Five news anchors and reporters from Spectrum News NY1 are suing the network’s parent company for age and gender discrimination.
Charter Communications, the Connecticut-based media company which operates NY1, responded to the lawsuit, filed earlier today in the Southern District of New York, stating:
“We take these allegations seriously and as we complete our thorough review, we have not found any merit to them. NY1 is a respectful and fair workplace and we’re committed to providing a work environment in which all our employees are valued and empowered.”
The lawyer for the plaintiffs is none other than Douglas Wigdor, the man who represented Fox News anchors and contributors in their respective sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits against Fox in 2017 and 2018.
Wigdor and Fox News’ parent company 21CF reached a $10 million settlement in May 2018 to resolve a group of 20 cases of racial and gender discrimination lawsuits involving 18 current and former employees at FNC.
Charter also responded to complaints being made by Torre, Lee and Farinacci.
Regarding Roma Torre‘s complaint that she is losing airtime, the company says:
“Roma is the Anchor of Live at Noon, that hasn’t changed at all. In recent years, we’ve added more live content at different hours, so it’s possible that viewers see less of her face in the afternoon, but the content production hasn’t decreased. The show was built around Roma as the Anchor, underscoring her importance and prominence at NY1.”
Regarding Vivian Lee‘s complaint, the company states:
“A few years ago, Vivian asked to become a part-time employee, and that request was granted. When we launched a show called Spotlight, she asked for and became the Host. Unfortunately, that show was cancelled earlier this year as we shifted resources to more digital content. Because she is a valued employee, we have been working at finding new ways to accommodate her request for more hours, but these opportunities can take time to open up, and we can’t displace existing anchors for no reason. She hasn’t been passed over for any opening.”
The company also addresses Amanda Farinacci’s complaint:
We’ve moved away from long-form stories, and she’s aware of this. Like all beat reporters, Amanda is responsible for enterprising and developing story ideas. Staten Island generates some of NY1’s highest viewer engagement and if anything, we would like more stories and reporting from her.
Regarding the “grooming of replacements” accusation, the company was a bit more pointed:
“We use different people for different beats all the time, it’s simply not true. We find it offensive that these five women and their lawyer tried to match women of similar ethnicities for shock value. It devalues the hard work of all of the women, demeans them, and implies that all that should matter is their appearance.”
Again, Wigdor and the plaintiffs want this case to go to trial, and we’ll continue to keep track as this all unfolds.