LOS ANGELES--The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors voted unanimously, on April 14, 2003, to support the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) in its "Keep New York Radio Live" campaign. AFTRA is in negotiations with several stations owned by Clear Channel in New York. AFTRA has been attempting to negotiate a renewal contract with WLTW since March 2002; with WKTU since December 2000; with WWPR since June 2001, and WAXQ since November 2002. The company seeks to obtain the right to replace live, AFTRA-represented announcers with out-of-state non-union announcers through the use of pre-recorded announcements produced at below market rates through a process known as "voice tracking." AFTRA represents approximately 100 professional announcers at the five Clear Channel-owned stations in New York.
The SAG Board urged "its members to refuse to make any appearances, perform or grant interviews for any of the Clear Channel owned stations in New York, i.e., WHTZ, WKTU, WLTW, WAXQ and WWPR, until such time as Clear Channel has reached an acceptable collective bargaining agreement with AFTRA." Screen Actors Guild President Melissa Gilbert stated, "Clear Channel wants to replace the professional broadcasters who make their living on New York airwaves with non-union prerecorded announcers with no connection to the local community. This is yet another example of media consolidation threatening the jobs of union members."
Screen Actors Guild has sent an e-mail out to members and posted this statement on the website www.sag.org.
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