Sara David, Kathy McGee Elected Vice Presidents in WGA East Council Race

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The Writers Guild of America East announced the results Thursday of its first council election since members approved a leadership restructuring that would keep thousands of online news media writers under the union’s umbrella.

The online media sector elected Sara David as its vice president, while Kathy McGee will serve as vice president for the broadcast news sector.

As part of its restructuring, the WGA East Council now consists of 20 members: 12 writers who work in film, television and streaming; five writers from online media, and three from broadcast and cable news media. In addition, each of these three sectors will have a vice president representing them in leadership.

Guild president Michael Winship and secretary-treasurer Chris Kyle will finish their two-year terms after running unopposed, as well as vice president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who will represent the film/TV/streaming sector.

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Incumbents Monica Lee Bellais, Kaitlin Fontana, Gina Gionfriddo, Tian Jun Gu, A.M. Homes, and Erica Saleh were all re-elected to their council seats for the film/TV division. Susan Rinkunas and Jessica Schulberg were elected to represent online media, and Justin Raffael DiLauro, Elizabeth Godvik and incumbent Gail Lee were elected to represent broadcast news.

This past June, WGAE members overwhelmingly approved the council restructuring, resolving a yearlong debate over the future of online media organizing within the guild. Since 2015, the WGA East has organized thousands of media writers at sites like Gizmodo and Vox, so much so that concerns arose among some film and TV writers that the number of digital media members of WGAE would soon outnumber those for scripted programming.

Winship praised the restructuring as a compromise between online media members and traditional WGAE members, ensuring that the needs of members of all branches of the guild would be answered as it continues to unionize online media outlets.

“I’m proud of the union and the way in which our officers and Council representatives have worked together, facing what often seemed to be intractable issues, yet reaching consensus,” Winship said in June. “We now stand united and determined just as we confront the big fights ahead, from next year’s MBA negotiations with the studios and networks to building and enforcing strong contracts for our new shops.”

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