AFTRA Foundation to Honor Juanes, Robin Roberts and the Cast of "Sesame Street" with 2010 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards

AFTRA Foundation to Honor Juanes, Robin Roberts and the Cast of "Sesame Street" with 2010 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards

Sam Moore, Charles Osgood to Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards

LOS ANGELES (Dec. 16, 2009) --- The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) — a national union of more than 70,000 professional performers, recording artists and broadcast journalists working in the entertainment and news media — announced today the recipients of the AFTRA Foundation’s 2010 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards (The AMEES).

Receiving honors will be Spanish-language recording artist Juanes, broadcast journalist Robin Roberts and the past and present cast members of “Sesame Street.”

Broadcast veteran Charles Osgood and music legend Sam Moore will be honored with AMEE Lifetime Achievement Awards for decades of excellence in their respective fields.

The honorees will receive their awards at the AMEES dinner gala benefit at the Plaza Hotel in New York on Feb. 22, 2010.

“The diversity and caliber of our 2010 AMEE honorees is breathtaking. The AFTRA Foundation is proud to honor these talented and dedicated AFTRA members, each of whom has made enormous contributions to the fields of entertainment and news media,” said Shelby Scott, AFTRA Foundation President and former AFTRA National President. “Together, they represent the vast spectrum of media in which AFTRA members work and the long tradition of excellence in scripted programming, sound recordings and quality news journalism that is the very hallmark of AFTRA talent.”

ROBIN ROBERTS

AMEE Award in Broadcasting

As an anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” Roberts has reported on a diverse range of stories and issues, from anchoring presidential candidate town halls to reporting on natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

A 20-year veteran of broadcasting, Roberts started her career while in college at Southeastern Louisiana University working for local radio. She went on to ESPN with versatile assignments including “Sportscenter” and covering the Winter and Summer Olympics, from 1997 to 2000. Roberts started contributing to GMA in 1995, the same year she joined AFTRA, and was named third anchor in 2005, working assignments in such places as Kuwait and traveling with former President Bill Clinton to Africa to report on the AIDS pandemic.

In 2007, Roberts shared with viewers her diagnosis of the early stages of breast cancer and demonstrated her courage and tenacity by returning to the anchor desk just 10 days after surgery.

THE CAST OF 'SESAME STREET'

AMEE Award in Entertainment

Celebrating its 40th year on the air, "Sesame Street" has taught countless children their ABCs and 123s. Airing in more than 140 nations, the show has become one of the single greatest informal educators of young children in the world with its cast of Muppets, actors and guest stars.
When "Sesame Street" premiered on Nov. 10, 1969, it took on a strong visual style, fast-moving action and comic format similar to another AFTRA-covered program, "Laugh-In," but with a target audience of inner city preschool-aged children with little access to quality education.

Over the years, the curriculum-driven program has changed formats and cast members and made history. Its cast – from Jim Henson's Muppets to the dozens of human characters it has employed over the decades, including original cast members Bob McGrath and Loretta Long – has reflected the diversity of the country.

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization, has expanded “Sesame Street’s” reach, delivering it through television, radio, books, magazines, interactive media and community outreach on a local, national and global level. Through each media platform, the goal of the program remains the same: to help children reach their highest potential.

JUANES

AMEE Award in Sound Recordings

Hailed by Billboard magazine in December 2009 as the “Star of the Decade” Colombian international superstar Juanes is the top-selling Latin rock artist in the world and the genre’s leading social activist. Juanes’ multi-platinum breakthrough album, “Un Día Normal,” set the record for the longest Top 10 chart run in Latin music history at the time of its release and its follow-up, “Mi Sangre,” likewise notched an astounding two-year chart run, while bringing Juanes to No. 1 throughout Latin America, the U.S. and across Europe. His last album, “La Vida …Es un Ratico” reportedly sold out within the first day of its release in 2007.

Named “One of the 100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time Magazine and hailed as “Colombia’s greatest ambassador” by his country’s president, Juanes is committed to the possibility of social change through music. As founder of the Mi Sangre (My Blood) Foundation, Juanes is a leading voice in the fight to eradicate landmines from Colombia and around the world, while also providing aid to innocent victims whose lives are shattered by the deadly devices. Juanes is also a co-founder of Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace without Borders), which seeks to unite common citizens across borders and advocate for the continued use of non-violent conflict resolution. He was awarded in November Colombia’s National Peace Prize for his work.

