2008 amees





amees homepage

AFTRA Honors Trio of Talented TV Greats
Sam Donaldson, Susan Lucci, and Maureen McGovern with
2008 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards

Maureen McGovern, Sam Donaldson, and Susan Lucci at the 2008 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards at Gotham Hall in New York City. Photo: John Quilty.

NEW YORK (January 28, 2008)
—Journalist Sam Donaldson, actor Susan Lucci, and recording artist Maureen McGovern were honored with AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards at a gala event sponsored by the AFTRA Foundation at Gotham Hall in New York City.

The awards—nicknamed the “AMEES”—recognize members of AFTRA who have made a significant contribution to American culture. The AMEES were created by AFTRA in 2003 to honor individuals for excellence in their craft and contributions to the fields of media and entertainment.

Left to right: AFTRA New York Local President Holter Graham, Susan Lucci, Sam Donaldson,
AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon, and Maureen McGovern. Photo: John Quilty.

“On behalf of all AFTRA members, the AFTRA Foundation is proud to honor our fellow members Maureen McGovern, Susan Lucci, and Sam Donaldson for their lifetime of achievements that continue to entertain and inform audiences today,” said Shelby Scott, AFTRA Foundation President and former AFTRA National President.

Satellite radio host and AFTRA National First Vice President Bob Edwards was the master of ceremonies for the evening, which was attended by more than 250 people.

Regis Philbin presents the 2008 AMEE in Entertainment Programming to Susan Lucci before a crowd of more than 250 gala dinner guests, sponsors, and AFTRA members. Photo: John Quilty.

TV icon Regis Philbin presented the AMEE in entertainment programming to Susan Lucci, who said, “I am so very proud to be an AFTRA member. I remember the day I first got my AFTRA card: I knew in that instant that I had finally made it as a professional actor. Thank you to AFTRA and the AFTRA Foundation for making it possible for actors to live our dreams and do what we love most. There is no greater honor than recognition from your peers and I am thrilled to count myself among you tonight.”

Conductor Rob Fisher presented the AMEE in sound recordings to Maureen McGovern. The singer said, “Through the years, AFTRA has been a strong and great ally to artists in the television, radio and recording industry—securing and protecting our rights. I am proud to say that I have been an AFTRA member since 1972, when I recorded ‘The Morning After’.”

Sam Donaldson displays his 2008 AMEE in Broadcasting at the VIP cocktail reception preceding
the gala awards dinner. Photo: John Quilty.
Broadcast news correspondent and AFTRA National Board member David Browde presented the AMEE in broadcasting to Sam Donaldson. The veteran journalist said, “Thank you for this incredible award. I don't deserve it, but I'll try to live up to it. Words cannot express the debt of gratitude I owe to this union, my union. From local radio to primetime television, from state legislatures to Captiol Hill, broadcasters, recording artists, and actors could have no better advocate than AFTRA.”

Sam Donaldson, a 40-year ABC News veteran, served two appointments as chief White House correspondent, covering Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton. Donaldson also co-anchored, with Diane Sawyer, PrimeTime Live from August 1989, until it merged with 20/20 in 1999. He co-anchored the ABC News
Sunday morning broadcast, This Week with Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts, from December 1996 to September 2002. Currently Donaldson is appearing on ABC News Now, the ABC NEWS digital network. A longtime AFTRA member who helped organize CBS News correspondents in the early 1960s, Donaldson has served as AFTRA Washington/Baltimore Local President.

One of the most famous faces in daytime television history, Susan Lucci has held audiences spellbound for years as the sexy, sassy, beautiful "woman you love to hate," Erica Kane, on ABC's All My Children. Winner of an Emmy Award for Best Actress and recipient of her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she has been honored with many awards over the course of her career for her tireless work with children, her passionate dedication to her community, and in celebration of her work as an actress. Lucci's artistic excellence has allowed her the opportunity to expand to distinguished careers in theater and cabaret. She is also a successful entrepreneur, creating lines of hair care products, fragrances, clothing, jewelry, shoes, and accessories.

Maureen McGovern's career spans 36 years, including recordings, concerts, Broadway, films, television, radio, and composing, all with a voice that defies categorization. Having recorded more than 25 albums, her recording career began with her Oscar-winning International Gold Record "The Morning After" from the blockbuster film The Poseidon Adventure, followed by a second Oscar-winning International Gold Record "We May Never Love Like This Again" from the film The Towering Inferno. Maureen received Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and for her "The Pleasure of His Company" CD. She was also Grammy Awarded for her participation in "Songs from the Neighborhood: The Music of Mister Rogers." Maureen's television roles include appearances on One Life to Live, The Tracey Ullman Show, Pacific Blue, Duckman, and Beyond Belief—and over 25 years of performances on musical variety and concert telecasts for PBS, A&E;, and BBC.  
Maureen McGovern embraces her 2008 AMEE in Sound Recordings. Photo: John Quilty.

Past AMEE recipients include 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt and his team of CBS journalists including Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft, Dan Rather, Andy Rooney, Morley Safer, Bob Simon, Lesley Stahl, and Mike Wallace, as well as Cedric The Entertainer, Willard Scott, Roberta Flack, Bob Edwards, Don Hastings, Susan Flannery, Amber Tamblyn, Patti Austin, and Robert Hager. Proceeds from the AMEE Award events go to benefit the AFTRA Foundation.

Click here to see Regis talk about the AMEES on the Tuesday, January 29, host chat on Live with Regis and Kelly>>

About the AFTRA Foundation
Founded by the AFTRA National Board of Directors in 1997 as a separate legal entity from the union, the AFTRA Foundation is a charitable and educational organization funded through tax-deductible voluntary contributions, grants, and bequests—not AFTRA member dues—to support projects outside the scope of normal activities of AFTRA, including charitable endeavors, special conferences, studies, seminars, and other events. For more information, visit

Master of Ceremonies

Bob Edwards,
Radio Host


Regis Philbin,
Television Host

David Browde, Broadcast Journalist

Rob Fisher, Conductor