MTV Recognizes WGAE for MTV News

MTV has agreed to recognize the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) as the representative of digital staffers at MTV News, according to WGAE.

Earlier this month WGAE had said those staffers wanted WGAE to represent them, citing the Donald Trump Administration as part of the reason.

It quoted a letter from the MTV Unionizing Committee that said, in part: "Under the new Trump administration, we are acutely aware of how necessary our constitutional rights are, and how much we need legal protection."

WGAE said MTV had responded: “We are committed to doing everything we can to cultivate a creative and supportive working environment at MTV News. Our employees are our top priority, and we welcome constructive discussions with them on this initiative.”

“Unionizing with the WGAE gives the editorial employees at MTV News a strong voice on the job,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of WGAE. “We look forward to working closely with them to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that addresses their concerns and helps them build sustainable careers.”

President Donald Trump has called the news media "the opposition party" and various outlets "garbage," "failing" and "fake news" and threatened lawsuits and tightening libel laws as a candidate when he was criticized in the media.

"There has never been a more critically important time in our lives to have the protections of a union, especially for those of us in media," the committee wrote in seeking WGAE representation, according to the guild. "And there’s never been a more necessary time for MTV News to talk about music, pop culture, and politics with the teenagers of America. We need to do more than just pay our respects to the past. We need a seat at the table so that we can be the future of MTV News."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.