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SAG-AFTRA Files Labor Complaint Against NY Public Radio

NYPR recently fired 14 staffers, calling it a cost-cutting measure

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New York Public Radio

A union that represents broadcast journalists, announcers, and others has filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge after New York Public Radio fired 14 people amid cost-saving measures. 

SAG-AFTRA called the move an “aggressive campaign to undermine union and protected and concerted activity.” 

The move by New York Public Media cost several members of its news staff their jobs. BNM reported three weeks ago that WNYC Supervising Senior Producer Richard Yeh, Gothamist Editor-in-Chief John Del Signore, Greene Space Assistant Production Manager Allie Pinel and Gothamist City Editor Christopher Robbins, were all let go following the decision. 

“SAG-AFTRA and New York Public Radio had a collaborative relationship for more than 20 years,” union President Gabrielle Carteris said in a release. “We have worked to ensure a culture where our members can work zealously while being protected under a fair agreement. I am shocked by the reprehensible decision of NYPR’s management to terminate our members and other dedicated staff. We stand with all of them and will continue to fight for those who have been silenced.”

The union is asking for New York Public Radio CEO/President Goli Sheikholeslami to immediately reinstate terminated employees irrespective of union member status.

“These decisions were not made lightly or with haste,” an memo said. “We have done everything we can to avoid taking these steps. But we need to reverse the deficit, return the organization to health and sustainability, and position ourselves for future growth.”

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WOLB’s Larry Young Recovering After Having His Leg Amputated

WOLB’s Larry Young has been off the air since April 10.

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A popular Baltimore radio host is recovering after having his leg amputated due to an allergy triggered by his Type 2 diabetes. According to the Baltimore Sun, WOLB’s Larry Young has been off the air since April 10.

“I knew I had a problem,” Young told the paper. “I didn’t know it was as severe as it was. When I got to the hospital, the doctors gave me two options: amputation or death. That is a terrible thing to hear.”

Young has been hosting the morning show on the Urban One-owned station for nearly three decades. He reportedly is planning to retire at the end of the year. 

“Larry is a wonderful person, and we all miss him terribly,” said WOLB GM Howard Mazer. “I’m sure all of our listeners are looking forward to his return.”

Young is no stranger to health scares. 18 years ago, he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart episode. Young said at the time, doctors gave him less than a 1% chance of surviving. 

“The word ‘no’ is not in Larry’s vocabulary,” Mazer said. “He will go out of his way to help someone, no matter what.

Former mayor Catherine Pugh will fill-in during Young’s absence. 

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NPR Inks Three-Year Partnership with Take 1

Under the agreement, which started in January 2022, Take 1 is delivering NPR with exact, XML-based transcriptions for over 30 daily and weekly programs and limited series.

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NPR has announced a new partnership as the radio company reached a three deal with Take 1 which will transcribe its news, analysis, and podcast programming. 

Under the agreement, which started in January 2022, Take 1 is delivering NPR with exact, XML-based transcriptions for over 30 daily and weekly programs and limited series. Furthermore, the company will provide the stats with turnaround times varying from a few days to just a few hours.

“Almost all of my searches for transcribers show most U.S. providers cannot handle NPR’s high volume, high accuracy, and rush deadlines at an affordable price, and competitive businesses based abroad are unfamiliar with the intricacies of American-English accents, slang, idioms, and cultural references,” Laura Soto-Barra, NPR RAD chief (Research Archives & Data Strategy) said. 

“NPR poses an added challenge due to the many specialized subjects we cover, from world politics to science and medicine. Still additionally, the tech requirements and the format that allows the transcript to be ingested in the NPR systems present additional challenges not all companies can resolve. We’ve known the Take 1 team for many years, we’ve used their translation services in the past, and they were one of the very few I knew that could deliver against this brief.”

The multipurpose core of NPR’s transcripts signifies that accuracy and fast turnarounds are equally crucial to the company. In addition to being dispersed to NPR’s network of member stations, the transcriptions that Take 1 constructs are posted on the NPR website to make the content available.

“Almost all of my searches for transcribers show most U.S. providers cannot handle NPR’s high volume, high accuracy, and rush deadlines at an affordable price, and competitive businesses based abroad are unfamiliar with the intricacies of American-English accents, slang, idioms, and cultural references,” says Laura Soto-Barra, NPR RAD chief (Research Archives & Data Strategy). 

“NPR poses an added challenge due to the many specialized subjects we cover, from world politics to science and medicine. Still additionally, the tech requirements and the format that allows the transcript to be ingested in the NPR systems present additional challenges not all companies can resolve.” She continues, “We’ve known the Take 1 team for many years, we’ve used their translation services in the past, and they were one of the very few I knew that could deliver against this brief.”

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WBEN’s Tim Wenger Recounts Covering Buffalo Mass Shooting as News Broke

“I received a phone call from a source that I have within the Buffalo Police Department who said he thought it would be a good idea if we had someone at the Tops Market on Jefferson Ave,” Wenger said.

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This past weekend, an alleged White Supremacist went into a Buffalo supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood and killed ten people. 

One of the news media outlets leading the coverage in Buffalo was Audacy “Newsradio 930” WBEN. The radio station jumped in to fill the nation and its residents as to what went on. 

In an interview with Inside Radio, Brand Manager Tim Wenger, talked the website through its coverage as soon as the news broke about the shooting.

“I received a phone call from a source that I have within the Buffalo Police Department who said he thought it would be a good idea if we had someone at the Tops Market on Jefferson Ave,” Wenger said.

“I did a little bit of research while I was on the way and discovered there was an active shooting situation (…) We had heard eight, and then nine and then 10. It just kept escalating over the course of a couple of hours on scene before finally, there was official word from authorities in the form of a press conference.”

Wenger then discussed how the story was developing, keeping the entire station on high alert to what was coming out and why they needed to be on top of the information. 

“This happened in a really close-knit community where people know each other. It’s not a typical urban environment where everybody just kind of goes about their business,” Wenger added. 

“This is a community that fought for that store to be there years ago. And we’re just trying to give everyone a voice and not decide for anybody what needs to happen but listen to everybody and let the community decide what needs to happen.”

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