The two studio executives had been designated to represent the eight major companies that dominate the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. This effectively sidelined the alliance's Counter, who had led the negotiations for the studios for more than two decades.
One big victory for the writers: The union won jurisdiction over shows created for the Internet. They continued to haggle over other points, including how long studios could stream shows online for free before having to pay writers residuals.
But on Feb. 1, there was a breakthrough. During an eight-hour session at the Luxe, Chernin and Iger made a concession. Rather than giving writers the same fixed residual payment as directors when their work was sold online, they sweetened the pot. In the final year of the three-year contract, writers would get a percentage of revenue.
By 5:15 p.m., however, talks had hit a snag. In a hallway outside their meeting room, Young, Bowman and Verrone delivered some bad news to Chernin and Iger. They were unhappy with parts of the overall package and wanted another day at the table.
"We're done," Chernin said, telling his opponents he wasn't a "professional nitpicker," according to one person at the meeting.
The two camps retreated to their separate rooms. Wertheimer advised the guild leaders against taking another day, warning them that the other side's patience was wearing thin. Within 15 minutes, the trio came back with one condition: They'd take the deal and recommend it to the board and members if the studios would rehire writers with ongoing shows who had been fired during the strike.
Given that the studios would need those writers back, that was a no-brainer.
Times staff writer Maria-Elena Fernandez contributed to this report.