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PBS NewsHour Employees Unionize with SAG-AFTRA

(Image credit: SAG-AFTRA)

LOS ANGELES—The off-air content staff members of NewsHour Productions, who produce the nightly news program PBS NewsHour, have been officially recognized as a bargaining unit of SAG-AFTRA. More than 70% of the program’s workers signed on to a petition to unionize.

“We are proud to welcome the talented professionals behind NewsHour,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher. “The work they do to inform the people of our nation is vital to our democracy. As president of SAG-AFTRA, I am pleased that they are unionizing because I personally enjoy their refreshingly unbiased presentation of the news as a viewer. We believe that they — and every worker — should have a seat at the table when it comes to their working conditions.”

On-air NewsHour employees are already members of the union. They are now joined by the 69 reporters, producers, editors, production assistants and others who not only report and produce the show, but also create NewsHour’s expanding digital footprint and one-hour primetime documentaries.

“As the workers behind one of the most trusted news institutions in the country, our goal is to strengthen this pillar of American television news by creating a better, healthier and more transparent workplace,” the NewsHour content staff said in a statement. “We love our jobs and are truly driven by the NewsHour’s mission. We are glad that management chose to recognize our union and focus on the collective bargaining process that will ensure our voices are heard.”

SAG-AFTRA staff has been working with the NewsHour employees since March 2021. 

SAG-AFTRA already represents NPR and member stations KPBS in San Diego, KCRW in Santa Monica, KPCC/LAist (SCPR) in Pasadena, Marketplace, KQED in San Francisco, KUOW in Seattle, MPR News, YourClassical MPR, The Current, WBEZ (CPM) in Chicago, NHPR in Concord, WBUR in Boston, WNYC and Gothamist (NYPR) in New York City, WBGO in Newark, WHYY in Philadelphia, WBGO in Newark, WETA in Arlington, and WAMU & DCist in Washington, D.C., among others.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.