Pineapple Street Union Responds to Layoffs
The following is a statement from Writers Guild of America East members at Pineapple Street Studios, the podcast production company owned by Audacy:
The Pineapple Street Union is devastated by yesterday’s layoffs, which impacted 12 talented colleagues — 11 of them within our union. This comes just six months after the company laid off three other members of our unit.
First and foremost, we denounce layoffs in their entirety; we believe this form of “cost cutting” is fundamentally avoidable, and we don’t think innocent, hardworking staff should ever lose their livelihoods over mismanagement at the highest levels of a company.
Get it free
As previously reported, our parent company, Audacy, filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of this year after racking up $1.9 billion in debt. This same company also gave out at least $3.2 million in executive bonuses just months prior.
This week, Audacy and Pineapple management chose to lay off mostly junior-level staff, who make some of the lowest salaries at Pineapple. Some of the people management chose to lay off have worked at the company for years, since before it was acquired by Audacy.
Our company also publicly stated that laying off over 25% of the Pineapple staff is a part of “continuing to optimize our structure.” This characterization is dehumanizing, cruel, and wrong: individual producers, engineers, and staff have always been what makes Pineapple, and the shows it creates, special.
Today, our union began the bargaining process where we will be fighting for the severance that our colleagues deserve — compensation that honors the immense time, skill, and creativity that each of them dedicated to the company over the years.
We are heartbroken for the incredible colleagues our workplace lost, and for those of us who will continue to work in a gutted Pineapple. We take comfort in feeling solidarity from our fellow media workers, many of whom have experienced layoffs themselves, and in our own resolve to carry on the fight for a just workplace for all.
About the Writers Guild of America East
The Writers Guild of America East, AFL-CIO (WGAE) is a labor union representing writers in film, television, broadcast and streaming 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 the website.
This is a press release which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. We may make small edits for editorial reasons.