Charles Osgood

AMEE Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcasting

With his trademark bow-tie and his weekly TV signoff of “I’ll see you on the radio,” Charles Osgood has often been referred to as CBS News’ poet-in-residence. Osgood has been anchor for CBS News Sunday Morning since 1994 and also anchors and writes “The Osgood File,” his daily news commentary on the CBS Radio Network.

A native New Yorker, Osgood has been a program director and manager, general manager and an anchor/reporter for radio and TV broadcasts. He joined CBS News in 1971, later becoming an anchor and reporter for many CBS News programs, including the “CBS Morning News,” the “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather” and “CBS Sunday Night News.”

Over the years, Osgood has been honored for his work, earning five coveted Washington Journalism Review Best in the Business Awards for “The Osgood File,” as well as a 1997 George Foster Peabody Award for “Sunday Morning” and two additional Peabody Awards for “Newsmark,” a weekly CBS Radio public affairs broadcast. He has also won four Emmy Awards and has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the highest accolade, the 1999 International Radio and Television Society Foundation Award for significant achievement. In 2005, he was honored with the Walter Cronkite Excellence in Journalism Award from Arizona State University.

Sam Moore

AMEE Lifetime Achievement Award in Sound Recordings

For years, Sam Moore was best known for his work with the historic soul duo Sam & Dave. The rapid-fire style, built on the call and response of gospel, was fashioned and pioneered by Moore and became the trademark of the duo. Songs like “Hold On I’m Coming,” “I Thank You,” “When Something is Wrong with My Baby” and the monster hit “Soul Man” catapulted Sam & Dave up both the Pop and R&B charts, selling more than 10 million records worldwide in the process.

Moore has maintained through the years a successful solo career, touring and scoring critical acclaim for his work, including his duet with the late Conway Twitty, “Rainy Night in Georgia,” which earned them a platinum record as well as two Country Music Association Award nominations. The duet was just one of the many collaborations he made with many top artists including Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Sting, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Billy Joel, Annie Lennox and many other greats. His most recent critically acclaimed album, "Overnight Sensational," released in summer 2006 with the late Billy Preston along with Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph and Italian rocker Zucchero, garnered a Grammy Nomination in the best R & B duo or group category.

Moore was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, the Grammy Song Hall of Fame for “Soul Man” and has also been honored with the NARAS Heroes Award and the first ever British MOBO'S Lifetime Achievement Award, among many honors.
Moore has been and remains a champion and an AFTRA partner in the passage of the Performance Rights Act, currently going through the legislative process. The bill seeks to correct the fact that the U.S. is the only developed country on the planet that does not recognize the right of performers to be compensated when their music is played on broadcast radio. Moore has testified before the House Judiciary Committee and walked the halls of Congress to personally lobby for this right.

AFTRA National First Vice President and award-winning broadcast journalist, Bob Edwards, will serve as Master of Ceremonies at the 2010 AMEES. Edwards is the host of “The Bob Edwards Show” on XM Satellite Radio. Before joining XM in 2004, he hosted National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Morning Edition” for more than 24 years. Edwards was inducted in the national Radio Hall of Fame in 2004 and is a past AMEE Award recipient.
The AMEES were created in 2003 to honor AFTRA members for excellence in their craft and their contributions to the fields of media and entertainment. Proceeds from the 2009 AMEE Awards go to benefit the AFTRA Foundation, an independent non-profit organization separate from AFTRA that provides support to charitable and educational endeavors critical to AFTRA members, including the George Heller Memorial Scholarship which provides scholarships to AFTRA members and their dependents for academic study and the International News Safety Institute, the only global organization solely dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news professionals.

Past AMEE recipients include the late "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt and his team of CBS on-air journalists including the late Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft, Dan Rather, Andy Rooney, Morley Safer, Bob Simon, Lesley Stahl and Mike Wallace. Other past honorees include Smokey Robinson, Jeanne Cooper, Vin Scully, Don LaFontaine, Cedric The Entertainer, Willard Scott, Roberta Flack, Bob Edwards, Don Hastings, Susan Flannery, Amber Tamblyn, Patti Austin, Robert Hager, Sam Donaldson, Susan Lucci and vocalist Maureen McGovern.