An era quietly ended in Southern California last month, one that should not go unnoticed by the public, broadcasters or the Federal Communications Commission.
For the first time in over 50 years, KCOP-TV in Los Angeles doesn’t have a newscast. Fox Television, which owns the station, pulled the plug on its 7 pm and 11 pm news programs on September 22nd.
Throughout its history, KCOP’s newscasts were never more than a blip in the ratings, but they did help launch and further extend the careers of many fine broadcasters, including George Putnam, Regis Philbin, Hal Fishman, Warren Olney, Larry Atteberry, Rick Garcia, Sylvia Lopez, Ellen Leyva and Rick Chambers.
This week we mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Few would argue about the importance of Dr. King in U.S. history and the decisive role he played in the civil rights movement. Soon after his death, a campaign began to have King’s birthday declared a national holiday. Over six million signatures were collected on a petition to Congress to pass such a law, in what has been called “the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history.”
Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1986. Fourteen years later, MLK Day was observed in all 50 U.S. states for the first time.
The International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America (NABET-CWA) are standing together at FOX TV stations in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles.
Negotiations have been dragging on for months — and even years — at WFLD, WNYW/WWOR, WTXF, WTTG/WDCA, and KTTV/KCOP, and are about to begin at WJBK. FOX management has insisted on turning back the clock on our wages, our jurisdiction, and our benefits.
criticizing California’s High Speed Rail Project, specifically a hiring policy that gives preferential treatment to disadvantaged workers.
“They are defining disadvantaged workers as former criminals and some union workers,” Hale says.
Mr. Hale is certainly entitled to his opinion about the bullet train, but when he starts lumping together criminals and union workers, I have to object. His true anti-union colors are showing with that distortion of the facts.
Since May of 2011, the producers, editors, photographers and other NABET-CWA workers at KTTV and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles have been trying to negotiate a fair and reasonable contract with the owner of the stations, Fox Television – but the company has something else in mind.
Fox wants to end the standard 40-hour work week by putting NABET members on a seven and a half hour work day, and the management also wants to eliminate the paid meal period — which has been an industry standard for decades. Cutting back employees to a 37.5 hour work week effectively amounts to a 6.25% wage cut.