WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

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WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

Postby radiofan » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:17 am

WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

By Danny McDonald Globe Staff  November 04, 2017

The company acquiring local radio news titan WBZ-AM has indicated employees at the station will have to re-apply for their positions, and that it does not plan to honor two union contracts.

In a letter sent Thursday to a union official, an attorney for iHeartMedia said that the company “will interview and consider for employment the on-air announcers and off-air production staff currently employed by CBS at WBZ-AM.”

The letter goes on to say that iHeartMedia “will not be assuming the two collective bargaining agreements between CBS Radio” and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, SAG-AFTRA.

Tom Higgins, a Boston-based national director for SAG-AFTRA, said he hoped the letter represented a “misstep.” A handful of iHeartMedia managers who visited the station Thursday said they wanted the station’s transition to new ownership to be seamless.

“And a couple of hours later, I get that letter,” he said in a phone interview Friday night. “This sure doesn’t sound like seamless.”

Higgins said he forwarded the letter to WBZ staff on Friday. The station’s employees, he said, were in “total disbelief.”

Representatives from iHeartMedia did not immediately respond to messages Friday night.

Higgins said his union plans to meet with iHeartMedia brass early next week.

Read the full story at: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/1 ... nt=event25
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

Postby Mike Cleaver » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:18 am

Then there is Sinclair media telling its stations that they must run right wing political content (read Pro Trump) on their TV and radio stations, provided by and endorsed by head office.
Staff at Seattle outlets being taken over by Sinclair are rebelling.
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Re: WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

Postby jon » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:17 am

Battenfeld: iHeart agrees to recognize ’BZ union, offer jobs to all of AM station’s employees
Joe Battenfeld
Boston Herald
Thursday, November 9, 2017

The radio conglomerate set to buy local news powerhouse WBZ-AM has agreed to recognize the station’s union and offer jobs to all of its employees, averting a nasty fight that threatened to derail the sale, the Herald has learned.

IHeartMedia’s agreement with the union is a major concession from its initial threats to refuse to honor union contracts and force staffers to reapply for their jobs.

The radio company and union reached an interim agreement last night setting out terms of the new deal, sources said.

“The Employer agrees to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining representative for all full-time and regular part-time announcers, producers, editors, writers and production assistants employed by WBZ-AM,” according to the proposed agreement obtained by the Herald.

“The Employer agrees to offer employment to all current union represented employees of WBZ-AM who are listed on the attached exhibit at their current salary or hourly rate of pay.”

The head of the union declined to comment about the proposed deal but in a memo to employees said iHeartMedia had proposed a much more acceptable deal for employees.

“While we have many questions and still have a lot of work to do to make the proposal acceptable, it is a dramatic improvement over the letter they sent last week,” wrote Tom Higgins, a local director of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

“We have had great support from the public, but it would not be helpful to the process to have this information go beyond our BZ radio membership,” Higgins added. “We don’t want to jeopardize our progress by negotiating in the press.”

After iHeartMedia’s initial threats not to recognize the union, the dispute triggered a public outcry from some ’BZ listeners as well as local elected officials.

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey was among those pols calling on iHeartMedia to preserve union jobs, even though Markey has accepted thousand of dollars from the company’s political action committee.

The Massachusetts Democrat has raked in $26,500 from iHeartMedia’s political action committee since 2003, including a $2,500 donation just two months ago, according to federal campaign finance records.

But under pressure from Markey and others, it appears iHeartMedia has now backed down from its tough posture, avoiding what could have been a public fight with the union.

The planned sale of ’BZ Radio to iHeartMedia was triggered by the proposed megamerger between CBS Radio and Entercom Communications. That merger forced Entercom and CBS Radio to divest some properties, including WBZ Radio.
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Re: WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:12 pm

I Hate Radio is again on the brink of bankruptcy.
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Re: WBZ-AM’s new owner tells employees to re-apply for jobs

Postby the-real-deal » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:08 pm

Mike Cleaver: it sounds like the time honoured radio tradition just in time for christmas, namely, a union busting measure! No different, really than Wal-Mart trying to bust the union at one of its Quebec stores, or convicted felon Conrad Black locking out his former Calgary Herald unionized workers.

What's the "diff," as they say ? Big business is mostly anti union. Always was and always will be. Without unions, workers would still be subject to surveillance in the washrooms, with one way peepholes over the toilet. That's what Joe Davidson once told me when I worked for CUPW in the 1970's. When I worked at CUPW as a summer student, the washrooms still had one way mirrors, perhaps as a reminder of the good old days !
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