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AFTRA Recording Artists Sweep Major Music Awards




“THE BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR. A total triumph, brimming with humor and heart.

Sean Penn gives the performance of the year. He disappears into Harvey with the artistry of an acting virtuoso. Phenomenal. Josh Brolin is simply astounding. James Franco is warmly funny. Emile Hirsch is sensational. Diego Luna excels. Alison Pill is excellent.”
















For up-to-the-minute screening information, to read Dustin Lance Black’s original screenplay, hear Danny Elfman’s score, and learn more about this extraordinary film from director Gus Van Sant, go to: ARTWORK ©2008 FOCUS FEATURES, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Vo l u m e 4 0 N u m b e r 4

Features AFTRA Recording Artists Sweep Major Music Awards


Gloria Estefan, Brad Paisley, Annie Lennox, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Juanes highlight an awards season in which hundreds of AFTRA members won, presented awards, performed, and worked as dancers, singers, and standin professionals on AFTRA-covered televised music awards programs this past fall.

Problem Solving in a Tough Economy


AFTRA members know that the American economy is not working for working Americans. This overview of the many programs, benefits, and support systems available to you as an AFTRA member will provide you and your family with the tools to address the challenges of a tough economy.

On the Cover

Gloria Estefan: 2008 Person of Year AFTRA member Gloria Estefan was named the Latin Recording Academy’s 2008 Person of Year at the 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards broadcast on November 13 on Univision. She joined hundreds of AFTRA members who won and presented awards, performed and worked as dancers, singers, and stand-in professionals on several major music awards programs this year.

Departments From the President






Dateline AFTRA


At the Table


AFTRA Locals




TURN YOUR ENTERTAINMENT MEMORABILIA INTO CASH! Collectors are paying BIG MONEY for music and entertainment-related collectibles! This means money for your: • AWARDS • AUTOGRAPHED MATERIAL • STAGE AND SCREENWORN COSTUMES • SCRIPTS AND PROPS • CELEBRITYOWNED INSTRUMENTS • AND MORE 1 Selected items from the Ava Gardner Estate.

NATIONAL OFFICERS President Roberta Reardon

First Vice President Bob Edwards


Second Vice President Ron Morgan

Vice Presidents Catherine Brown, Bob Butler, Denny Delk, Jim Ferguson, Holter Graham, Dick Kay, Shelby Scott

Treasurer Matthew Kimbrough

Recording Secretary Lainie Cooke

NATIONAL STAFF National Executive Director


Kim A. Roberts Hedgpeth

Assistant National Executive Directors

Total SOLD $123,450 2 Selected items from the

Mathis L. Dunn, Jr., Commercials, Non-Broadcast, & Interactive Media Randall Himes, Sound Recordings Joan Halpern Weise, Entertainment Programming

Nolan Miller Collection.

Total SOLD $45,111 3 Selected items from the

National Directors Ray Bradford, Equal Employment Opportunities Megan Capuano, Agent Relations Tom Carpenter, General Counsel/Director of Legislative Affairs Christopher de Haan, Communications Philip Denniston, Organizing John Eilhardt, Finance Debra Osofsky, News & Broadcast Anthony Papandrea, Technical Systems Andy Schefman, Research & Contract Administration Natasha D. Shields, Information Technology Terry Walker, Administration

Peter Fonda Archive.

Winter 2008/2009


Total SOLD $185,578 Selected items from the Maria Elena Holly Collection of Buddy Holly Memorabilia

Total SOLD $320,583 3


EDITORIAL BOARD John Henning, National Chair


AFTRA Magazine


John Henning, National Chair Joe Krebs, Nancy Sellers, Ann Walker, Sally Winters


CALL TODAY TO CONSIGN TO OUR OCTOBER AUCTION! WE ARE ALWAYS ACCEPTING CONSIGNMENTS IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: Fine & Decorative Arts, Antiques, Rare Coins & Currency, Illustration Art, Comics & Comic Art, Civil War & Americana, American Indian Art, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Entertainment Memorabilia, Jewelry & Timepieces, Natural History, Sports Collectibles, Vintage Movie Posters, and Stamps.

To receive a complimentary book or catalog of your choice, register online at or call 866-835-3243 and mention reference #AFT14230.

AFTRA National Communications Department Christopher de Haan, Director Rachel Rifat, Art & Media Design Manager Marina Martinez, Communications Assistant Dick Moore, Consultant

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AFTRA Magazine Vol. 40, No. 4 (ISSN 00-0047676) is published quarterly as the official magazine of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 9th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036. 323.634.8100 © 2008 American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Printed in the U.S.A.










“It would be no country for movie lovers without the Coens. Brad Pitt is dynamite. Watching him and Frances McDormand is primo fun. George Clooney is hilarious. John Malkovich has never been funnier. Richard Jenkins is invaluable. Props to the freshly Oscar -ed Tilda Swinton.” ®


For up-to-the-minute screening information, to read Joel and Ethan Coen’s original screenplay and for more on the extraordinary performances in “Burn After Reading,” go to:

From the President and National Executive Director Reflecting on 2008, Projecting for 2009 Code Exhibit A, Network Staff Newspersons, Non-Broadcast Industrial, Sound Recordings, Commercial Radio Broadcasting, and Interactive Media. In addition, we had to begin intense wages and working conditions meetings for the TV and Radio Commercials Contracts, which were extended from October 2008, to March 2009, and our Exhibit A negotiations marked the first time in the history of the American labor movement that an outside organization attempted to influence the outcome of our union’s internal ratification process. To put it mildly, the pressures all of this placed on the staff, members, and resources of AFTRA during a period of national economic recession and technological revolution were unlike any experienced before in our 71-year history. Roberta Reardon

Kim Roberts Hedgpeth

Winter 2008/2009

Historians will look back at 2008 as a seminal year in U.S. history. The election of the first African-American to the Presidency of the United States, coupled with the nation’s slide into its most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, firmly established 2008 as a defining year for our country.

AFTRA Magazine


For AFTRA members, 2008 was an equally seminal year in our union’s history. It was a year that saw both unprecedented progress and previously unimagined challenges. It was a year that forced AFTRA members to rise up and confront pressures unlike any faced by previous generations of AFTRAns. It was a year that awakened AFTRA members to our potential in meeting the future and also forced us to acknowledge that there are miles to go to before that potential is realized. On February 1, 2008, following an overwhelming vote by the 2007 AFTRA National Convention, AFTRA was granted a charter as a direct affiliate of the AFL-CIO. For the first time in our history, AFTRA stood as a peer among other national and international unions in the AFL-CIO—among them, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the Communication Workers of America (CWA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and many others. At the same time, we found ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented confluence of negotiations, both for AFTRA and for other industry unions whose fates affect AFTRA. The intersection of national negotiations for DGA, SAG, IATSE, AFTRA, and WGA with the major networks and content producers, against the backdrop of a 100-day national strike by the Writers Guild of America against the same group of employers, was compounded by AFTRA’s own responsibilities to negotiate no less than seven national agreements in 2008—Network TV Code “Front of the Book,” Network TV

The challenges of 2008 provided AFTRA members with an unprecedented opportunity to test our commitment to the principles of unionism and our creativity in facing the accelerating technological and economic changes that affect the entertainment and media industries. AFTRA members seized this opportunity: in addition to concluding seven major national agreements—with gains in every one—AFTRA members also successfully negotiated dozens of local station agreements across the country, and with the assistance of our brothers and sisters at IATSE we began long overdue work to establish an updated agreement covering performers in music videos. In addition, AFTRA members worked to pass stronger legislation to protect intellectual property rights, outlaw noncompete provisions in personal services contracts, and, as this issue goes to press, sent more than 3,200 letters to Congress in an effort to protect the nation’s defined benefit pension system. AFTRA members also worked to organize union job opportunities in the too-often non-union world of audio books, increase union employment in the ever-growing universe of basic cable, and secure union contracts in new media. Our contract enforcement in 2008 remained strong. During the 2008 fiscal year (which ended on April 30), AFTRA offices around the country recovered and processed more than $17 million in lost wages, residuals, and recovered H&R contributions for AFTRA members. In the first six months of fiscal year 2009 (from May 1, 2008, through October 31, 2008), AFTRA offices recovered an additional $9.6 million for AFTRA members. 2008 proved that AFTRA members have the capacity to step up and meet any challenge placed before us. 2009 will require that AFTRA members institutionalize that capacity in a strategic way to grow and sustain union jobs, strengthen union contracts, and expand union protections in an increasingly complex world. 2009 will require that AFTRA members learn from the positive work we accomplished in 2008 and apply those lessons to a world of

