CBS News writers will vote Thursday on taking strike action in a move that would cripple news production on CBS television and radio.
The CBS News workers will join their drama and comedy colleagues on the picket line, along with Broadway stage hands who went on strike November 8. So far the growing number of striking workers has seen late night talk shows go off air (or into repeats), and the neon lights of Broadway dim as 27 Broadway productions have been canceled costing as much as $17 million a day.
Whilst there’s nothing quite like seeing a Broadway musical in person, audiences left with nothing but closed signs and picket lines will still want to spend their recreational time somewhere, and online content presents a great void filling alternative.
The CBS writers strike alone will not push many to online alternatives who aren’t already getting their news fix from the internet; there is always Fox, NBC, ABC or Cable as an alternative. However with strike action in the air there is always the chance that more writers from other networks may join the picket lines, and that would reduce television choice. The irony of course is that the original writers strike is all about sharing revenue from online content, where as the net result of their actions may actually see more people turning online for content and less people watching television. After the 1988 writers strike, network television lost 10% of its audience once the strike ended, at a time where there were far fewer alternatives to what viewers have today.
(image credit: idealterna on Flickr under CC)