Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
 
News Release: January 31, 2012

Past WGAW President Patric M. Verrone to Receive 2012 Morgan Cox Award for Writers Guild Service

LOS ANGELES -- Former Writers Guild of America, West President and Emmy and Writers Guild Award-winning writer Patric M. Verrone is set to receive the WGAW’s 2012 Morgan Cox Award in recognition of his exemplary service to the Guild.

Verrone will be honored at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony to be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012, at the Hollywood Palladium.

“Patric Verrone has dedicated much of his professional life in service to this Guild and to its members. He is the embodiment of all the qualities that the Morgan Cox Award celebrates and was the unanimous choice of this year's committee. As he has honored us, it is our great pleasure to honor him now,” said WGAW President Christopher Keyser.

Beyond a successful television writing career that has spanned three decades from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson through The Simpsons to Futurama, Verrone is best known for serving as WGAW President for two terms (2005-09), leading the WGA through the 100-day writers strike of winter 2007-08, and playing a pivotal role in contract negotiations which resulted in the Writers Guild gaining jurisdiction over new media on the Internet.

A Writers Guild member since 1987, Verrone’s Guild service started in 1998 when, as a member of the Animation Writers Caucus Steering Committee and writer/producer of Futurama, he helped organize the Guild’s first contract for primetime animation writers, covering The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Futurama, and Family Guy. He was first elected to the Guild’s Board of Directors in 1999, and then served two terms as its Secretary-Treasurer (2001-05). Those terms included service on two MBA Negotiating Committees (in 2001 and as Vice Chair in 2004), the WGA East-West National Council, and the Membership & Finance Committee, as well as establishing and chairing the Guild’s Organizing Committee.

In 2005 Verrone was overwhelmingly elected WGAW president. In his first term he initiated a new era of writer outreach and engagement, with an emphasis on both internal and external organizing. He also elevated the Guild’s public presence by participating on panels and testifying before legislative and administrative bodies worldwide on behalf of writers’ concerns including media consolidation, product integration, and creative freedom. 

Verrone was reelected in 2007 and led the WGAW through the 100-day strike in 2007-08 that secured a contract for writers of original and derivative entertainment projects on the Internet, as well as new residuals formulas for reuse of traditional TV shows and films online. During the rest of his second term he continued to advocate for writers in Washington and Sacramento, most notably through the establishment of the WGAW’s federal Political Action Committee. In 2009, termed out as president, he served once again on the Board of Directors and currently remains active in the Guild’s PAC and the Animation Writers Caucus steering committee.

Verrone graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was an officer of The Harvard Lampoon and earned a J.D. from Boston College Law School, where he served as editor of the Boston College Law Review. For ten years he was issue editor of the Annual Entertainment Law issue of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine; he has been an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School and UCLA Extension; and has served on numerous legal, arts, and entertainment industry boards including as a trustee of the American Film Institute (2005-09).

Verrone’s other notable TV writing credits including The Larry Sanders Show, The Critic, The Simpsons, Pinky and the Brain, Rugrats, and Class of 3000. A nine-time Emmy nominee, he has won three times, sharing Emmys for Futurama in 2002 and 2011 (Outstanding Animated Program) and for Muppets Tonight! in 1998 (Outstanding Children’s Program).

He received the WGAW’s Animation Writing Award in 2002 for lifetime achievement in animation writing and has been nominated twice for Writers Guild Awards for Animation (in 2004 and 2011 for Futurama episodes “The Sting” and “Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences”). He has also received an Environmental Media Award, three Annie Awards, a People’s Choice Award nomination, and the 2007 Association for Media and Entertainment Counsel’s Labor Counsel of the Year Award.

Verrone is married to Guild member and TV writer/novelist Maiya Williams. They live in the Pacific Palisades, California, with their three children.

The Morgan Cox Award honors that WGAW member whose vital ideas, continuing efforts, and personal sacrifice best exemplify the ideal of service to the Guild. Previous recipients include George Kirgo, Del Reisman, Frank Pierson, Daryl Nickens, Larry DiTillio, and Carl Gottlieb. During his lifetime, the late Cox devoted his professional career to serving the Guild, working tirelessly to ensure that television writers were included under WGA jurisdiction.

For a press photo of Patric M. Verrone, please click here.

The 2012 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Sunday, February 19, 2012, simultaneously at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and in New York City (venue TBA).  For more information about the 2012 Writers Guild Awards submission process, guidelines, and official entry forms, please visit: www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.

For media inquiries about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles show, please contact Gregg Mitchell in the WGAW Communications Department at: (323) 782-4574, email: Gregg Mitchell, or visit online at: www.wga.org.

For media press inquiries about the 2011 Writers Guild Awards New York show, please contact Jay Strell at Sunshine Sachs at (212) 691-2800 at (718) 224-4133 or email: Jay Strell; or visit online at: www.wgaeast.org.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.