Charter Communications-owned Spectrum News NY1 had to deal with allegations of age and gender discrimination at its company last year, and the situation reportedly has worsened.
As per a report by Vice reporter Diana Falzone that was published yesterday, a NY1 producer reportedly left the network recently after witnessing alleged retaliation toward female reporters and anchors who sued the NY1 parent company Charter Communications last summer for systemic gender and age discrimination.
The five female NY1 anchors and reporters who last June filed lawsuits that alleged gender and age discrimination last summer were midday anchor Roma Torre, anchor/reporter Kristen Shaughnessy, Brooklyn reporter Jeanine Ramirez, anchor/reporter Vivian Lee and Staten Island reporter Amanda Farinacci.
“We take these allegations seriously and as we complete our thorough review, we have not found any merit to them,” the company said in a statement at the time. “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.”
However, according to Falzone, the women have since claimed they are being treated even worse since then, and are often isolated or shunned at work.
“The workplace is increasingly hostile since we’ve filed our lawsuit,” Ramirez told Vice. “There are managers among the top ranks who refuse to acknowledge us.”
A Charter Communications spokesperson denied that the women are facing retaliation for the lawsuit in a statement to TVNewser:
“We reject these claims of retaliation. We are committed to fostering a fair, inclusive and respectful work environment at NY1 and take allegations of discrimination seriously. All five plaintiffs remain actively employed and appear regularly on-air. Meanwhile, these same reporters continue to speak freely about their allegations against us even though we firmly believe these allegations are without merit. We are proud of our talented and diverse bench of anchors and reporters who can be seen on NY1 every day and of the ethics and integrity that inform everything we do.
There has been no increase in departures for a newsroom of our size. We are committed to a strong and positive community in our newsroom.”
That said, eight producers have reportedly left NY1 since October, due in part to the discriminatory actions against the women. One former producer said she felt NY1’s choices affected her own ability to do her job well. “I was dealing with less-experienced journalists in breaking news situations,” she said.
One producer reportedly claimed the network wanted to “make the women feel as if they were really all alone,” adding that she left because she “couldn’t tolerate it anymore.”
Another producer told Vice he left after witnessing “dozens of incidents” that seemed retaliatory or discriminatory. He allegedly saw a fellow NY1 reporter tell Shaughnessy she was too old to be wearing a shirt without shoulders. Another producer confirmed the incident.