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‘Pat’s the star’: Kiernan’s agent allegedly demands NY1 anchor drop gender bias suit in tirade
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The five female reporters who sued NY1 over gender discrimination and retaliation have reached a confidential settlement with the station that includes giving up their jobs.
Roma Torre, Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci alleged that they were snubbed in favor of younger co-workers and male talent like anchor Pat Kiernan.
“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 said in a statement released by their lawyers David Gottlieb and Douglas Wigdor. “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.”
Ranging in age from 40 to 61, they charged that a 2016 merger between founding Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications sparked a notable decline in their careers.
Despite earning numerous awards, the veteran reporters said they saw themselves passed up by younger female colleagues while Kiernan retained his standing despite aging alongside them.
“Their on-air time has been dramatically reduced, anchoring opportunities have disappeared, prime reporting roles have been taken away and promotional efforts have vanished,” the suit stated. “All these opportunities which have been snatched from plaintiffs have been distributed to numerous younger women and men with substantially less experience.”
Prior to the settlement the group demanded details of Kiernan’s contract and pay package — but a federal judge ruled earlier this month that they didn’t have sufficient grounds for the demand.
In a prior filing, Torre’s brother Adam Friedman asserted that Kiernan’s agent had urged her to drop the suit, arguing that “Pat’s the star” here.
The agent, Adam Leibner, denied making the disparaging comments.
A spokeswoman for Spectrum Networks, whose parent company is Charter Communications, said they were pleased with the resolution. “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,” said Maureen Huff in a statement.
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