The union representing 160,00 media professionals worldwide fired 45 people Thursday. SAG-AFTRA has now laid off 171 employees since the COVID-19 pandemic started to wreak havoc on industry back in March. Officials said the moves were made “in response to the union’s current and future financial condition.”
Union president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White penned a letter to its members stating that the organization is well positioned to endure a financial hit like this.
“However, as we are all painfully aware, the production shutdown over the last 7 months has shattered earnings across nearly all sectors of our membership,” Carteris and White said.
The union said it is extending dues relief for members financially impacted by the pandemic, beginning on Oct. 26. “Members experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardship can request and will be granted a dues relief extension and an installment plan,” the union’s notice said. “No late fees will be assessed and there will be no adverse impact on members’ work eligibility during this time.”
Earlier this year, SAG-AFTRA permanently laid off 60 employees in Los Angeles, according to a notice filed with the state of California in August. In New York, 30 employees were cut, per an amended notice filed with the state’s Department of Labor in July.
Jake Tapper Will Interview Trevor Reed to Discuss Russian Imprisonment
Reed will share with Tapper the realities he faced while being a prisoner for 985 days
U.S. Marine Trevor Reed spent nearly three years in a Russian prison, and now he will discuss for the first time what he experienced since his release with CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
The company announced that the exclusive interview will air as a CNN Special Report, “Finally Home: The Trevor Reed Interview,” airing this Sunday, May 22, at 8 pm ET.
Reed will share with Tapper the realities he faced while being a prisoner for 985 days; furthermore, they will discuss wanting to free other Americans who are wrongfully imprisoned in Russia and other countries.
“Viewers will also hear from Reed’s family, whose steadfast crusade to get him out of Russia is a large part of why he is now safely home,” CNN said in a statement for the special.
“In addition, the special will feature the families of other Americans who are still being held by foreign governments, including the family of fellow US military veteran Paul Whelan, currently detained in Russia, as they continue to fight bravely for their loved ones who they desperately hope will come home.”
For those who cannot watch the special when it airs, the interview with Reed will stream live for pay TV subscribers via CNN.com and CNN OTT and mobile apps under “TV Channels” or CNNgo.
Peabody Organization Gives Career Achievement Award to Dan Rather
Past career award recipients include Carol Burnett, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson, and Sam Pollard.
Dan Rather’s career in journalism spans over six decades, and for over 20 years, he was the anchor of “CBS Evening News” from 1981 to 2005. The Peabody organization now recognizes him for his contributions to media with the Peabody Career Achievement Award.
The Peabody organization states that the award is handed out to people whose profession and dedication to broadcasting and digital media have left a memorable impact on the field and in American culture.
“Dan Rather’s remarkable career — from local news reporter and international correspondent to network anchor — is a textbook example not just of what quality reporting looks like, but how journalists serve democracy well,” Jeffrey Jones, executive director of the Peabody Awards, said.
“Spanning over six decades, Rather helped viewers understand and interpret some of the most traumatic historical events in our nation’s history, from the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War to 9/11 and more. We are happy to call attention to and celebrate his life’s work.”
Past career award recipients include Carol Burnett, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson, and Sam Pollard. Furthermore, the Peabodys are preparing to announce its 30 winners on June 6-9.
WGA Members at CBS News Ratify New Agreement
The new agreement was approved by 89% of those CBS News members who voted on the deal
Roughly 260 Writers Guild of America members who are employed at CBS News have chosen to vote and overwhelmingly authorize a new three-year contract. The new agreement was approved by 89% of those CBS News members who voted on the deal, per Deadline.
Those members in the WGA from East to West from the news media outlet see the new deal cover who work as news writers, producers, graphic artists, desk associates, and others at the network’s news operations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C.
“In a challenging environment, we were able to make real gains,” said WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson. “Because our members at CBS News mobilized and made their voices heard.”
“We won a solid contract that raises pay, includes a hefty boost in pension contributions, increases fees, and makes transformational gains for longer-term ‘temporary’ employees – severance pay and parental leave.”
The WGA states that this new contract for the WGA members at CBS News includes:
• Staff will get 2% minimum salary increases each year and a full pension rate increase will be paid by the company.
• Temporary employees pay goes up 3.50% in year one, 3.0% in year two, and 3.25% in year three.
• Producer fees increase to $50 in Los Angeles and New York in the second year of the contract, and to $50 by the third year at WBBM in Chicago.
• Fee for filling in for executive producer or senior producer in many but not all circumstances.
• Acting editor fee rate increases by 15%.
• Severance pay for long-term full-time temps.
• Parental leave for long-term full-time temps.
• Improved comp day calculation for a small number of temps.
• Increased severance pay for long-term staff employees; up to 48 or even 72 weeks for certain layoffs.
• Side letter on company process for requesting work from home.