that negotiations are continuing despite the studios' insistence that they put their final offer on the table June 30.

The SAG leaders didn't discuss strategy but Allen noted that SAG still could strike, Variety said. The union has not scheduled a strike authorization vote.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers ad, to appear Monday in the Los Angeles Times, is titled "The Deal: Let's Keep Working" and includes comments made by other union leaders about their agreements reached earlier this year.

Writers Guild of America, West, President Patric M. Verrone is quoted as calling the writers' contract "the best the guild has bargained for in 30 years" — a comment he made in March when WGA leaders recommended the proposal to its members.

The ad repeats the studios' contention that their three-year offer to SAG would give members $250 million in additional compensation and "the same groundbreaking new-media terms that have already served as the cornerstone" of other major industry agreements.

In explaining its rejection of the offer, SAG has disputed that figure and cited shortfalls in pay and union jurisdiction on made-for-Internet productions. It claims the deal would allow nonunion actors into almost all new-media productions for the foreseeable future.

SAG did not immediately respond Sunday night to an e-mail request seeking comment on the alliance ad.

The two sides met several times since June 30, when the current contract expired, but no progress has been reported. No new meetings were scheduled.

Producers have said if their final offer is not ratified by Aug. 15, any proposed wage increases would not be made retroactive to July 1, potentially costing actors more than $200,000 a day.

SAG represents 120,000 actors in movies, TV and other media.