HOLLYWOOD — Chris Albers and Richard Wesley have been tapped as the nominees for a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America East.
The winner will succeed Warren Leight, who became president last month after Herb Sargent’s death. Wesley was appointed as VP to fill Leight’s vacancy.
Albers, a current member of the WGA East Council, has been a staff writer since 1995 for NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” which has won the WGA comedy/variety award four times in the past six years. He’s also written for Jon Stewart, David Letterman and Bill Maher.
Albers, who’s headed the WGA East organizing committee for five years, told Daily Variety he’ll stress the need to unionize writing work for basic cable, animation and the Internet and improving relationships with the WGA West and other unions.
“It’s important that we’re not just concerned with the needs of our high-profile members,” he added.
Wesley’s a past winner of the Richard B. Jablow Memorial Award for service to the guild, has served as VP and been elected to the WGA East council four times. Wesley’s feature credits include “Uptown Saturday Night” and “Let’s Do It Again”; TV credits include “Murder Without a Motive,” “Deacons for Defense” and “100 Centre Street.”
Wesley told Daily Variety that his campaign will stress bringing younger writers into the WGA, modernizing guild policies and planning for the guild’s 2007 negotiations with studios and nets.
“As the business changes, the guilds have to change, too,” he added.
Tom Fontana is running unopposed for VP and incumbent Gail Lee is running unopposed for secretary-treasurer.
In addition to Leight and Wesley, incumbents Jerome Coopersmith, Penelope Koechl, Suzanne O’Malley, Stephen Schiff and Donald Westlake are running for six open freelance seats on the council. Also running are Cynthia Benjamin, Adam Brooks, Karen Goodman, James V. Hart, Susan Kim, Maria Maggenti, Susan Rice and Richard Vetere.
Duane Tollison, Catherine Twohill and Hank Weinbloom are unopposed for the three open staff seats. Twohill’s an incumbent.
Ballots will be sent to the 4,000 members of the WGA East. Members may also vote in person at the annual membership meeting Sept. 15.