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Monday June 24, 2024

WGA East Members at iHeart Podcast Network Ratify First Union Contract

NEW YORK, NY (June 24, 2024) – Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) members at iHeart Podcast Network ratified their first collective bargaining agreement.

The 100-member bargaining unit overwhelmingly ratified a three-year contract that came after more than two years of negotiations and an Unfair Labor Practice charge against management at iHeartMedia for “intimidating conduct and by interrogating employees about their support for the union.”

Deal highlights include:

  • A minimum starting salary of $63,000 for unit members in New York or Los Angeles and  $58,000 for members in other locations; across all unit members, the union won nearly half a million dollars in immediate pay increases;
  • Annual minimum salary increases of 3% in the first year of the contract, and 2% in the second and third year of the contract;
  • Continued 401(k) match, after the Company cut the match for non-union employees;
  • Time-and-a-half for work assigned on a holiday;
  • Severance of up to 16 weeks;
  • Improved bereavement paid time off;
  • The right to bargain over any implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace;
  • Overtime protections and comp time for those who don’t receive overtime;
  • Greater transparency on show metrics and spending;
  • Just cause, and a strikethrough for all references to at-will employment from existing individual contracts;
  • Union security.

In a statement, the iHeart Podcast Network’s bargaining unit wrote, “We are incredibly proud to announce the ratification of our first contract. After two long years of bargaining we’ve landed on a contract that we feel greatly improves our working and every day lives. We are excited to begin life under a union contract and to continue to advocate for our entire unit.”

WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen added, “With more than 30 million monthly listeners, podcasts have become an essential part of iHeartMedia’s business and their employees deserve to be fairly compensated and provided with workplace protections. The contract won by Guild members at the iHeart Podcast Network sets a new bar for people who work in the podcast industry. The WGAE will continue to fight to raise industry standards in podcasting.” 

In addition to the iHeart Podcast Network, the WGAE includes workers at podcast production companies Crooked Media, Pineapple Street Media, Pushkin Industries, The Ringer and Spotify Studios (formerly Gimlet and Parcast). 

The Writers Guild of America East, AFL-CIO, is a labor union of more than 7,500 members working in film, television, news, podcasts and online 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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