Because AFTRA’s reach includes most of the industry sectors in which this handful of major conglomerates produce and distribute recorded content, AFTRA members have the power to develop long-term strategies based on a common vision across craft and category lines. What possibilities exist? Coordinated bargaining to organize non-union sectors of a conglomerate’s holdings? Single-issue bargaining—such as health care or new media—across multiple contracts? Synchronizing contract expiration dates to create greater leverage for all categories of members? These are all strategies that unions in other industries have employed to exercise real leverage and a long-range vision to empower working people. Given AFTRA’s reach and breadth, the same is easily possible in the entertainment and media industries—if members work together. We are not an island. The decision by the 2007 AFTRA Convention to affiliate directly with the AFL-CIO reflected recognition by AFTRA members that inter-union coordination and cooperation is a must in the 21st century. The successes and failures of labor during the 2008 negotiating season illuminated the importance of inter-union coordination as well as the unfortunate consequences when unions do not coordinate. But AFTRA members must also move forward with resolve to ensure intra-union coordination. Negotiations by a unit at an O&O in Philadelphia invariably affect negotiations at that company’s O&Os in Los Angeles and Boston. A waiver granted under the Non-Broadcast Contract in Dallas or St. Louis affects members working in non-broadcast productions in Chicago or San Francisco. Because decisions made locally invariably have national impact, AFTRA members must work together across Locals to a greater extent than they have in the past to develop common agendas and strategies. Our employers develop and implement national (and sometimes international) agendas—we must be equally resolute. Coordination across AFTRA Locals is more than simply information sharing: it requires building consensus to develop a

We must commit to a union future. The uncertain and unstable state of the American economy is certainly frightening. In times like these, when employers will do all they can to cut expenses, payroll and talent costs are usually the first areas to be targeted. In this kind of cutthroat environment, members may be tempted to work “off the card” just to get that next gig. And this is where strength and long-term vision are most critical. At some point, our economy will settle itself. The question is whether it will settle itself as a union economy or a nonunion economy. Only if AFTRA members hold strong to the importance of working union, organizing more union work, and negotiating with creativity and flexibility, will we be able to ensure that, as the storm clouds part, our union contracts and protections will still be there, both for us and for the next generation. Members must drive the work of their union. AFTRA is a member-driven union—policy decisions are made by members. But “driving” the work means more than just voting once a year in a union election or paying dues. It means investing the time to remain educated on the issues, participating in union activities, and making sure that union leaders hear directly from you about your concerns, needs, and long-term goals. It also means that one of the primary jobs of current union leaders is to recruit and mentor the next generation of union members into leadership. We must invest in our future. 2009 will present challenges, but it also holds promise. We will face the challenge of investing more resources, more energy, and more member activism as we strive to protect the collective bargaining rights and power of AFTRA members. The size of these challenges may cause us to question whether AFTRA members can, in fact, move toward empowering ourselves by leveraging our union’s reach across the media and entertainment industries. The drive and grit AFTRA members displayed in 2008 makes it easy to answer that question. To borrow a phrase so prominent in our nation’s recent election: Yes, We Can. And we must.

Roberta Reardon, President

Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, National Executive Director

Winter 2008/2009

We have the same employers. The 2008 round of industry negotiations reminded us of the message from the Klein Study of the early 1990s, which alerted us to the challenges of, what was then, the “new” world of corporate consolidation. Whether you work in television, radio, sound recordings, or new media; whether you are an actor, singer, newsperson, announcer, or dancer, it is more than likely that you are working, directly or indirectly, for the same handful of conglomerates that control content production and distribution across multiple platforms: CBS, Viacom, Disney, Fox, Sony, Warner Brothers, and GE/ Universal. Whether you are an actor on 90210, a promo announcer for Amazing Race, a sportscaster at WBZ-TV, a DJ on KTWV-FM, or a reader for a Simon and Schuster audio book—you’re employed by CBS Corp. Whether you’re a dancer on a Hannah Montana music video, a news anchor at WLS-TV, a weatherperson on Good Morning America, a recording artist on Hollywood Records, or an actor on Army Wives—you work for Disney. And so on.

common agenda and a common commitment to follow through. This is the model that AFTRA members, from our largest Locals to our smallest Chapters, must embrace in order to succeed in the 21st century.

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challenge and opportunity ahead. What are these lessons?

Dateline AFTRA

Winter 2008/2009

President Roberta Reardon Named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 List

AFTRA Magazine


AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon was recognized in a special issue of The Hollywood Reporter— Women in Entertainment: The Power 100 List, which highlights the most powerful women in the television and film industries. Ranked number 81, President Reardon was included among major media industry leaders such as fellow AFTRA member Oprah Winfrey, Disney Media Co-chairperson Anne Sweeny, and Sony Pictures’ Co-chairperson Amy Pascal. President Reardon was the only labor leader to make this year’s list. AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth accompanied President Reardon to a breakfast reception in Los Angeles where she joined fellow honorees in presenting Glenn Close, AFTRA member and star of the hit television series Damages (which is an AFTRA show) with the 2008 Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. Read President Reardon’s profile in the special issue of THR online at

delegates from AFTRA Locals across the country is the highest governing body of AFTRA. AFTRA Chicago Local President Craig Dellimore says, “Chicago is really looking forward to welcoming the AFTRA National Convention. Of course, the delegates will be here to do important work. But, as the host city, we plan to give each and every delegate a real taste of Chicago-style hospitality.” AFTRA Philadelphia hosted the last National Convention in 2007 where almost 200 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists served as Convention delegates. Delegates in Philadelphia addressed a wide range of important issues like health care reform, diversity, and organizing. They also approved the first steps of AFTRA’s direct affiliation with the AFL-CIO (AFTRA received a direct affiliation with the AFLCIO in February 2008). Delegates also elected Roberta Reardon AFTRA National President along with 11 other National Officers. During the Convention, AFTRA also presented American Scene Awards® to the multiple award-winning children’s program Sesame Street, the top-rated reality talent competition American Idol, and the daytime drama Passions, among others.

AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon and AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth represented AFTRA at the 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Actors (FIA) in Marrakech in October 2008. This is the first time in its history that FIA’s quadrennial International Congress was held on the African continent. FIA ( is made up of more than 100 unions representing performers from around the world. The U.S. delegation to this Congress—staff and members from AFTRA, AEA, and SAG—exchanged information and strategies with union performers from other nations who confront the same issues we do: new media and technology, corporate consolidation, sagging economies, and runaway production.

Contact your AFTRA Local today to find out how you can become a 2009 AFTRA National Convention delegate. (Left to right) Actors’ Equity Association representative President Mark Zimmerman with actress Dee Hoty; Wayne Hedgpeth with his wife and AFTRA representative National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth; AFTRA representative President Roberta Reardon with her husband Walter Cline; Barrie Freed with her husband and Screen Actors Guild representative Second National VP Sam Freed.

AFTRA Chicago to Host 2009 AFTRA National Convention The AFTRA Chicago Local Convention Planning Committee is hard at work preparing to host the 62nd AFTRA National Convention, which will be held in Chicago on August 6–8, 2009. This biennial gathering of elected member

AFTRA Members Represented at FIA Congress in Morocco

Left to right: AFTRA Chicago Convention Planning Committee members Ilyssa Fradin, Richard Shavzin, Jill Shellabarger, former AFTRA Chicago Local President Dick Kay, Stephen Spencer, and Greta Pope.

DREAM stands for Disability Rights in Entertainment, Arts & Media and recognizes achievement in promoting access and inclusion for people with disabilities. Robert David Hall, national chair of the Tri-Union Performers with Disabilities Committee, accepted the award on behalf of I AM PWD. “On behalf of AFTRA’s 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists, I am honored that our Tri-Union I AM PWD National Disability Rights Campaign was recognized by the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) with the 2008 DREAM Award. We are proud to stand for equality, dignity, and respect for people with disabilities,” said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. AFTRA member Geri Jewell, comedienne, actress (The Facts of Life, Deadwood) and motivational speaker, was the mistress of ceremonies and helped the DRLC in honoring the gala’s award recipients. Founded in 2008 by AEA, AFTRA, and SAG Tri-Union Performers with Disabilities Committee I AM PWD Campaign is uniting labor, industry,

AFTRA Dallas/Fort Worth Members Mingle at Third Thursdays

Left to right: (back row) AFTRA members Lee Fuller, Suzanne Burkhead, Local President Brent Anderson, Sharon Garrison, and Carolyn McCormick. (Front row) AFTRA members Sheila Tessler, vaudeville star and longtime member Ada Lynn, Jackie McCall, Tina Boesch, and Hector Garcia.

Every third Thursday of the month, AFTRA Dallas/Fort Worth members have been gathering at a local restaurant, Hector’s on Henderson, to network, make friends, and share stories, experiences, and professional tips with their colleagues. Hosted by ProACT (Professional Actor Career Training), a joint committee of AFTRA and SAG the evening features food and drink specials, including their own drink special, “The Organizer,” and Texas Motion Picture Association (TxMPA) applications are always on hand for members to fill out. AFTRA Dallas/Fort Worth Local President Brent Anderson says, “Dallas/ Fort Worth AFTRA members love to mix and mingle at the ProACT Third Thursdays. “It’s a great time, with good food, and a wonderful chance to kick back and mingle with our AFTRA and industry friends. If you live in Dallas/Fort

Worth and haven’t checked us out yet, come on down!”

