Strike suspends ‘Jeopardy!’ taping, for now



JEOPARDY! College Championship suspended its plans to hold tryouts and tape the event at Yale this fall because of the ongoing strike by locals 34 and 35, Yale College Council President Elliott Mogul ’05 said Tuesday.

Mogul said he learned Tuesday that JEOPARDY! producers had decided to “indefinitely postpone” all its activities at Yale, citing the University’s “unsure labor situation.” The JEOPARDY! tryouts were to be held Sept. 23 and the championship was to be taped Oct. 3 and 4. JEOPARDY! may tape the episodes at the University of Pennsylvania if the strike continues, a YCC representative said.

Local 35 President Bob Proto said union members across the country were expected to respect the strike, which could have posed a problem for the tapings.

“Those are union workers that work on [JEOPARDY!], and if this is not settled, we don’t expect any union members to cross picket lines,” Proto said.

University Secretary Linda Lorimer said JEOPARDY! officials were concerned about how the Yale strike would affect their operations.

“I think they were worried that their workers who are largely unionized may not wish to cross a picket line if the strike continues,” Lorimer said.

JEOPARDY! officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Mogul said the YCC would continue to act as if the Championships were still taking place.

“We’re going to continue with the raffle of the tickets — probably,” Mogul said. “We’re hoping for the best.”

Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky called JEOPARDY!’s decision unfortunate for the University and New Haven.

“We are disappointed that JEOPARDY! has made the decision to postpone the taping scheduled for October 3 and 4,” Klasky said in an e-mail. “The direct economic impact for New Haven and its merchants along with the national exposure would have been valuable for the city.”

Because JEOPARDY! has put so much money into advertising and building the stage for the set at Yale, Mogul said it would be in the show’s self-interest to go ahead with its plans.

“The administration’s not happy. And [the YCC is], obviously, not happy,” Mogul said. “If it’s postponed, that’s one thing. We can work with [JEOPARDY!]. If they do cancel it, that will be very sad.”

Mogul said Yale could be chosen to host JEOPARDY! another year if the College Championships were cancelled.

Alberto Medina ’06 said he did not blame the unions for the JEOPARDY! postponement.

“I was actually planning to try out,” Medina said. “I’ve already heard a few people saying ‘Damn unions!’ but I don’t blame it directly on the unions.”

Medina added that only people who were already against the strike would use the postponement as an argument against the unions.

Patti Balbas ’05 said she was disappointed that Yale might not host JEOPARDY!

“I was looking forward to going and watching some Yalies win,” Balbas said.

JEOPARDY! host Alex Trebek already filmed a welcome message to Yalies, Mogul said. It was featured on the Yalestation.org Web site before being pulled Tuesday. Mogul said the welcome message would go up again if circumstances changed.

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