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WGA East, NBC News Studios reach deal for non-fiction production

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and NBCUniversal’s NBC News Studios have reached an agreement concerning coverage from the Guild for programming produced by the unit. The deal will see ...
August 14, 2020

The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and NBCUniversal’s NBC News Studios have reached an agreement concerning coverage from the Guild for programming produced by the unit.

The deal will see terms of the bargaining agreement that originally covered freelance and run-of-show producers, associate producers, and casting producers at the company’s previous non-fiction unit, Peacock Productions, now applying to employees in those positions working on similar non-fiction programming produced by NBC News Studios for television and specific online platforms such as SVOD and AVOD.

writers guild of america east

The agreement between Peacock Productions employees and NBCUniversal was ratified in January 2019 after years of negotiation. It covered 40 writer-producers and included what WGA East called a “landmark” agreement to establish a “portable, industry-wide non-fiction television healthcare plan.”

The NBC News Studios unit was announced in January, with Liz Cole (pictured) named as president. That news came shortly after NBCUniversal first announced it was shuttering Peacock Productions, with the unit closing in March.

The WGA East launched a second unfair labor practice complaint against NBCUniversal in April over the situation, alleging union-busting. That complaint has now been dropped.

“We are pleased that this important non-fiction programming will be covered by our collective bargaining agreement,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the Writers Guild of America, East, in a statement. “This will ensure that the freelance and run-of-show producers, associate producers, and casting producers will enjoy union-negotiated pay minimums and other workplace protections, and will participate in a portable health benefits plan like their colleagues at other non-fiction shops.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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