AFTRA Meets Talent at Actorfest NY and LA Actorfest NY, a career day for actors sponsored by Back Stage, took place in New York City on Saturday, November 15, at Manhattan Center Studios. AFTRA NY hosted a table in the Exhibit Hall again this year and handed out brochures, magazines, and information on the union to AFTRA members and pre-members alike. AFTRA NY staff members Connie Best and Victoria Pistone were joined by AFTRA New York Local Board members Joan Valentina, Mitchell McGuire, Richard Ferrone, John Leyman, Karla Denise Moore, and Ruth Last. Victoria, along with Tom Miller from Actors’ Equity and Patricia Smith from SAG, appeared at a focus session seminar on how and why to join a union. Actorfest NY attendees sought advice from professional photographers, authors, acting schools, career consultants, health services, dance schools, and performers’ unions. They also enjoyed opportunities to audition for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and The N. Well-known casting agency Telsey + Company cast a net for actors, all types, ages, and ethnicities. Actorfest LA was held in Los Angeles on November 8 where AFTRA Los Angeles Local Executive Director Bill Thomas hosted an AFTRA booth with LA staff members David Besbris, Consuelo Flores, and Jennifer Holland-Still.

AFTRA Cleveland Members Explore Voiceovers at Hot Pizza/Cold Readings AFTRA Cleveland members gathered at the Reel Thing Recording Studio

Winter 2008/2009

On November 20, the DREAM Award was bestowed on the I AM PWD (Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People with Disabilities) Campaign at the Disability Rights Legal Center’s annual gala at the Omni Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I AM PWD is a global civil rights campaign seeking equal employment opportunities for artists and professionals with disabilities throughout the entertainment and news media. The Tri-Union campaign recognizes the combined efforts of the AFTRA, SAG, and Actors’ Equity Association (AEA).

community, and governmental allies in the fight to combat continuing discrimination against people with disabilities. Visit I AM PWD at www.

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DREAM Award Bestowed on the Tri-Union ‘I AM PWD’ Campaign

Dateline AFTRA for November’s AFTRA Cleveland Hot Pizza/Cold Readings event. The event was part of the 2008–2009 AFTRA Cleveland Conservatory Season and was planned by AFTRA members and Co-chairs Cathy Albers and Nancy Telzerow. The evening’s program featured veteran voiceover performer John E. Douglas who provided helpful tips, encouragement, and skillful direction as each participant had a chance to practice.

Winter 2008/2009

“Conservatory events allow talent to share techniques and skills in a fun and relaxing evening. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, everyone comes away richer,” said AFTRA member Mike Misiak. AFTRA member Tim Keo summed it up saying, “Very informative and fun! It was awesome!”

AFTRA Magazine


The full cast and crew of the 5th Annual Lend Me an Ear!

Tonight!” The evening included staged readings of Blondie, The Fred Allen Show, The Bickersons, Easy Aces, and The Great Gildersleeve, one of radio’s earliest spinoffs. Special guest star Bill Tush from the TBS Tush show helped keep the audience rolling in the aisles with a rendition of The Henry Morgan Show. Thirty-five AFTRA, SAG, and AEA members volunteered their voice

Left to right (back row): AFTRA members Tim Keo, Rod Burke, Nan Delzani, Joan Kavanaugh, Noelle, and Nancy Telzerow practice cold readings with Reel Thing Recording Studio sound engineer Jonathan Silver

AFTRA Atlanta Local President and LMAE! producer Barry Stoltze praised the event observing, “It was another great evening and I for one always have a blast bringing back the past, letting good old imagination take over for a little while as I recall the days before television when the story’s picture was all in your mind.”

AFTRA Welcomes New National Staff in Los Angeles and Washington

Lend Me an Ear! Lends a Helping Hand in Atlanta Every fall, more than 30 AFTRA, SAG, and Actors’ Equity members gather together for a night of radio recreations as a fundraiser for the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). On Monday, October 27, the 5th Annual Old Time Radio show and fundraiser Lend Me an Ear! (LMAE!) hit the stage in Atlanta with the theme, “Comedy

talents for the ACFB during these trying economic times. This year’s Lend Me an Ear! raised more than $1,600 in donations, which equals more than $13,000 in buying power, for the ACFB through their partnerships with food suppliers. Thanks to everyone who helped in this worthy cause, from cast to crew, to staff, the attendees, and hostesses Edith Ivey and Janet Metzger.

Christopher de Haan has been

AFTRA members Elizabeth Whitfield and AFTRA Local President and Lend Me an Ear! producer Barry Stoltze star in The Fred Allen Show, directed by Barry Stoltze.

appointed AFTRA National Director of Communications. Chris previously served as AFTRA’s National Manager of Communications and will continue to be based in Los Angeles. As National Director of Communications, he will oversee and manage all AFTRA internal and external communications, including

IN MEMORIAM Studs Terkel Charter AFTRA member Louis “Studs” Terkel passed away on October 31 at the age of 96. Studs began his acting career in AFRA–covered radio dramas. He was a lifelong unionist. Describing the industry before AFTRA, Studs said, “Without AFTRA, would there have been residuals? Of course not. Minimum scale and established hours? Of course not. You were nothing. You were told you were lucky to have a job. And then came AFTRA! AFTRA is the most exciting, healthy union in the world.”

AFTRA National First Vice President Bob Edwards Remembers Studs Terkel:

because the man lived 96 years and he’d seen it all before. Along the way, he’d leave his main argument and pursue some tangent that was so fascinating that I’d forget what question I had asked. But he never forgot, and, after completing his verbal sidebar, would return right back to the spot where he had interrupted his own oration, and continue.

“Studs was an actor, law school graduate, radio interviewer, union booster, oral historian, Pulitzer Prize– winning author, raconteur, a fan of jazz and opera, champion of the underdog, arch liberal, strong advocate of civil and human rights, an opponent of anyone who felt superior by virtue of class, race, or privilege. And what a talker! When I joined • Most Cosmetic Smile Makeovers satellite radio to completed within 72 hours* do a long-form • No Prep Veneers Using ultra-thin porcelain and cutting interview program, edge technology I made a list of • Snap-on Smile interesting people Affordable non-invasive cosmetic who might be appliance that covers your teeth to enhance your smile instantly. able to carry a • Metal-free crowns and conversation for custom-made white fillings an hour. The first • 6 month Smiles Cosmetic braces name on my list Using clear attachments and white wire, get straight smiling teeth in was Studs Terkel approximately six months before because I knew I • Invisalign could get the full • In-office teeth whitening hour with just one New Monthly Payment Plans: question, ‘How’s 12 months no payments/no interest after it going, Studs?’ Call Now! That’s all it took 818-841-SMILE (7645) to set him off on some outrage— a rant that would reference numerous Darwin K. Hayes, DDS, FAGD Fellow, Academy of General Dentistry. historical Member, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry precedents

s Happines ce ConfidenS uccess

Gentle. Caring. Comfortable. Convenient.

Winter 2008/2009

Purvi Patel is the new AFTRA National Representative in the AFTRA Washington/ Baltimore Local. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Purvi received her law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in May 2004. She comes to AFTRA following a clerkship with former Chief Judge Frederick C. Wright and the Honorable Donald E. Beachley for the Circuit Court for Washington County, MD, as well as practicing civil litigation in the private sector. In her new position, she will work on copyright, legislation, and collective bargaining matters.

Photo credit: ©Nancy Crampton

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strategy development, media relations, member communications, such as AFTRA’s website and member magazine, and other strategic outreach for the union to key constituencies. Chris first joined the AFTRA National staff in 2001 as National Assistant in the Entertainment, Commercials, NonBroadcast/Industrial, and Interactive Media departments. Prior to his work at AFTRA, Chris served as Creative Executive at Black Entertainment Television’s film studio, BET Pictures II, and worked as managing editor of Theater magazine while attending Yale University School of Drama in New Haven, CT. He holds bachelor’s degrees in theater and French from Hope College in Holland, MI.

Winter 2008/2009

Dateline AFTRA

AFTRA Magazine


“Studs searched for the dignity in everyone and nearly always found it. Poor and working-class Americans seldom get a chance to feel important, but Studs did that for them. He’d ask them about their families, their struggles, the work they did, and the conditions under which they performed that work. They walked a little taller after 20 minutes with Studs, the rare person who took them and their world seriously.

there. When the FBI called at his house to question him, he offered them vodka. ‘After all, that’s what we Reds drink.’ He

“He was born in the Bronx but reached his formative years in Chicago. His size, features and accent made him perfect for the role he played most frequently in early radio—a crook. He said if there were three crooks on the show, he’d always play the stupid one. Medically ineligible for service in World War II, Studs tried to join the Red Cross but his lefty politics made him unwelcome

was a TV pioneer doing a live network show called Studs’ Place but lost the show when the entertainment industry blacklist came along. So he became a DJ and radio interviewer.

