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WGA East Members Agree to New Deal with ABC News

Most of these members work at “Good Morning America,” WABC, ABC News Radio, NewsOne, and ABC’s national news programs.

Eduardo Razo

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WGA East members who work for ABC News have voted overwhelmingly 96% in favor of backing a new three-year contract that will bring several changes, per Deadline

The 110-member bargaining team includes various workers for the company, who are based in New York and Washington, D.C. Furthermore, most of these members work at “Good Morning America,” WABC, ABC News Radio, NewsOne, and ABC’s national news programs.

“We are proud our members have won solid increases in pay and pension contributions, gains for full-time ‘temps,’ DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) protections, and more,” said Lowell Peterson, the guild’s executive director. “This demonstrates that, even in a mature industry, collective bargaining works.”

In the new contract, overall pay and pension packages grow minimums by 9% over three years. Also, there will be significant increases in the minimum rates for desk associates in D.C. and boosts in minimums for specific positions where people work under personal service contracts. 

Other details regarding the agreement between the two parties include:

• Increases in paid time off

• Staff employees will get four weeks of vacation after 10 years of service

• “Full-time” temps will get an additional comp day

• Staff employees will get an additional floating holiday

• Temps’ comp days will not count against their accrual of seven sick days a year

• Both staff and full-time temps will get recharge days

• Vacation differential for full-time temps will increase from 5% to 6%

• Labor-management work-from-home committee to review any manager’s decision denying a work-from-home request

• Temps who opted out of the pension and health plans may opt-in one time during the 3-year contract period

• The company will provide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training, including unconscious bias training to bargaining unit employees on an annual basis.

News Television

John Oliver Takes Dig at Parent Owner Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was also a leading force in canceling CNN’s venture into the streaming wars

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Warner Bros. Discovery has made recent headlines for its decisions regarding HBO Max and canceling in-production films, including DC’s “Batgirl,” to get future tax write-offs.

During a segment discussing Monkeypox on Sunday, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver decided to take a shot at their new parent company for its recent decisions.

“We let the vaccine sit unused on a shelf in our reserves like an expired Chobani or a $90 million movie on HBO Max,” Oliver said, referring to the “Batgirl” film. 

“By the way, hi there, new business daddy! Seems like you’re doing a really great job. I do get the vague sense that you’re burning down my network for the insurance money, but I’m sure that will all pass.”

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was also a leading force in canceling CNN’s venture into the streaming wars, pulling the plug on CNN+ less than a month after the service launched. 

“On CNN+, there was no message it was a business decision,” Zaslav told CNBC in May. “We looked at it and we looked at the data, the number of users they had spent an enormous amount of money trying to sell an independent product. 

“The subscribers weren’t there, the users weren’t there. We looked at it together. We had a chance to look at all the data and when we looked at the data, it was, the business wasn’t there.”

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News Television

Trey Gowdy: InfoWars’ Alex Jones Tells Lies for Money

Gowdy tore into Jones, recounting the horror of Sandy Hook and the grieving process from the parent’s perspective in his monologue.

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Last week, a verdict announced that InfoWars’ Alex Jones must pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages to the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, who was murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Fox News host Trey Gowdy tore into Jones on Sunday, recounting the horror of that day and the grieving process from the parent’s perspective in a lengthy monologue. 

“How does someone capable of exploiting the pain, of denying the obvious gain any audience in this country?” Gowdy said of Jones. “Why would anyone go on his show? On the list of despicable things to do – telling the parents of murdered children that their children really weren’t murdered ranks pretty high.”

“We shouldn’t need a jury, or a judge or a courtroom to condemn that kind of person and behavior. He tells lies for money and then when his own money is on the line, he admits the obvious. The only war he is waging is on the truth.”

Gowdy became the latest cable news media host to rip into Jones as MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan went after the talk show host and the Republican Party for giving him legitimacy to Jones by appearing on his program.

“Alex Jones should have been rejected by Republican leaders and lawmakers, but instead, he was shamefully embraced,” Hasan said. 

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News Television

Rachel Maddow Details Demands to NBCUniversal During Contract Talks

It wasn’t “some sort of, like, hostile, heated negotiation with NBC,” Maddow said.

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This year, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has transitioned from being a daily news host to a weekly timeslot on Mondays while she focuses on other projects as part of her new contract. 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Maddow shed light on the behind the scene details that went into the discussions with NBCUniversal, resulting in a new contract that will see her stay with the company through the 2024 election and a reported $30 million per year salary. 

It wasn’t “some sort of, like, hostile, heated negotiation with NBC,” Maddow said. “What I asked for, and I realize it’s a really hard thing to ask for from a big corporate entity, is flexibility, fluidity, and forgiveness.”

“Like, I want us to handle this in a way that we don’t have to map every second of it. And I want my staff to all stay employed, and I want them to be able to shift between different types of projects, just as I am.”

Alex Wagner takes over for Maddow Tuesday through Friday, as her show debuts on Aug. 16 at 9 PM ET. 

“This is not a show where our hair is on fire, and we’re yelling past each other, and we’re creating these manufactured moments of tension,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones said regarding the show’s format under Wagner in a June interview with The New York Times

“I really want the takeaway from this show to be a better understanding of what’s happening in the world.”

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