REMEMBERING KEN HOWARD
SAG-AFTRA paid tribute to the late Ken Howard in a two-hour celebration of life service in Los Angeles April 11 that featured remembrances and video clips of his acting career, his work as a union leader and his philanthropic efforts. Read more here and watch a video of the ceremony here.
GABRIELLE CARTERIS ELECTED PRESIDENT
Filling the late SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard's vacant office was at the top of the agenda when the National Board gathered at SAG-AFTRA Plaza on April 9. The board elected Gabrielle Carteris by acclamation to fill out the remaining 15 months of Howard’s term and elected Rebecca Damon to serve as executive vice president — meaning for the first time the top three SAG-AFTRA officers are women. Click here for more.
MEMBERS RATIFY COMMERCIALS CONTRACTS
SAG-AFTRA members have overwhelmingly approved successor television, audio and digital commercials contracts. Click here for more.
SAG-AFTRA OHIO-PITTSBURGH LOCAL
625 Stanwix St., Suite 2007
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 281-2444 FAX
Brian Lysell, Executive Director
Chelsea Danley Rodgers, Contract Administrator
Tim Williams, National Broadcast Rep.
Kelly Kazor, Office Manager/Membership Rep.
Letter from the Local President
By Paul Martino
Three iconic Pittsburgh broadcasters, all solid union members and friends of mine, made passages in their lives recently.
Wayne Van Dine
Wayne Van Dine, the longtime consumer advocate on KDKA TV, passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer. While Wayne retired more than 10 years ago, he was still very much revered by TV viewers in Western Pennsylvania, who remember his Take it to Wayne segments that helped little old ladies battle with the IRS or the electric company or unscrupulous contractors. Wayne always got results. He worked at WTOV in Steubenville, at WPXI and finally at KDKA. I will always remember the advice he gave me when I started at KDKA in 1984. He said, “You’ve got a good act, kid, don't let management try to change you.” For better or worse, I took his advice. We miss you, Wayne.
Highly respected newsman Harold Hayes called it quits last month after 37 years at KDKA. He was the consummate television reporter who covered popes, presidents and Pirates (the baseball team). Harold built a reputation as the top courtroom reporter in town who knew everyone in the courthouse. He set a standard in this market and was the guy in the newsroom who you went to for advice. Harold was a great union guy too. I consulted him often about how to deal with station management on sensitive issues. Aside from his professional success, Harold is an awesome father of two daughters and a super friend. His keen sense of humor kept morale high in a business that can often bring you down. We wish him well in retirement and we all hope to continue the standard that he set.
WDVE’s Sean McDowell is now a Pittsburgh rock ’n’ roll legend. Sean was inducted into the Pittsburgh Music Hall of Fame on April 28 for his work as a rock 'n' roll deejay and broadcaster. He’s been a fixture on the city’s leading rock station for 23 years, where he hosts the afternoon drive program. Sean is gifted with a smooth delivery and a passion for rock music and rock musicians. He’s been instrumental in promoting local acts like Joe Gruscheky, Norm Nardini and B.E. Taylor. Broadcasting is in his genes. His father Al was a TV news pioneer, anchoring on both KDKA-TV and WTAE-TV in the ’60s and ’70s. Sean also fights for his union in the very difficult climate that radio faces these days. Like Harold Hayes and the late Wayne Van Dine, I’m proud to call Sean my friend.
Honoring our veteran talent is a reminder that a generation of broadcasters is moving on. The new kids on the block have arrived as new technology takes over the business. What does this mean for SAG-AFTRA? Well for one thing, we need to get this next generation more involved with our union. I’ll be saying and writing more about that in the days ahead. But for now, let’s honor and remember those who have made us proud to be broadcasters.