Studs searched for the dignity in everyone.

“Studs Terkel was born in 1912, just a month after the Titanic sank: ‘It went down and I came up.’ He always greeted me with a reference to our shared

birthday of May 16. I was born on his 35th. I interviewed him after a fall that could have been fatal for a man his age, but he insisted his descent to the floor was a graceful ballet. I talked with him again after open-heart surgery, and who else could survive that at 93? These were mere bothers compared to the loss in 1999 of Ida, his wife of 60 years. He had just one problem with Ida. When he obtained copies of their FBI files, he was mortified to see that hers was thicker than his. “Each time he said goodbye to me, he employed the old Woody Guthrie line: ‘Take it easy, but TAKE it.’ It’s as good an epitaph as any. He was a dear and wonderful man—a national treasure— and we will not see his like again.”


AFTRA Milestones for 2008

February >>

>> >>


AFL-CIO awards direct charter to AFTRA—AFTRA becomes a full AFL-CIO affiliate, while retaining relationship with Associated Actors and Artistes of America (Four A’s). AFTRA reaches tentative agreement with major record labels on new Sound Recordings Code. AFTRA reaches tentative agreement with ABC and CBS on staff agreements for network anchors and correspondents. AFTRA Network TV Code “Front of the Book” negotiations begin.

March >>


AFTRA reaches tentative agreement on Network TV Code “Front of the Book” with major networks and producers, with increases retroactive to November 16, 2007. ABC/CBS Network Staff Newspersons Agreements ratified.

April >> >>

AFTRA members ratify Network TV Code “Front of the Book.” AFTRA and producers reach agreement on 18-month extension to Non-Broadcast/Industrial Code.

June >> >>


>> >>

AFTRA begins negotiations on Network TV Code “Exhibit A.” AFTRA members ratify new Sound Recordings Code. AFTRA reaches tentative agreement on Network TV Code “Exhibit A,” with unanimous

>> >>



AFTRA members ratify new Network TV Code Exhibit A. Rate increases go into effect retroactive to July 1, 2008. Presidents of AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association issue joint statement of solidarity reminding AFTRA and AEA members of the importance of working union and honoring “do not work” rules of Four A’s unions.

August >>



New York Governor David Patterson signs into law AFTRA– sponsored legislation outlawing broadcast contracts “non-compete” provisions. AFTRA reaches agreement with advertisers and advertising agencies to extend expiration date of Commercials Contracts from October 29, 2008, to March 31, 2009. AFTRA members host Land Before Time AFTRA Animation Panel at VOICE 2008, where AFTRA is a premier sponsor of the Voiceover International Creative Experience.

Senate Judiciary Committee passes Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement Bill. AFTRA reports that the union collected more than $17 million in claims for members during fiscal year ’07–’08.

October >>



May >>

Employees at Metro Traffic in Philadelphia vote to organize with AFTRA. AFTRA reports that the union collected more than $2 million in severance benefits on behalf of CBS employees laid off due to corporate downsizing. The “Performance Rights Act,” a bill granting the right for recording artists, singers, and musicians to be paid for AM/FM radio airplay, is passed by a voice vote of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property.


AFTRA, AEA, and SAG announce the launch of I AM PWD Campaign (Inclusion in the Arts & Media of Persons with Disabilities), a global civil rights campaign to eliminate discrimination against artists and journalists with disabilities. Congress passes the PRO-IP Act to ensure greater protection of and increased enforcement of intellectual property rights. President Bush signs it into law.

November >>



AFTRA and Interactive Game producers reach agreement to extend AFTRA Interactive Media Agreement from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2009, with increases in wages and H&R contributions. Wages and Working Conditions process for 2009 Commercials Contracts negotiations launched in Locals around the country. AFTRA publishes the Member Guide to the AFTRA TV Contract.

December >>

AFTRA members help pass pension relief legislation by sending more than 3,200 letters to members of Congress.

Winter 2008/2009


AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards (The AMEEs) awarded to Sam Donaldson, Susan Lucci, and Maureen McGovern, at a fundraising gala to support the AFTRA Foundation.

recommendation of member negotiating committee.

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At the Table

AFTRA Interactive Media Agreement Extended In October, AFTRA members reached an agreement with videogame employers on terms for a one-year extension to the AFTRA Interactive Media Agreement, the union’s collective bargaining agreement covering performers working in videogames. Terms of the extension agreement, approved by the Administrative Committee of the AFTRA National Board, include:

• One-year extension of the AFTRA Interactive Media Agreement, with effective dates January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2009

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• 3% increase in initial compensation

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for all session fees effective January 1, 2009

• 0.5% increase in contributions to AFTRA H&R effective January 1, 2009 “We are pleased to have reached an extension agreement with the major videogame employers that keeps AFTRA members working and secures solid increases in wages and benefits on par with the six other major national contracts AFTRA negotiated earlier this year,” said Denny Delk, Chair of the AFTRA Interactive Media Steering Committee. “It’s a testament to the vision and bargaining power of AFTRA members that, in a time of global economic crisis, AFTRA members consistently find common-sense solutions to difficult problems.” The extension also permits the joint AFTRA and SAG Commercials Wages and Working (W&W) Conditions meetings currently underway to continue without interruption in preparation for negotiation of the Commercials Contracts which expire on March 31, 2009.

The first agreement covering performers working in interactive media and videogames was negotiated by AFTRA more than 20 years ago. AFTRA has also extended the following agreements: the Electronic Media Agreement, Infomercial Agreement, Video News Release Agreement, and the Local Station Promo Agreement. If you work in any of these areas, be sure to contact your AFTRA office to ensure you are covered by an AFTRA contract.

In a time of global economic crisis, AFTRA members consistently find common-sense solutions to difficult problems.

–AFTRA San Francisco Local President Denny Delk, Chair of the AFTRA Interactive Media Steering Committee

Important Reminder About New Media As an AFTRA member, make sure your employer is signed to the AFTRA Electronic Media Agreement or the AFTRA TV Code whenever you work in new media (made for the Internet, PDAs, cell phones, and other new media platforms).

AFTRA Animation Rates Increased Rates under AFTRA’s Computer Generated Animation Agreement have been increased to match the increases achieved by members in the AFTRA Primetime TV (Exhibit A) Agreement. Minimum session rates have been increased by 3.5%. The new day rate for a principal performer on an AFTRA animated program longer than 10 minutes is now $786. Audition rates and excess time rates were also increased (see below). All session rates will increase as the AFTRA Exhibit A rates increase, giving AFTRA members on animated programs a 3% increase in July 2009 and a 3.5% increase in July 2010. The AFTRA H&R contribution rate will also increase to 15.3% effective July 1, 2009. Here’s an overview of the new rates:

• Day rate for animated programs more than 10 minutes: $786

• Day rate for animated programs 10 minutes or less: $711

• Third voice rate for animated programs less than 10 minutes: $229

• Auditions: $58 AFTRA members who are also members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) are reminded that effective January 1, 2009, SAG will enforce its “Rule 1” for new media—meaning a SAG member may only work in new media if the production is covered by either an AFTRA or SAG contract. You can find out if your employer is a current AFTRA signatory by contacting your Local office or emailing AFTRA at

• Excess time: $14.50 AFTRA members have been actively employed under the new rates on hit animated programs like Digger for Fox, Gnomes and Trolls on DVD, and Wow Wow Wubbzy, Glenn Martin DDS, Back to the Barnyard, The Mighty B!, Planet Sheen, Penguins, Ni Hao Kai Lan, all on Nickelodeon.

AFTRA Members Active in W&W for Commercials Contracts

W&W proposals from the Locals will be considered by the AFTRA and SAG Joint National Commercials W&W Plenary Committee in January where they will be shaped into a final package of proposals for approval by the AFTRA and SAG Joint National Board. Contract negotiations are expected to commence in midFebruary. Stay tuned at for updates on contract negotiations and all your other AFTRA news. Don’t forget to sign up for your AFTRA FLASH email updates by sending a subscription request to for your free member subscription.

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During October and November, hundreds of AFTRA members participated in member educational and Wages and Working (W&W) conditions meetings conducted jointly with SAG in various Locals and cities around the country. The meetings were designed to outline the findings of the Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) Commercials Study and to develop proposals for possible changes to the AFTRA Radio Commercials and AFTRA and SAG Television Commercials Contracts. The BAH Study was jointly commissioned and funded by both unions and the advertising industry’s ANA/AAAA Joint Policy Committee on Broadcast Talent Union Relations (JPC) to examine a variety of ways of possibly restructuring the talent payment provisions of the contracts with a view to streamlining, not diminishing, how members are paid.

