In the first network news writers' strike in Writers Guild history, union members at ABC and CBS walked off the job today after contract talks broke down.
The walkout also hit seven stations owned by the networks, including CBS' KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KNX-AM (1070) in Los Angeles, where a total of 70 guild members work.
The guild ordered all 525 of its members at CBS and ABC off the job at 6 a.m. EST after all-night talks at CBS corporate headquarters here failed to produce accord on a new contract to succeed the three-year pact that ended just after midnight.
Network spokesmen said management personnel will fill in for the strikers, who, on the network level, worked on radio newscasts and on such TV programs as the "CBS Evening News," ABC's "World News Tonight" and ABC's late-hour "Nightline" program.
Shows at Normal Levels
The two budget-conscious networks promised that their news shows will be maintained at normal levels.
"Everything is going very smoothly," Tom Seem, newsroom manager for CBS News in Washington, said after the strike started. "We're staffing with management people today and are having no problems."
No new negotiations were immediately scheduled, officials said.