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Optomen TV signs with WGA East

Reality shingle is fourth signed by guild

The Writers Guild of America East has unionized Optomen Television, the fourth nonfiction TV company that’s come under WGA East jurisdiction.

The WGA East announced Wednesday that Optomen employees had voted to be repped by the guild by a 5-4 vote. The org said the employees included those who write and produce nonfiction TV shows including “Monsters Inside Me,” “Samantha Brown’s Great Weekends” and “Worst Cooks in America.”

First contract negotiations at two other WGA-repped companies — Atlas Media and Lion Television — are set to begin on Thursday and Monday, respectively.

“We are excited that the talented people of Optomen have voted to join the Writers Guild East,” said WGAE prexy Michael Winship in a statement. “Theirs is the latest in a series of guild election victories in the realm of nonfiction television. We look forward to working with them and to continue reaching out to the many creative men and women of nonfiction production.”

The WGA East noted that the National Labor Relations Board election at Optomen took place in December but a final vote count had been stalled due to “procedural delays.” It said the final ballot was unsealed Wednesday and that a formal certification of the result by the NLRB is expected shortly.

WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson will lead the bargaining team in negotiations with Lion and Atlas.

The WGA East has also unionized ITV.

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