Last week, producers at WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh announced
their intention to unionize with SAG-AFTRA, a union representing approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, and other entertainment and media professionals.
Producers first informed management at the station of their organizing drive on Jan. 18, with the presentation of a petition signed by 80% of their colleagues. The 25-member unit includes news, associate, sports, digital content, and investigative/special projects producers. News producers take all elements of a newscast (packages, video, graphics, etc.) and compile them into a cohesive show. SAG-AFTRA has represented announcers — including hosts, anchors, reporters, and meteorologists — at WPXI-TV since the early 1960s. The producers are seeking to be included in the same bargaining unit as the announcers.
“We are proud to work at WPXI, and we chose to work here because we believe in bringing the highest-quality news and information to the region,” said the WPXI-TV producers organizing committee in a written statement. “Organizing with SAG-AFTRA will ensure that we can continue to provide the kind of professional journalism that Pittsburghers have come to expect from the station since 1957. All of us are eager to discuss with management the working conditions that will allow us to do that sustainably, and we hope that the company will voluntarily recognize our union so that we can begin that process as soon as possible.”
A request for comment to WPXI management was not immediately returned.
The KDKA-TV producers bargaining committee, which organized with SAG-AFTRA in 2021, expressed support for their union colleagues at WPXI-TV.
“Our most heartfelt congratulations to the producers of WPXI for their brand-new union! We’re excited to have another group of producers standing up for better workplaces in broadcast journalism here in Pittsburgh," they said in a press release. "Joining our on-air colleagues in SAG-AFTRA has strengthened our newsroom and given us the opportunity to push for necessary change. We know the same will be true for the producers at WPXI."