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The AFTRA Television and Radio Commercials Contracts were extended to March 31, 2009.

AFTRA H&R AFTRA H&R Expands Communications Programs The AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds has launched an outreach program to keep all participants—and future participants—up-to-date on how to take full advantage of the health and retirement benefits that it provides. In addition to the periodic Benefits Updates that provide information about the Health and Retirement Plans, AFTRA H&R’s current outreach programs include: • A series of educational brochures highlighting subjects of particular interest and importance to participants; • Periodic meetings between AFTRA H&R staff and AFTRA Local executives; • Benefit presentations to members at AFTRA Local offices; • More frequent, timely postings on the AFTRA H&R website

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New Outreach Brochures The first two of AFTRA H&R’s new, brief, and highly informative publications have already been distributed and are also available on the AFTRA H&R website Just click on “Newsletters/Updates” on the top right of the homepage, then, under Educational brochures, click on either of the “Brochures.” More brochures are on the way.

• The first brochure, Register Today—It’s to Your Benefit,

was mailed only to new freelance performers, together with a registration form, intended to provide information to those who may be less familiar with AFTRA H&R and the benefits that come with membership. New performers are encouraged to send H&R your contact information by returning the registration form, so H&R can notify you in a timely way when you qualify for benefits. The second brochure was recently mailed to all Health Plan and Retirement Plan participants. Entitled AFTRA H&R & You—It’s a Partnership, it’s a reminder to keep AFTRA H&R informed when you experience a life event, such as a marriage, divorce, birth, a change of address, etc. In this way, the benefits for which you are eligible will remain up-to-date and reflect the coverage that is provided.

These pamphlets contain very important information of which many AFTRA members and AFTRA H&R participants are not always aware. Some examples:

• Separate Organizations—Both Working to Serve You

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AFTRA is an entirely separate organization from the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds. This distinction is legally important. AFTRA H&R is an independent organization, and while half of the Trustees who govern AFTRA H&R are appointed by the AFTRA National Board, the other half represent the signatory companies that are required by contract to make the contributions that provide health and retirement benefits. Be Sure to Register It is critically important that you register with AFTRA H&R. If you qualify for benefits, now or in the future, AFTRA H&R will receive contributions from your employers on your behalf. But if the AFTRA H&R office has no record of you, it can’t give you credit for your earnings. It’s not enough to notify AFTRA (the union)—you must also register with AFTRA H&R, after which you will receive your annual earnings statement and up-to-date notification about any benefit changes that may affect you. Keep H&R Informed If your address or contact information changes, be sure to notify AFTRA H&R. Include your new address and your Social Security number or your H&R Funds number, which appears on your AFTRA Health Plan ID card. If you designate your agent or business manager to receive your AFTRA H&R notices or your earnings information, be sure they keep you informed.

AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds’ Participant Services Center continues to be an excellent resource for answering your benefits–related questions. Counselors at the Center are available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at 1.800.562.4690.

Hundreds of AFTRA members won and presented awards, performed, and worked as dancers, singers, and stand-in professionals on major music awards programs this year. The Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards, and the Latin Grammys were all produced for television under an AFTRA contract again this year. The 42nd Annual CMA Awards aired on November 11, 2008, from Nashville and showcased AFTRA member artists and performers during the threehour awards show. All of the performers employed on the program—from our winning, nominated, or performing royalty artists, to the actors, presenters, background vocalists, dancers, and stand-in professionals—were AFTRA members. “We are proud of all of our AFTRA members who brought life to the show and who drive our music industry. We salute the Country Music Association for their continued support of AFTRA members as an AFTRA signatory producer,” said Randy Himes,

The 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards aired on November 13, 2008, as a live broadcast in Houston, Texas, and featured AFTRA member artists and performers during the awards show. AFTRA congratulates all of the Latin Grammy nominees and winners, and we applaud the stellar talent showcased during the broadcast and during rehearsals for the show. Special congratulations to AFTRA member Gloria Estefan, who is the first woman to be honored as the Latin Recording

AFTRA members employed on the Latin Grammy Broadcast program included award winners and nominees, royalty artists, hosts, background vocalists, dancers, and stand-in professionals. AFTRA also acknowledges AFTRA signatory employer Command Post Productions, and Univision and the Latin Recording Academy for their continued support of AFTRA members by producing Left: AFTRA member Carrie Underwood (below) accepts the 2008 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Award, and member Brad Paisley (above), 2008 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, entertains the audience. Photos courtesy: The CMA. Center: AFTRA member Kanye West performs his hit single “Heartless” during the 2008 AMAs live broadcast. Photo courtesy: ©ABC/Craig Sjodin. Right: AFTRA member Annie Lennox accepts the American Music Association 2008 Award of Merit. Photo courtesy: ©ABC/Craig Sjodin.

Winter 2008/2009

Academy’s Person of the Year, and AFTRA member Juanes for his five awards, giving him more Latin Grammy wins this year than any other artist.

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AFTRA Assistant National Executive Director for Sound Recordings. “The 2008 CMA Awards are a good reminder that no matter where you work as an AFTRA member in the music industry—whether on an AFTRA–covered program as an award-winning artist, as a royalty artist signed to an AFTRA signatory label, or on tour under the new AFTRA Touring Agreement—AFTRA contracts protect you and keep you covered with some of the best wages and benefits in the business.”

this Spanish-language awards show under an AFTRA contract.

AFTRA Members Morgan Freeman, George Jones, Barbra Streisand, and Roger Daltrey to Receive 31st Annual Kennedy Center Winners of the 36th Annual American Music Awards Honors appeared in a star-studded event hosted by AFTRA member Jimmy Kimmel. The show was broadcast live by ABC from the NOKIA Theatre in Los Angeles on November 23. The 2008 AMAs were produced under an AFTRA contract by Dick Clark Productions, a longtime AFTRA signatory. The AMAs featured a record 19 performances by AFTRA members, including Justin Timberlake who presented the 2008 American Music Awards special Award of Merit to longtime AFTRA member Annie Lennox honoring her work with the groundbreaking Eurythmics as well as her illustrious solo career. Also, AFTRA member Mariah Carey was recognized for becoming the solo artist with the most number one hits of all time.

Winter 2008/2009

We congratulate all of the 2008 AMA AFTRA member nominees and winners, and we salute Dick Clark Productions for its continued support of AFTRA performers. Upcoming awards shows all produced under AFTRA contracts include:

Golden Globe Awards, January 11, 2009 SAG Awards, January 25, 2009 51st Grammy Awards, February 8, 2009 81st Academy Awards, February 22, 2009

AFTRA members to receive the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors of 2008 are actor Morgan Freeman, singer George Jones, director, singer, actress, composer, and producer Barbra Streisand, and Roger Daltrey of The Who. Musician Pete Townshend and choreographer Twyla Tharp will also be honored. The Honors recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts—whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television. They are selected by the Center’s Board of Trustees. President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush played hosts at a reception at the White House on Sunday, December 7, before going to the Center with the guests of honor to watch tributes from celebrities including AFTRA members Joss Stone, Lily Tomlin, and past Kennedy Center honoree Clint Eastwood. A two-hour broadcast aired on December 30 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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The AFTRA Foundation is proud to announce a

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Problem Solving in a Tough Economy

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Are you making the most of your AFTRA membership? AFTRA members know that the American economy is not working for working Americans. As the stock market spirals downward creating an environment of unprecedented home foreclosures, wage suppression, and job loss, policymakers in Washington, DC, are rushing to bail out the world’s richest banks, conglomerates, and CEOs, only to leave working Americans to fend for ourselves. Corporate decision-makers who created the current economic crisis may be getting help while middle and lower income working Americans who staff their companies, work in their factories, teach their children, and sell their products on television, radio, and on the Internet are left in the cold. AFTRA members know that being a union member is the surest path to professional success and the safest bet for your family’s well-being. It’s a fact that union members are paid higher wages, afforded safer working conditions, and provided better benefits than our non-union

counterparts across all sectors of the American workforce. According to the AFL-CIO, in 2007, union members in arts, entertainment, and media occupations earned almost 24% higher wages than our non-union counterparts. But being an AFTRA member means more than just solid rates and recognition as a professional performer on some of the highest rated and most successful television, radio programs, and sound recordings. It also means that you and your family have access to an array of benefits, discounts, revenue streams, and support systems that can provide you with the security you need in an economic crisis like the one we’re enduring right now. Here is an overview of the many programs, benefits, and support systems that are available to you by virtue of your membership in AFTRA. Many of these programs are free to AFTRA members. In most cases, you can even recoup the cost of dues through discounts and savings on products and services you already use. All in all, these important benefits of your AFTRA membership can provide you and your loved ones with the tools to address challenges of a tough economy.

