Five female anchors at NY1, a well-known local station in New York, have filed a lawsuit against the news organization, accusing them of gender and age discrimination.
According to the lawsuit, NY1 management made programming decisions that favored female and male anchors and discriminated against the older and more experienced women at the station.
The lawsuit was filed by Roma Torre, who was the first on-air talent at NY1. Jeanine Ramirez, Kristen Shaughhnessy, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci have joined her in the lawsuit.
“New Yorkers deserve to have the most talented journalists deliver the news,” Douglas Wigdor, the attorney who represents the women, said in a statement. “Sadly, after dedicating over 100 years of award-winning journalism to NY1, our five clients have clearly been told that their careers are over, as NY1 seems to believe that younger faces, when it comes to women, are a ‘better look’ for the bottom line.”
The lawsuit described several areas in which NY1 favored younger female and male talent while casting the more experienced women aside. The suit specifically called attention to the treatment Torre has received compared to Patrick Kiernan, the station’s most recognized personality. Kiernan, 50, was made a star of a new morning show while Torre has seen her air time drop.
“While mornings are understandably the most watched mid-week show, the level of attention and support provided to Mr. Kiernan was over-the-top compared to Ms. Torre, who was left to languish in an older, far less equipped studio, with much less support,” the lawsuit said.
Maureen Huff, a spokesperson for Charter, which is the owner of NY1, said that the company takes the allegations in the lawsuit seriously and don’t believe they have any merit.
“NY1 is a respectful and fair workplace and we’re committed to providing a work environment in which all our employees are valued and empowered,” Huff said.
The lawsuit demands an injunction to prevent further unlawful conduct that would place the women in positions they would have had if not for “discriminatory and retaliatory treatment,” and compensation for “mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, stress and anxiety, emotional pain and suffering, and emotional distress.”