NEW YORK (AP) — Five anchorwomen at a New York City news channel sued their company Wednesday, saying they were marginalized and cast aside to make room for younger women and men.
The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court blamed Charter Communications and its 2016 takeover of the local news channel NY1, known as New York One, for altering the career trajectories of Roma Torre, Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci.
Maureen Huff, a Charter spokeswoman, said the company takes the allegations seriously but “as we complete our thorough review, we have not found any merit to them.”
“NY1 is a respectful and fair workplace and we’re committed to providing a work environment in which all our employees are valued and empowered,” she said in an emailed statement.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a return to the positions the women occupied before Charter took control of NY1 in 2016.
According to the lawsuit, the women have several decades of experience working at NY1 among them.
“Despite these tremendous efforts and their indisputable skill, NY1 has blatantly marginalized them and cast them aside in favor of younger women and men, in a transparent effort to reshape the appearance of the on-air talent,” the lawsuit said.
“Sadly, it is hardly a novel occurrence that the media fails to showcase professional older women in on-air positions, instead favoring younger women and men,” it added.
In a release, the five anchors said that women on television “should accurately reflect women in society and be celebrated at every age, not treated like decoration that can be disposed and replaced with a newer version.”
The statement added: “We have poured our hearts and souls into our work at NY1, but in the end we have been left excluded, marginalized and vulnerable. We are fighting for ourselves and all other women who face this same struggle on a daily basis, and we hope to send a clear message to all news media across the country that this must change.”