AFTRA members have more than $1 million back in their pockets due to efforts by AFTRA Los Angeles to return residual and other payments held in the “Unable to Locate” Trust Fund.

In addition to finding lost checks, Conchita is working to ensure that fewer residual checks get lost in the first place. From December 2006 to June 2008, AFTRA LA issued 240,000 checks totaling more than $43 million in residuals to members, and only 11,250 checks ended up in the UTL Fund. In addition, a new online system to check whether members are due payments will be introduced soon.

Call the AFTRA UTL Hotline in Los Angeles today at 323.634.8255.

Did you know? In most cases, union dues and fees may be tax deductible. You may be able to take advantage of a tax deduction in 2009 if your payment is made by December 31, 2008. Given the current economic climate, we encourage all members to consult with their tax advisor to get the maximum deductible professional expenses for your 2009 return. If you don’t do it this year, remember to look into it next year!

Supplemental Health Insurance Programs for AFTRA Members Members facing difficulty in becoming eligible for AFTRA H&R benefits need alternative coverage for themselves and their families. That is why the National Board has authorized agreements with several independent benefit providers to make supplementary benefit programs available to all members. These programs include:

Supplemental Dental & Vision Plan—offered by Group Benefit Associates to AFTRA members who participate in the AFTRA Health Fund. This plan allows members to purchase additional dental and vision coverage to supplement their preventative only dental plan. Learn more at Stand Alone Dental & Vision Plan—offered by Group Benefit Associates to AFTRA members who are not eligible for the AFTRA Health Plan. This plan allows members to

Guarantee Issue Life Insurance for AFTRA Members Now you can save money and plan for the future at the same time. AFTRA is pleased to offer you a new important benefit, Voluntary Guarantee Issue Life Coverage, for AFTRA members, employees, and our families. Guarantee Issue Life Insurance means that you may purchase up to $100,000 of coverage on yourself with no medical questions being asked and no physical exam. You may also purchase Guarantee Issue Life Insurance up to $25,000 for your spouse and up to $5,000 for your dependent children. This is a one-time open enrollment period until February 28, 2009. If you miss the deadline, you will be considered a late entrant and proof of insurability will be required. Benefits include:

• • • • • • •

Low Group Rates for Term Life Family Coverage Available Up to $100,000 Guarantee Issue coverage No Medical Questions No Physical Exam Reliable Claims Payment Top-rated Customer Service

Coverage is provided by Guardian Life Insurance Company. It will be administered by Group Benefit Associates and Guardian, not AFTRA or the AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds. Direct questions to Group Benefit Associates at 1.800.450.1271 or Guardian at 1.888.600.1600. You can also review information and enroll online at

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Created in 1990 as a place to hold residuals checks in trust when they had been returned due to bad addresses or other problems, the Fund had grown to more than $6 million in December 2006 when AFTRA LA appointed staff member Conchita Fabro as full time “detective” to track down members who were owed payments.

purchase dental and vision coverage regardless of earnings requirements. Learn more at Foundation One—offered by Group Benefit Associates to AFTRA members who are not eligible for coverage under the AFTRA Health Plan. This is an alternative health plan designed to help control costs and out-of-pocket expenses associated with medical treatment. Learn more at Union Plus Health Savings Program—offered in conjunction with CAREINGTON International to union members, retirees, and their household members including spouses, children, parents, and extended family. This is a discount program, not insurance. Learn more at Union Plus Health Savings Prescription Card—offered free to union members to help you save on prescriptions at participating pharmacies. With this card, you can save an average of 15% off brand-name drugs and 40% off generic drugs at more than 53,000 pharmacies nationwide. Learn more at /prescription_card.cfm. MusicPro Health Insurance—partnered with eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., to offer AFTRA members a wide choice of individual and family medical insurance plans and dental plans. This is available to all AFTRA members regardless of category. Learn more at www.musicpro

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AFTRA Unable to Locate (UTL) Fund Has Money for AFTRA Members

AFTRA Foundation Network: Assisting AFTRA Members from Coast-to-Coast

Assistant National Executive Director for Sound Recordings and Nashville Local Executive Director. Learn more about PERF by calling the AFTRA Nashville office at 615.327.2944.

By Lou Siegel, AFTRA Foundation Consultant AFTRA members who need help paying for groceries, the mortgage, medical bills, or other necessities can make confidential requests for assistance through a network of charitable funds legally separate from the union and funded by voluntary contributions which are tax deductible in the case of funds under the umbrella of the AFTRA Foundation. A 501 (c) (3), the AFTRA Foundation was founded in 1997. As well as funding and coordinating member-assistance, the Foundation finances a variety of projects and studies which promote the professional and career interests of AFTRA members. In addition, the Foundation generously supports The Actors Fund which offers a broad range of social services to workers in the news and entertainment business. AFTRA Foundation Network loans and grants cannot substitute for employment or, when necessary, long-term government assistance. But they do provide a base of personal support from peers that can be very important during stressful times. The officers of these funds can make a quick determination of need and usually respond in a matter of days. Anchored by the AFTRA Foundation, these member-assistance programs are run locally.

The Betty Mitchell Foundation (BMF) in Chicago, named after an AFTRA employee who was legendary for her generosity, is an essential resource for AFTRA members in that city. “There are so many cases over the years where we were able to get someone back on his or her feet,” said Eileen Parkinson of the BMF. Learn more about BMF by calling the AFTRA Chicago Local at 312.573.8081. There are two large emergency assistance programs covering AFTRA members throughout the United States: Frank Nelson Sick and Benefit Fund, based in Los Angeles, services all AFTRA Locals west of Omaha. Frank Nelson was a legendary comic actor, AFTRA National President in the 1950s, and a pioneer in entertainment industry pension and welfare plans. He established the union’s “Sick and Benefit” fund which has helped thousands of members over the years. For more information about the Frank Nelson Sick and Benefit Fund, contact Consuelo Flores in the AFTRA Los Angeles Local at 323.634.8181. In New York, in addition to the AFTRA Theatre Authority Fund which is based in New York City and services AFTRA Locals east of Omaha, there is also the New York-based Serviceman’s Fund which was established during the Korean War to assist AFTRA veterans. For more information about the AFTRA Theatre Authority Fund and the Serviceman’s Fund, contact Ken Haug at 212.863.4240. Finally, though not a relief program, a college scholarship for children of AFTRA members can help lighten the family burden during difficult times. The AFTRA/Heller Memorial Foundation, established to honor AFTRA Founding Father George Heller, offers grants of up to $2,500 to qualified students who are AFTRA members or the child of one. Janette Gautier, AFTRA New York Local member and President of the Heller Memorial Foundation, says, “It’s always a thrill to assist AFTRA members or their children with their college expenses—especially in today’s economy. I urge all AFTRA members to give generously to the AFTRA/Heller Memorial Foundation so that we may continue helping members and their families achieve their dreams.” Any donation may be given in the name of a deceased member. Anyone wishing to set up an eponymous scholarship should contact the board of the Heller Memorial Foundation. Learn more at /scholarship.htm.

In Nashville, for example, recording artists can get help from the Performers Emergency Relief Fund (PERF). “In this close-knit community, we can help someone through an immediate crisis and give them a hand with other agencies,” said Randy Himes,

The International News Safety Institute (INSI)—the only global organization solely dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news professionals—has a presence in the United States as a program of the AFTRA Foundation. “As AFTRA

INSI welcomes contributions to its work on behalf of endangered journalists and support staff. Contributions can be sent to: INSI North America Fund (Attn: Tom Carpenter) 260 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor New York, NY 10016 Checks should be made out to “The INSI Fund of the AFTRA Foundation” Find out more information about the work of INSI at The Foundation and related funds are financed almost entirely by AFTRA members through contributions sent with dues payments, donations of residuals checks, proceeds from the AMEE Awards and a planned giving program which is tailored to an individual’s needs and wishes during his or her lifetime or posthumously through trusts, annuities, and wills. “It’s AFTRA members caring for each other,” says AFTRA Foundation Chair Shelby Scott. “That’s what makes it so extraordinary.” Learn more about the AFTRA Foundation at Remember: When you fall on tough times, a call to your AFTRA Local can be a good first step. Your privacy will be protected and you’ll be dealing with people who understand what it’s like to work in our business. Take advantage of the services we have. You’ve earned it.

