Broadcasters from Boston’s Channel 7 news station, WHDH, though familiar faces at the annual Health Expo this past weekend, decided instead to boycott the event as a sign of protest.
Rather than attend the Expo, as in years past, and greet attendees while signing autographs, the broadcasters instead stood in front of the Hynes Convention Center, talked to visitors and held protest signs.
Fellow union members from the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists (AFTRA), who participated in the protest as a sign of support, helped pass out flyers to attendees and passersby, to get the word out about what they were doing.
“As the broadcast journalists at WHDH, we want to inform you we will not be attending the Expo. This year, WHDH anchors and reporters voted to boycott the Expo unless we get a fair contract with WHDH. We are boycotting the event to protest Channel 7 owner Sunbeam Televisions’s unfair practices.” read part of the flyer that was distributed.
The flyers went on to detail contract issues, which include complaints of unfair treatment that entail “drastic cuts” in the compensation system, which could “lead to pay reductions ranging from twenty-five to fifty-five percent for reporters and anchors.”
Also amongst their complaints against Sunbeam is an apparent pattern of age discrimination. Veteran news anchor Randy Price, was unceremoniously let go from the station in 2009 after 12 years on the air, and some that are left at Channel 7 are reportedly feeling pressured to depart as well. Sunbeam Television was found guilty of age discrimination by a jury in Florida in a similar issue.
If you would like to show your support for the broadcasters at Channel 7, call General Manager Chris Wayland at 617-725-0777 or email him at [email protected]