The lead that I'll be analyzing was posted in an article titled "Progress Toward Ending Writers' Strike" on the New York Times' website on February 2nd. It reads as follows.
"LOS ANGELES — Informal talks between representatives of Hollywood’s striking writers and production companies have eliminated the major roadblocks to a new contract, which could lead to a tentative agreement as early as next week, according to people who were briefed on the situation but requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak."
This lead exemplifies all the elements of a typical hard news story lead. As with most new leads the most important element is the WHAT, in this case the WHATis that progress has been made by eliminating "roadblocks" that have kept both sides of the writers strike from reaching a deal. The WHO, which is the second most important part of the story is one of the first things the reader discovers, striking writers and production companies.
However, one could argue that given the prominence of the writers strike that the WHO in this news lead is actually more important or of equal importance as the WHAT in the story.