The Actors Fund Founded in 1882, The Actors Fund is a nonprofit human services organization that serves all professionals—not just actors—in film, theater, television, music, opera, and dance through programs that address your unique and essential needs. As a national organization with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, The Fund directly serves over 8,000 entertainment and performing arts professionals across the country, and approximately 300,000 more through online resource programs. In providing care and service to professionals throughout the industry, The Fund’s programs are wide in scope, responsive in nature, and produce significant results, affecting the lives of people in our community year after year. The Actors Fund is an indispensable and significant part of the entire entertainment community. Learn more about The Actors Fund at

“I was laid off in August, but a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders when I learned that by consistently working under an AFTRA broadcast contract, I had earned enough credits under the AFTRA Health Plan to qualify for health benefits until 2010. My co-workers under the company’s plan lost their benefits almost right away. To have AFTRA behind me in a time of crisis is invaluable. AFTRA is my family.” —Alix Daly, AFTRA San Francisco broadcaster

Here are four simple tips from AFTRA H&R on how you can save money on health care costs:

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Choose generic over brand-name drugs. To fill your prescriptions, choose the Mail Order Program rather than the retail pharmacy. Utilize health care providers that are in the Network. If you are facing a major illness, contact CareAllies Case Management Program to help you coordinate care and find Network providers.

Contact AFTRA H&R by phone at 1.800.562.4690 or online at

AFM & AFTRA Intellectual Property Fund: Still One of the Best Kept Secrets in the Music Business By Dennis Dreith, Administrator AFM & AFTRA Intellectual Property Fund You have most likely heard about the work of SoundExchange and AARC (Alliance of Artists and Record Companies)—if not, you can learn more about them below—and the work they do in distributing money to featured artists and record companies for various digital transmissions of sound recordings and monies for private home taping. You may not be aware, however, that there is a separate organization formed jointly by the two unions representing musicians and singers (AFTRA and the AFM) that distributes similar royalty payments for background vocalists and session musicians. That organization is the AFM & AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. Since 2001, this Fund has distributed 40,970 checks to 13,323 non-featured performers, totaling an impressive $6,673,278. If you are not one of these thousands of performers who have received a check from us, but have done any work on sound recordings, you may also be eligible for a payment. To see if we are holding money for you, or to see if any of the recordings you worked on is subject to a payment, visit our website at

Winter 2008/2009

INSI is a dedicated source of safety information and advice for journalists in or planning to visit danger areas. It also raises money to provide safety training free of charge for news media staff in the developing world who have no resources to pay for their own. It has so far provided training for 730 journalists and support staff in 16 countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

AFTRA H&R: Keeping You Covered Through the Health Care Crisis

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members bring news and information from throughout the world to the American public, the AFTRA Foundation is a perfect home for the International News Safety Institute here in the U.S.,” said Shelby Scott, AFTRA Foundation President and former broadcast journalist. Under the aegis of the AFTRA Foundation, the Institute now has charitable status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which enables INSI to raise funds through taxdeductible voluntary contributions, grants, and bequests.

See what just a few of the vocalists and musicians who have received a payment have to say: “I am a 58-year-old musician from Africa. I recorded some albums for Decca Recording Company in the early ’80s. I never got any royalties until now. I still have copies of those albums covered with dust in my little space here in San Jose, CA. I just want to say thanks for the good work you are doing for musicians.” —Willy A. “…I’m delighted that you’re offering this service to people like me who’ve worked in the background for a number of years. It’s so good to know that you are here to help people live a little better by recouping royalty checks.” —Shanrae P. “Got the check, you’re the best. Thanks for all of your efforts and communication.” —Dean G.

CTFD is a not-for-profit organization that enables dancers to define their career possibilities and develop the skills necessary to excel in a variety of disciplines. As dancers continue to develop their strengths, many of them look to CTFD to help cultivate their unique abilities as they begin the process of defining viable career possibilities. CTFD’s insightful career counselors focus on and address each dancer’s individual needs. CTFD believes that strong relationships are built on understanding, and its programs are designed to provide long-term support when dancers need it most. With offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and a mobile National Outreach Project, CTFD has provided over 41,000 hours of individual and group career counseling, with a dollar value of over $4 million, and awarded over $2.8 million in educational and entrepreneurial support. Outside of the organization’s 3,900 active clients, CTFD has helped thousands of dancers in 47 states take their first steps in discovering rewarding second careers.

Winter 2008/2009

“…I have never figured out how one was to track the residuals. It is very comforting to know others are out there e helping.” —Teresa S.

SoundExchange—If you have ever performed ass a featured artist, you should join SoundExchange, e, the organization that licenses the public performance of sound recordings on digital channels like cable, satellite, and the Internet and collects and distributes the license fees. SoundExchange distributes the artist’s share of license fees directly to the featured artist. Learn more about SoundExchange at

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Alliance of Artists and Record Companies s 26 The (AARC)—If you have ever performed as a featured ed artist, you should join AARC, the organization that at collects and distributes featured artist royalties collected under the Audio Home Recording Act off 1992. This Act requires that users of digital audio copying devices pay royalties, a portion of which will be distributed to artists. Learn more about AARC at

Career Transition for Dancers: Where Passion Meets Opportunity Dancers possess unique skills and unrivaled dedication. Their passion for discovery, innovation, and expression is an exceptional strength. Career Transition for Dancers (CTFD) celebrates unique potential and empowers them to continue to affect our world in positive ways, both on and off the stage.

As a not-for-profit arts-service organization committed to dancers, CTFD endeavors to reach as many current and former professional dancers as possible. All services are provided free of charge. Please consider a donation now to help CTFD reach even more dancers. Learn more about Career Transition for Dancers at

Get a Game Plan: If you are concerned about near-term financial needs like paying the rent or buying a vehicle, you need to have a game plan. You can start by trimming the fat from your daily spending. Foregoing a $4 latte every day, for example, will save you about $120 a month. But how do you put that newly-saved money to work for you? From federallyinsured savings, CDs, and checking accounts to auto and home loans, ASFCU is here to help. Plan Ahead: If your goal is to save for retirement in 10, 20, or 30 years, ASFCU’s Financial Advisors can help you develop an investment plan and stick to it. Over the long haul, the U.S. stock market has risen more than it has declined. It’s important to remember, however, that these types of investments are not insured by the NCUA or any other government agency, are not guaranteed, and may lose value. ASFCU is YOU: ASFCU is a member-owned, federallyinsured financial cooperative directed by an elected volunteer board of your peers. Their money is your money and, unlike at for-profit banks, when the credit union makes a profit, you get the return in the form of superior financial services at the best possible rates. Stay Protected: Shares in AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union are protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund and have the U.S. government’s full-faith-and-credit guarantee, the same provided to FDIC-insured deposits in banks. Credit union member shares and bank deposits insured by the two funds are covered to at least $250,000, with individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Keoghs also protected up to $250,000.

Actors Federal Credit Union: Helping AFTRA Members Build a Solid Foundation AFTRA members across the nation can maximize their benefits by taking advantage of their options at ActorsFCU with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. A complete array of modern banking services is offered by ActorsFCU, including the immediate benefits of these two highlighted products: ActorsGold VISA Credit Card

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2.9% 6-month intro rate, 8.9% fixed thereafter Rates are applied to the entire balance giving maximum benefit to the member. Banks often apply payments to the part of the balance at the lowest interest rate (balance transfers) leaving the part of the balance at higher rates (purchases) untouched. No Default Rates of 25% or higher. A simple review of your latest credit card statement with another bank will review this shocking rate and just how easily you can end up paying it. No Fee for Cash Advances: No costly fees that take away from the benefit of a low introductory rate. No Fee for Balance Transfers: Sure they may offer you a low rate of interest on the balance transfer, but what about the costly fees you’ll pay to make the transfer?

eMax$ Online (High Yield Savings)

eMax$ has led the pack with interest rates since being introduced in April 2007. Staying with a financial institution simply because you are established with them can cost you in the long run with missed earnings from higher interest rates. A simple visit to will provide you with rates for comparison. No Minimum Balance: By tying up your cash and giving up liquidity, you are giving away a huge benefit. You need to know what the fees are for going below the minimum required balance. Often even one month’s worth of fees will wipe out any perceived benefit or higher interest rate. If you withdraw from a Certificate of Deposit or other account prematurely, be aware of the financial penalties.

Actors Federal Credit Union is a cooperatively run, non-profit banking organization chartered in 1962. Any paid-up member of AFTRA is eligible to apply for membership. Immediate family members are also eligible to join. If you’re not already a member, but would like more information about Actors Federal Credit Union, visit online at

Winter 2008/2009

If your New Year’s resolution is to save money or reduce debt in the current chaotic economy, then you have to act quickly and be much more dedicated. Luckily, AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union is there to help.

If you’re not already a member of ASFCU, join the thousands of performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media who are. To learn more about the benefits of membership in AFTRA-SAG FCU, go to

27 AFTRA Magazine

AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union: New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Achieve

Union Plus Benefits: AFTRA Members Belong to the Union Privilege Family Union Privilege designs programs to help union members enjoy life at better prices by using the collective buying power of unions to offer a variety of high quality, discounted products and services exclusively to working families. The AFL-CIO created Union Privilege in 1986 to provide union members and their families with valuable consumer benefits. With Union Plus benefits, your union membership “pays” at work and at home. Union Privilege staff monitors each program to ensure that the unique needs of working families are being met and represents the voice of the consumer in order to guarantee complete member satisfaction. As an AFTRA member, you are automatically entitled to free benefits and special savings.

