Giants, Warriors Called on for Support
SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 2, 2016) — The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling on Cumulus Media to reach a fair contract with the broadcast professionals at KNBR, many of whom are being paid minimum wage.
“KNBR is one of the top five revenue-generating stations among the 453 stations Cumulus owns nationwide, yet it’s employees are paid poverty-level wages, and many are forced to take second or third jobs just to survive,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “I am deeply grateful that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has decided to draw attention to this injustice.”
KNBR’s on and off-air employees voted to join SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents broadcasters and performers, in November 2014. Since then, Cumulus has refused to offer compensation in line with KNBR’s sister stations, and the last attempt at negotiations was in February. Cumulus also owns Bay Area radio stations KGO and KFOG, and is the second-largest owner and operator of AM and FM radio stations in the United States. SAG-AFTRA unionized on and off-air employees in the Bay Area make significantly higher wages, including unionized employees at sister Cumulus stations.
The resolution, which was authored by Supervisor Aaron Peskin, also called on the San Francisco Giants and the Golden State Warriors to put pressure on Cumulus to return to the bargaining table. KNBR employees James Kincaid and Steve Fishman attended the meeting to thank Peskin and the rest of board for their support.
“I love working for KNBR because it’s been my dream since my freshman year of high school,” said James Kincaid, KNBR producer who makes minimum wage. “The only way I keep my dream alive is by working two other jobs. And I know I’m not the only one. It’s a reality for most of us here at KNBR.”
The issue received renewed attention last month, when Carteris visited the Bay Area to speak out at a press conference held in the shadow of AT&T Park. Bob Butler, radio reporter, SAG-AFTRA National Board members and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists; Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco); and Bay Area broadcast legend Belva Davis turned out to rally support for the KNBR workers.