IFC’s ONN writing staff unionizes, joins WGA-East

After The Comic’s Comic reported exclusively that The Onion News Network series on IFC was facing a work stoppage due to a lack of union protections for its writing staff, comes word that the seven writers on the cable TV series have earned the right to join the WGA-East, and with it, health benefits, a raise and the potential for residuals should IFC pick up ONN for a third season. The second season, which debuts in September, already is in production.

Here is the press release:

NEW YORK CITY –  The writers on The Onion News Network have joined the
community of funnypersons represented by the Writers Guild of America,
East, AFL-CIO.  The WGAE and ONN management negotiated a first-ever
collective bargaining agreement covering the show, which will air on
the Independent Film Channel beginning in September.

“The ONN writers stood together and won real improvements,” said WGAE
Executive Director Lowell Peterson.  “We welcome them into the WGAE
and we look forward to a productive relationship with the company.”
Peterson noted that more than 70 Guild members from all of the New
York-based comedy shows signed a letter supporting the ONN writers,
and hundreds of Guild members sent emails to the producers.

The agreement will increase minimum weekly compensation and provide
pension and health contributions, retroactive to the start of writing
earlier this summer.  The producers also agreed to add writers and
writing weeks, furthering the parties’ mutual goal of creating the
best possible program.

The ONN’s second season begins on September 30.  There will be ten
weekly episodes.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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