Shawn Ryan, Chip Johannessen Win Seats for WGA West Board!

September 16, 2014 | 06:26PM PT

Showrunners Shawn Ryan and Chip Johannessen have won two-year board seats for the Writers Guild of America West.

Ryan, creator and exec producer of “The Shield” and other shows, becomes a first-time member of the board after serving on the guild’s negotiating committee at recent bargaining with producers. He was the top vote-getter among the 17 candidates for nine open seats and said on his Twitter account that he was “very honored.”

Incumbent Katherine Fugate (“Valentine’s Day,” “Army Wives”) came in second, followed by “Homeland” exec producer Johannessen, an incumbent who co-chaired the contract negotiating committee this year with Billy Ray.

Incumbents Michael Oates Palmer, Marjorie David and Scott Alexander also were re-elected, along with former board members Peter Lefcourt and  Aaron Mendelsohn. Newcomer Jonathan Fernandez also won a seat.

Lefcourt was elected to a one-year term, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of David S. Goyer.

The official results of the winning candidates: Shawn Ryan (1,228, 66.9%), Katherine Fugate (1,124, 61.3%), Chip Johannessen (1,071, 58.4%), Scott Alexander (965, 52.6%), Aaron Mendelsohn (964, 52.5%), Marjorie David (952, 51.9%), Michael Oates Palmer (817, 44.5%), Jonathan Fernandez (722, 39.3%), Peter Lefcourt (648, 35.3%).

Other candidates: Courtney Ellinger (592, 32.3%), Doug Atchison (526, 28.7%), Cynthia Riddle (492, 26.8%), Stan Chervin (473, 25.8%), Aaron Fullerton (315, 17.2%), Shernold Edwards (312, 17.0%), Chris Derrick (306, 16.7%), Peter Murrieta (301, 16.4%), Mark Amato (155, 8.4%).

A total of 1,835 valid ballots were cast with members able to vote online for the first time.

The campaign stayed relatively free of rancor among the candidates. Some of the issues raised by candidates included the disappearance of the middle-class writer, new-media rights, late pay and sweepstakes pitching.

The WGA West has about 8,000 members. Participation rates in recent elections have usually been in the 20% range.

Fugate thanked her supporters on her Twitter account:  


All the best to the winners!


The Ol’ SAG Watchdog