It's worth noting that many thought a settlement with the Writers was possible. Everyone is ignoring June 2008 but the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTA). What has yet to be considered is the June 2008 expiration of contracts with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA).
In my opinion, the AMPTP never had any intention of settling with the Writers and is not bargaining in good faith. SAG and DGA are expecting to have to strike to get the piece of the action they want.
So, in essence, they are slowly being "locked out" by the AMPTA before their contract is up, in an effort to weaken their resolve before talks start.