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Breaking news, press releases and statements from the Writers Guild of America, East

Monday July 16, 2018

WGA East Announces Second Annual Nonfiction Television Showrunner Training Program

NEW YORK, NY (July 16, 2018) – The Writers Guild of America, East will host its second annual two-day nonfiction showrunner training on July 21st and July 28th at the Guild’s Manhattan headquarters.

The program is funded by the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE), a private, non-profit agency which is the workforce development arm of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

The nonfiction showrunner training program aims to prepare qualified writer-producers to advance their careers to the showrunner level. The Guild received more than 100 applications for the program, which will cover topics including pitching and development; staffing, budgets and schedules; and liaising with networks and production companies.

The training will be led by experienced showrunners, including Jonathan Grupper (American Genius; The 1980s: Deadliest Decade; Bad Blood; This Week in History), Scottie Madden (Land Rush; Dude, You’re Screwed; The Ark; Bamazon), Rashidi Hendrix (B.O.R.N. to Style; The Mo’Nique Show; Hot Properties; The Encounter; According to Him + Her; We Are The Joneses), Makario Sarsozo (Evil Talks: Chilling Confessions; American Tarzan; Deadliest Job Interview), Kyle McCabe (Mysteries of the Abandoned; When Sharks Attack; Monsters Inside Me) and Tracey Izatt (What Not to Wear; 90 Day Fiancé: What Now; Rachel Zoe Project).

The program is part of the WGAE’s industry-wide organizing campaign in nonfiction television, which aims to improve conditions in the industry through negotiations and campaign actions, and to develop strategies to build a voice on the job,

Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East, said, “The WGAE has been working with writer-producers in nonfiction TV for years.  We have won real gains at the bargaining table at a number of production companies and we are in negotiations with several more.  But our work extends beyond the bargaining table at specific shops to an industry-wide effort to improve conditions.  This showrunner training is our latest program for writer-producers who want to build their skills and their careers.”

Debbie Buxton, Deputy Executive Director for Workforce Training at the Consortium for Worker Education said, “We are proud to provide support to nonfiction writer-producers who want to gain the skills necessary to advance their careers through their union. This program by the Writers Guild of America, East opens the door for people in an industry that has been notorious for keeping mid- and junior-level employees underpaid and overworked. We hope this next generation of showrunners will find success in this career and commit to supporting better working conditions.”

The Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in motion pictures, television, news and digital media. The Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members; conducts programs, seminars and events on issues of interest to writers; and presents writers’ views to various bodies of government. For more information on the Writers Guild of America, East, visit


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