Monday, January 4, 2021

Five Women Anchors To Depart NY1

               Standing, from left, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Kristen Shaughnessy. Sitting, Roma Torre, left,
                                                         and Amanda Farinacci.(Jennah Moon for NYTimes)

Five Spectrum NY1 anchorwomen, including the longtime New York City television personality Roma Torre, are leaving the NYC news channel after settling an age and gender discrimination lawsuit against the beloved media institution.

“After engaging in a lengthy dialogue with NY1, we believe it is in everyone’s interest — ours, NY1’s and our viewers’ — that this litigation be resolved, and we have mutually agreed to part ways,” the plaintiffs wrote in a statement on Thursday. In addition to Ms. Torre, they are Amanda Farinacci, Vivian Lee, Jeanine Ramirez and Kristen Shaughnessy.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, reports The NY Times.

The announcement ended a legal saga that began in June 2019 when the anchorwomen, who ranged in age from 40 to 61, sued NY1’s parent, the cable company Charter Communications. They alleged that they had been forced off the air and rebuffed by managers who favored younger and less experienced hosts.

For New Yorkers who revered NY1 as a lo-fi televised public square for the five boroughs — with amiable anchors who were part of the all-in-the-neighborhood charm — the discrimination lawsuit was bracing. In the legal complaint, Ms. Torre, a signature on-air presence who joined the network at its start in 1992, described her frustration at what she perceived as NY1’s more favorable treatment of the channel’s star morning anchor, Pat Kiernan, including a glitzy ad campaign and a new studio that she said she was barred from using.

Executives at Charter responded that the suit and its allegations were meritless, describing NY1 as “a respectful and fair workplace.”

On Thursday, Charter, which is based in Stamford, Conn., said it was “pleased” by the resolution of the anchorwomen’s suit. “We want to thank them for their years of dedicated service in reporting the news for New Yorkers, and we wish them well in their future endeavors.” 

Ms. Torre and the other plaintiffs continued to appear on air in their regular slots at NY1 while the lawsuit was pending. But tensions occasionally spilled into view.

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