Spring 2019

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26 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2019 | Broadcast News SAG-AFTRA MEMBERS CALL ON ENTERCOM TO BARGAIN FAIR CONTRACTS S AG-AFTRA members coast to coast are calling on Entercom Communications Corporation to engage in fair contract negotiations. SAG-AFTRA members working at Entercom news and music stations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New England and San Francisco have been in active negotiations for new union contracts since late last year. Negotiations are ongoing, but SAG-AFTRA members are going public for the first time with their disappointment with the company's proposals. "The company's suggested proposals would erode significant benefits in our members' contracts and lack recognition of the major contributions our members make to Entercom stations across the country," said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. "We encourage a real partnership with Entercom as we look to achieve a meaningful and fair resolution of these negotiations." SAG-AFTRA members are seeking fair increases to compensation, benefits and limited benefits for part-time employees as well as a willingness to participate in the shift to the digitally focused radio business. Entercom seeks to dramatically slash severance benefits and eliminate jobs with the expanded use of pre-recorded and non- local shows. In response to Entercom's proposals, members have issued the below statement: "We are members of the SAG-AFTRA Entercom family. Broadcasting is an industry of continual change and evolution, yet we have been the constant. We are devoted to our craft and embrace the opportunity to deliver the highest quality and most highly trusted content for our radio audiences. We have taken our listeners through historic milestones in both news and music: the Sept. 11 attacks on the nation, the killing of John Lennon, Hurricane Sandy, the Live Aid concert, the Las Vegas concert shooting, the California wildfires and, over the decades, innumerable earthquakes, floods, heatwaves, elections and snowstorms. Through them all, we have been a distinct and identifiable continuum of well-known voices and personalities on which our families of listeners have come to depend. "As SAG-AFTRA union members, we have advocated for our contracts to grow and evolve with our changing landscape to meet the needs of our work. We want our stations to grow and expand with new technologies and formats, and grow with them. Whether working in news or music, each of us and all of us are proud and strongly motivated to maintain and build upon the four pillars of our SAG-AFTRA agreements that: • Establish and maintain industry standards for compensation, health and retirement, and severance benefits. • Keep on-air voices live and local, and not voice-tracked and pre-recorded. • Recognize the contribution of our part-timers as core members of our teams, through benefits and fair compensation. • Keep and attract the best talent at our stations. "Many of us have been working in broadcasting for decades, through infinite changes in technology and formats. We are committed to contracts that protect our rights and safeguard the future of our stations." In 2017, Entercom purchased CBS Radio, resulting in the broadcaster expanding its network to nearly 250 stations. Because of this, nearly all of the SAG-AFTRA- represented Entercom radio stations are now bargaining for the first time with their new employer. BROADCAST STEERING COMMITTEE MEETS IN LOS ANGELES O n March 9, the Broadcast Steering Committee met at SAG-AFTRA Plaza to discuss upcoming organizing efforts, negotiations and other developments for 2019. In attendance were broadcast professionals from locals nationwide. The meeting was led by BSC Chair Joe Krebs and Vice Chair Cheri Preston. Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon and Vice President, Broadcasters Catherine Brown also attended. The agenda included a discussion of negotiations with Entercom, which now owns numerous stations in markets across the country (see story, this page). Committee members signed a petition of support and solidarity with members and colleagues in contract negotiations with Entercom, urging the corporation to come to fair terms on issues of safety, benefits, on-call scheduling, diversity in the newsroom and use of camera equipment. Other topics discussed at the meeting included the impact digital media has had on the industry and an examination of how locals can arrange events with industry partners and step up community outreach. The meeting also played host to a panel of special guests: SAG-AFTRA performers, who came to share their unique experiences in the entertainment industry. With solid portfolios in video game voiceover, session singing, background acting and high- tech performance capture, the panelists pulled back the curtain on their careers, presenting a rare opportunity for members to connect across work categories. EVP and New York Local President Rebecca Damon; member Cheri Preston; National Board member and BSC Chair Joe Krebs; Vice President, Broadcasters Catherine Brown; and Chief Broadcast Officer Mary Cavallaro at the March 9 Broadcast Steering Committee meeting at SAG-AFTRA Plaza.

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