Dems cancel debate in face of strike at CBS News

November 29, 2007

The writers strike claimed a major casualty yesterday as the Democratic National Committee canceled a presidential debate planned for Los Angeles Dec. 10.

CBS was scheduled to hold the debate with anchorwoman Katie Couric as moderator.

But leading candidates had said they would not cross a writers' picket line, and yesterday 500 CBS writers who had authorized a strike vote seemed on the verge of announcing a walkout for Dec. 10.

"The possibility of picket lines set up by the Writers Guild of America and the unwillingness of many candidates to cross them made it necessary to allow the candidates to make other plans," CBS News said in a statement issued late yesterday.

Those who said they would not cross a picket line are Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards.

David Zurawik

Storm is over

After five years as co-anchor, Hannah Storm is leaving CBS' The Early Show - but not the network.

No date for her departure has been set, nor has a replacement been named, according to a CBS spokeswoman.

During Storm's tenure as co-anchor, the program has consistently finished a distant third to NBC's Today show and ABC's Good Morning America.

Storm's departure comes two months after the arrival of Shelley Ross as senior executive producer - with a mandate to make CBS more competitive in the morning.

David Zurawik

Baby talk

Usher and his wife, Tameka Foster, are the parents of a boy, Usher Raymond V. Foster gave birth to the 7-pound, 9-ounce baby in Atlanta on Monday night, a publicist for the 29-year-old singer told the Associated Press.

Foster, 37, has three children from a previous marriage.

Strike update

Writers around the world rallied in support of the striking Writers Guild of America.

Mark Burton, a British writer whose credits include Madagascar and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, said the issue at stake was "how you pay creative artists in the digital world."

Rallies were also held yesterday in Paris, Berlin and several cities in Australia.

From staff and wire reports

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