The five female NY1 anchors and reporters who sued the channel’s parent company over claims of age and gender discrimination announced their lawsuit was settled Thursday, and that all of them were departing the NY1 airwaves.
The lawsuit, brought by longtime anchor Roma Torre and her colleagues Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci, was filed against Charter Communications/NY1 in June 2019.
The lawsuit said their employer has consistently prioritized male journalists at their colleagues' direct expense—a pattern of gender discrimination that only escalates as women reporters age, the lawsuit claimed.
In a joint statement issued by their lawyers at Wigdor LLP, the five plaintiffs said: “We are pleased to announce we have reached a confidential resolution of our lawsuit against Charter/NY1. 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. We want to thank everyone who has supported us through these times – please know that the support from each and every person has made a real difference.”
The law firm declined to provide further information about the settlement.
In a statement, Charter PR spokesperson Maureen Huff said “We are pleased to announce we have reached a confidential resolution of the lawsuit filed by Roma Torre, Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci and as a result, have mutually agreed to part ways. 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.”
When Charter purchased NY1 in 2016, it undertook a modernization effort that involved weeding out the older woman from the on-air talent pool, the lawsuit claimed. These women suddenly found themselves with less airtime, the lawsuit said, cut from campaigns, blocked from high-profile reporting roles, and met with radio silence when they aired their grievances. Their "then-blossoming careers have wilted" since the takeover, they said in the lawsuit. When the plaintiffs complained, their grievances "have either not been taken seriously or been outright ignored, and have only led to retaliation and further mistreatment," according to the lawsuit.
They also alleged that male anchors were paid better than their female colleagues: Torre, who joined when the network was created in 1992, says she makes "less than half" of what morning host Pat Kiernan does. The lawsuit also mentioned how Kiernan's 20-year anniversary with the network merited an extensive promotional campaign, but "Ms. Torre, by contrast, with a longer tenure and celebrating 25 years on air with her own daily live show, received no special promotion whatsoever."
The news of the exodus of so much of the NY1 talent rippled amongst New Yorkers, including the governor:
Their lawyers Douglas Wigdor and David Gottlieb also honored their legacies with a statement Thursday:
“It has been a true privilege to represent Ms. Torre, Ms. Shaughnessy, Ms. Ramirez, Ms. Lee and Ms. Farinacci who have cumulatively been on air at NY1 for more than 100 years. We thank all of the many people who supported their cause and we thank the many fans who tuned in to watch them fairly and accurately report the news for so many years.”