NBCU Boss Steve Burke Appeals to Hollywood: ‘Strikes Aren’t Good for Anybody’

TV and film writers are poised to walk off the job on Tuesday

NBCUniversal's Steve Burke
Joan E. Solsman

NBCUniversal Steve Burke on Thursday weighed in on the looming Hollywood writers strike, which is set to start next week if the Writers Guild of America cannot come to terms with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers over a new contract.

Not surprisingly, the broadcast and cable executive isn’t in favor of the potential picketing.

“Strikes aren’t good for anybody,” Burke said during parent company Comcast’s first-quarter 2017 conference call. “The people on both sides of the table tend to lose.”

That said, the NBC head honcho isn’t too worried that we could see a repeat of the 100-day writers strike of 2007-08, which had a huge impact on the entertainment industry.

“The majority of these things get resolved, and I’m optimistic that the writers strike will get resolved,” he told media analysts and reporters listening in. “I’m hopeful that we’re going to get it done, and we’re coming down to the deadline.”

That deadline is Monday. If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, the writers could walk away as soon as Tuesday.

Also staying positive were Comcast’s Q1 financials, led by year over year box office gains. The parent’s company’s chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts can thank Jordan Peele’s big-screen hit “Get Out” for much of that.

Of course, Burke’s broadcast and cable channels also contributed to the cause. As did Universal’s theme parks, for that matter. Read Comcast’s earnings and revenue results here.

The quarter proved so powerful that shares of CMCSA soared nearly 5 percent once the U.S. stock markets opened this morning — and they had already been up from yesterday’s open. With momentum like that, who wants a work stoppage?