TV Critics Cancel Winter Tour After Networks Back Out, Blame Writers’ Strike

The Television Critics Association, an organization of 220 journalists covering TV, has canceled its January tour after broadcast networks declined to participate due to the ongoing writers’ strike. TCA President Dave Walker, a critic for New Orleans’ Times-Picayune, said in a statement that the TCA board met Monday and decided that the tour had to be canceled, even if the strike were to end before January 8.

This is the first time in the group’s 30-year history that it has had to cancel one of its two annual tours, notes JackMyers.com’s Ed Martin, a TCA member, adding that past events took place amid an even more acrimonious strike, the Gulf War and during the aftermath of an earthquake. The TCA also hosts a summer tour, usually in July.

The networks cited two reasons for backing out: one, expected budget shortfalls related to the strike would have prevented them from presenting panels on scripted series; two, if a settlement were reached later in December or in early January, it would be difficult for broadcast execs to adjust their schedules to the tour.