The musicians say that FWSO management has waged a public relations war against its striking employees. Photo by Lee Chastain.

When Paul Unger read the headline “Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, RIP,” he said he was shocked. He and his fellow musicians in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra had been on strike only for four days, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was already eulogizing the 104-year-old arts organization.

“No one at the Star-Telegram editorial board ever asked to speak to us to get our side of things,” he said. “It seems like they were rushing to judgment.”

The September 12 editorial, he added, was riddled with factual errors, including the number of full-time musicians the symphony employs, the musicians’ base salary, and others. Unger went on to say that the writers merely parroted FWSO management’s talking points without giving context and without fact checking any of management’s figures. Aside from the story’s mistakes and what he called the “clear bias” of the article, Unger believes the most egregious part was that the writer neglected to mention that the paper’s publisher, Gary Wortel, sits on the orchestra’s board. (The paper later added a clarification that admitted Wortel is on the board but stressed that he is not a part of the symphony’s 20-person executive committee that makes key decisions.)

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  1. So glad Eric Griffey has displayed the other side to this coin! But just one clarification to his article. The musicians did not create Save Our Symphony. Instead Save Our Symphony Fort Worth was started in September 2016 solely by volunteers looking for ways to navigate through the impasse between Fort Worth Symphony leadership and its symphonic musicians. This grass roots team consists of a cross section of concerned local citizens who understand the tremendous value of a viable symphony orchestra in Fort Worth, both now and for future generations.

    SOSFW has seen the need to support the musicians in the void of leadership that is present. The musicians didn’t create the group…but instead the community has begun to rally to buoy the cause. If you want to help too, sign up at

  2. The labor dispute referenced by Scott Chamberlain was a 16-month lockout, not a strike, and it happened at the Minnesota Orchestra (which, yes, is in Minneapolis). I’m absolutely certain Scott knows the difference.

  3. And people think the mainstream media is ran by liberals.

    LOL @ weak and uninformed minds. These are mostly multi-national corporations with the goal of gobbling up as much “real estate” as possible.