Winship, Phillips top contenders for post

WGA East president Chris Albers has decided not to seek another two-year term, citing time pressures.

“It has been a huge honor for me to serve as president of the (Gotham-based) WGA East the last two years, but the commitment is simply too great to run for another term,” Albers said in a letter to the 4,000 WGA East members Monday.

Albers’ exit leaves the race for the top slot to WGA East Council members Michael Winship and Tom Phillips, with the election results set to be announced Sept. 20. Winship’s a writer-producer of documentaries, children’s TV, music and arts programming; Phillips is a TV news writer.

Albers, a writer on NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” won the presidency in 2005 over Richard Wesley after campaigning on a platform of toughening the guild’s negotiating positions. He also pledged to try to settle a bitter jurisdictional dispute with the WGA West and managed to hammer out an agreement shortly after the election.

Albers noted in the message the Guild has organized two Comedy Central shows — “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report” — and promised another announcement soon. During his tenure, however, the guild wasn’t able to hammer out new agreements for staff members at ABC and CBS. Both pacts expired in 2005.

Albers will remain an ex-officio member of the WGA’s negotiating team when film-TV contract negotiations begin with studios and nets July 16 in Los Angeles.

The WGA East also announced council member Bob Schneider is running unopposed for VP, and Gail Lee is running unopposed for Secretary-Treasurer.

The 11 candidates for the six open freelance seats are: Jeremy Pikser, Pippin Parker, Melissa Salmons, Richard Vetere, Courtney Simon, Ozzie Alfonso, Susan Kim, Tim Carvell, Jerome Coopersmith, Lawrence Block and Adam Brooks.

The six candidates for the three open staff seats are: Sue Brown, Charles Lyons, Duane Tollison, Roger Fortuna, David Mock and Phil Pilato.

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