Ten things AFTRA members can do online at 1.



Visit and complete the short popup union form to learn about your special AFTRA benefits. Find money to pay for continuing education for yourself and your family. Search for scholarships at and apply for education loans at Get all the information you need on the “go to college” process at


Order books online from a unionized bookstore at 5. Sign up for E-News to receive consumer tips and Union Plus benefits updates. 6. Browse Union Plus discounted flower arrangements, order flowers online (for less than what you pay over the phone) and save 15% at 7. Book a discounted car rental, hotel room, or vacation online at 8. Verify information included in your credit score (saving 15%) and understand how your lenders see you at 9. Complete their site survey and receive a free screensaver at 10. Apply for the Union Plus® Credit Card and get one of the best annual percentage rates in the industry. You can go directly to to apply for the card or manage your account. Visit or email

Look for the Union Label: Help Build America’s Economy The Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO, was founded in 1909 to promote the products and services produced in America by union members—especially those products and services identified by a union label, shop card, store card, and service button. The Department works to promote the union label. When you see a union label—whether it is on a product, on a union shop or union store placard in a place of business, or on a union button worn by a worker—it signifies quality goods and services. Moreover, these emblems demonstrate that the employees who make the product or provide the service are skilled workers who are treated fairly and decently by their employers. The Department also maintains and publishes the “Do Not Buy” list of companies being boycotted and the products and services involved. The Department carries out its programs through a nationwide network of chartered union label councils and committees, the National and International affiliates of the AFL-CIO, and AFL-CIO State Federations and Central Labor Councils. Learn more about Union Label at

AFTRA Locals ATLANTA Melissa Goodman, Exec. Dir. 455 E. Paces Ferry Rd., NE, Ste. 334 Atlanta, GA 30305 Phone: 404.239.0131 Fax: 404.239.0137 BOSTON Dona Sommers, Exec. Dir. 20 Park Plaza, Ste. 822 Boston, MA 02116-4399 Phone: 617.262.8001 Fax: 617.262.3006 BUFFALO Broadcast Department:800.638.6796 National Membership: 866.855.5191

Winter 2008/2009

CHICAGO Eileen Willenborg, Exec. Dir. One East Erie, Ste. 650 Chicago, IL 60611 Phone: 312.573.8081 Fax: 312.573.0318

AFTRA Magazine


CLEVELAND Cathy Nowlin, Exec. Dir. 820 W. Superior Ave., Ste. 240 Cleveland, OH 44113.1800 Phone: 216.781.2255 Fax: 216.781.2257 DALLAS/FORT WORTH T.J. Jones, Texas Reg. Exec. 6060 N. Central Expwy, Ste. 468 Dallas, TX 75206 Phone: 214.363.8300 Fax: 214.363.5386 DENVER Julie Crane, Exec. Dir. 1400 16th St., Ste. 400 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: 720.932.8228 Fax: 720.932.8194 DETROIT Lorain Obomanu, Exec. Dir./Nat’l Rep. 23800 W. Ten Mile Rd., Ste. 228 Southfield, MI 48034 Phone: 248.228.3171 Fax: 248.223.9223 FRESNO Contact San Francisco Local: 415.391.7510 HAWAII Contact Los Angeles Local: 323.634.8100 Members only call toll-free: 866.634.8100 HOUSTON Contact Texas Regional office 214.363.8300

Members only call toll-free 800.922.3872 AFTRA Cleveland Local President Mike Kraft knows that in a tough economy it’s more important than ever to be an AFTRA member, work under AFTRA contracts, and make the most of the benefits and opportunities your AFTRA membership affords you. He says, “In difficult economic times, we must remain unionstrong or risk losing much of what we have fought for up to now. Regional AFTRA Locals like ours must continually strive to create opportunities to keep members working and committed to union representation.”

KANSAS CITY John Miller, Exec. Dir. 4000 Baltimore, 2nd Fl. Kansas City, MO 64111 Phone: 816.753.4557 Fax: 816.753.1234 LOS ANGELES Bill Thomas, Exec. Dir. 5757 Wilshire Blvd., 9th Fl. Los Angeles, CA 90036.3689 Phone: 323.634.8100 Fax: 323.634.8246 MIAMI Herta Suarez, Exec. Dir./ Southeast Reg. Dir. 3050 Biscayne Rd., Ste. 501 Miami, FL 33137 Phone: 305.571.9891 Fax: 305.571.9892 Members outside Miami area Phone: 800.330.2387 MILWAUKEE Contact Chicago Local: 312.573.8081 NASHVILLE Randall Himes, Exec. Dir. P.O. Box 121087 1108 17th Ave. South Nashville, TN 37212 Phone: 615.327.2944 Fax: 615.329.2803 NEW ORLEANS Contact Miami Local: 800.330.2387 NEW YORK Stephen Burrow, Exec. Dir. 260 Madison Ave., 7th Fl. New York, NY 10016-2401 Phone: 212.532.0800 Fax: 212.545.1238

“We must remain union-strong.” PHOENIX Roxanne Chaisson, Exec. Dir. 20325 N. 51st Ave., Ste. 134 Glendale, AZ 85308 Phone: 623.687.9977 Fax: 623.362.2218

SEATTLE Brad Anderson, Exec. Dir. 4000 Aurora Ave. N., Ste. 102 Seattle, WA 98103-7853 Phone: 206.282.2506 Fax: 206.282.7073

PITTSBURGH John Haer, Exec. Dir. 625 Stanwix St., Ste. 2007 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Phone: 412.281.6767 Fax: 412.281.2444

ST. LOUIS John Miller, Exec. Dir. 1310 Papin, Ste. #103 St. Louis, MO 63103 Phone: 314.231.8410 Fax: 314.231.8412

PORTLAND Wesley Jones, Nat’l Rep. 1125 SE Madison, Ste. 204 Portland, OR 97214 Phone: 503.279.9600 Fax: 503.279.9603

TRI-STATE Includes Cincinnati, Columbus & Dayton, OH; Indianapolis, IN, and Louisville, KY John Haer, Exec. Dir. Tim Williams, Nat’l Rep. 1056 Delta Ave., #4 Cincinnati, OH 45208 Phone: 513.579.8668 Fax: 513.579.1617

ROCHESTER Contact National: 866.855.5191

OMAHA Erik Whitmore, President 3000 Farnam St., Ste. 3E Omaha, NE 68131 Phone: 402.346.8384

SACRAMENTO/STOCKTON Contact San Francisco Local: 415.391.7510 Members only call toll-free: 888.238.7250

ORLANDO Contact Miami Local: 800.330.2387

SAN DIEGO Contact Los Angeles Local: 866.634.8100

PEORIA Contact National: 866.855.5191

SAN FRANCISCO Frank Du Charme, Exec. Dir. 350 Sansome St., Ste. 900 San Francisco, CA 94104 Phone: 415.391.7510 Fax: 415.391.1108

PHILADELPHIA Stephen Leshinski, Exec. Dir. 230 South Broad St., Ste. 500 Philadelphia, PA 19102.1229 Phone: 215.732.0507 Fax: 215.732.0086

SCHENECTADY/ALBANY Contact New York Local: 212.532.0800

TWIN CITIES Colleen Aho, Exec. Dir. 2610 University Ave. W., Ste. 350 St. Paul, MN 55114 Phone: 651.789.8990 Fax: 651.789.8993 WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE Patricia O’Donnell, Exec. Dir. 7735 Old Georgetown Rd. Ste. 950 Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: 301.657.2560 Fax: 301.656.3615

AFTRA Joins MySpace AFTRA member indie artists and touring singers and dancers can now learn more about AFTRA on MySpace at two new pages we’ve created just for you. If you’re an indie AFTRA artist, learn more about the AFTRA Independent Artist Label Agreement at This agreement provides an opportunity for independent recording artists to have your total earnings as an independent recording artist credited as AFTRA covered earnings. Before this new agreement, a recording artist could only receive AFTRA credit for royalty earnings if you were signed as a roster artist on a thirdparty AFTRA record label.

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If you’re an AFTRA singer or dancer who tours with AFTRA recording artists, learn more about the AFTRA Touring Agreement at This agreement provides an opportunity for singers and dancers who tour with AFTRA recording artists to have their touring earnings credited as AFTRA covered earnings. Before this new agreement, an AFTRA member employed as a touring singer or dancer became eligible for AFTRA benefits only if you performed in other AFTRA contract areas, such as a studio session singer or as a performer on television and radio programs and commercials. AFTRA recording artists can also receive credit for touring earnings with the written consent of AFTRA. Visit www.myspace. com/aftraindie or www. today!

AFTRA Winter 08/09  

AFTRA Winter 2008/2009 Magazine

AFTRA Winter 08/09  

AFTRA Winter 2008/2009 Magazine