Last week, contract negotiations between KRON4 employees -- represented by the SAG-AFTRA union -- and management broke down -- again.
It's been over a year since a contract for the roughly 30 employees represented by the union expired, and the issue is lingering like a story with no ending.
"The message was extremely clear," Frank Du Charme, the union's Chief Negotiator, said. "They want a fair deal."
That "fair deal" includes competitive salaries, improved benefits for health and retirement plans, and job security. But, more than anything else, Du Charme said the group wants KRON4 to continue managing its own employees, in other words job security. "We're insisting on all of the protections that we negotiated into the last agreement," he said.
A day before the contract talks stalled, Young Broadcasting, the media outlet that owns KRON4, announced its intent to merge with Media General, a Virginia-based broadcast company.
Du Charme said the merger had nothing to do with the stalled contract negotiations and that KRON4 employees are still "getting a feel for the impact."
According to Nielsen rankings from 2012, San Francisco was the sixth-largest local television market in the nation -- and KRON4 is the only major market station that Young Broadcasting owns. In short, keeping people happy at the station kinda matters -- a lot.
We'll see if the federal mediator can settle the contract when the two sides meet in July.