WGAE taps Albers, Fontana for Jablow nod

Duo to receive honors at guild ceremony Feb. 7

Former WGA East leaders Chris Albers and Tom Fontana have been chosen to receive the Richard B. Jablow Award for devoted service to the guild. Albers served as president and Fontana as vp of the WGAE from 2005-07.

They will receive their honors at the 61st annual awards ceremony Feb. 7 at New York's Hudson Theatre.

"Chris Albers and Tom Fontana personify what the Jablow Award is about: service and dedication to the Writers Guild East and its membership," WGAE president Michael Winship said. "The two helped bring the guild into the 21st century with a bold initiative to restore harmony and unity with our colleagues in the Writers Guild of America West. This effort reaped enormous benefits during our 100-day strike when Chris and Tom, although officially out of office, continued to serve their union as strike captains, intermediaries, communicators and invaluable advisers."

Albers has written for "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," "Late Show With David Letterman," "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher" and award shows and specials. He has won an Emmy and six WGA Awards.

Albers served on the WGAE Council and headed its organizing committee. During his tenure as president, the guild organized much of Comedy Central, including "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report." He sits on the board of the WGAE Foundation.

Fontana is the award-winning writer and producer of "St. Elsewhere," "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Oz." He is the president of the WGAE Foundation.

The Jablow award was established in 1978 to recognize devoted service to the guild. Its namesake, Richard B. Jablow, helped found the WGAE, authored its constitution and served as its first counsel. Past recipients include Catherine Twohill, James Schamus, Stephen Schiff and Claire Labine.

The WGA ceremony will take place simultaneously on both coasts Feb. 7, in New York at the Hudson Theatre in the Millennium Broadway Hotel and in Los Angeles at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.