Cable News Network NY1 Loses 5 Female Anchors After Discrimination Lawsuit Is Settled
As part of a settlement announced Thursday, five female anchors and reporters who sued the New York TV station NY1 for age and gender discrimination will leave the channel after years on the air.
Longtime NY1 anchor Roma Torre and her colleagues Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci sued the channel's parent company in June 2019, alleging their male colleagues received preferential treatment — a pattern of discrimination that allegedly got worse as the women reporters aged.
According to Gothamist, the New York Times, and the New York Post, the other terms of the settlement are to remain confidential.
"After engaging in a lengthy dialogue with NY1, we believe it is in everyone's interest – ours, NY1's and our viewers – that this litigation be resolved and we have mutually agreed to part ways," reads a joint statement from the five complainants, who were represented by the firm Wigdor LLP. "We want to thank everyone who has supported us through these times – please know that the support from each and every person has made a real difference.”
The firm itself said in a statement, "It has been a true privilege to represent Ms. Torre, Ms. Shaughnessy, Ms. Ramirez, Ms. Lee and Ms. Farinacci who have cumulatively been on air at NY1 for more than 100 years. We thank all of the many people who supported their cause and we thank the many fans who tuned in to watch them fairly and accurately report the news for so many years."
A PR spokesperson from Charter Communications, NY1's parent company, thanked the women "for their years of dedicated service in reporting the news for New Yorkers" in a statement issued late Thursday, and added, "We wish them well in their future endeavors."
The lawsuit alleged that Charter undertook a so-called modernization effort in 2016, after acquiring NY1. According to the suit, that resulted in the older female reporters receiving less airtime. At other times, they alleged, they were blocked from reporting on high-profile stories.
Their "then-blossoming careers have wilted" since the takeover, the lawsuit claimed, noting the women's complaints to management were either not taken seriously or were flatly ignored, leading "to retaliation and further mistreatment."
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The suit also insisted male talent was paid more than their female colleagues.
In the suit, it was alleged Torre — on staff since the channel's launch in 1992 — made "less than half" of what morning host Pat Kiernan does.
The lawsuit also alleged Kiernan's 20th year with the network was promoted extensively, while "Ms. Torre, by contrast, with a longer tenure and celebrating 25 years on air with her own daily live show, received no special promotion whatsoever."
On Twitter, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez commented that the settlement's terms were "incredibly sad to see. These are top-notch journalists beloved by our city."
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