AFTRA Members Celebrate 70 Years
of Moving Forward Together on August 16
Thursday, August 16, marks the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
"AFTRA was born in a technology revolution 70 years ago," said AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon. "And the 'T' was added to AFRA when television became the 'next big thing.' Moving forward together is the AFTRA way."
In the 1930s, radio was the new media of its day--and performers were struggling to make a living with low wages and poor working conditions. Actors, announcers, singers, and other performers in New York and Los Angeles came together to form the American Federation of Radio Artists on August 16, 1937. Performers in Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Baltimore, and other cities quickly joined together with AFRA to establish union standards in national, regional, and local radio markets.
A decade later, television was emerging as a new media. A group of performers' unions formed the Television Authority to bringing union standards to the new technology. In 1952, the authority merged with AFRA to create the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. In negotiations with producers, AFTRA members established the Television Network Code, which was the first contract for performers in television. AFTRA contracts also provided the first health and retirement benefits and the first residuals for performers.
For 70 years, professional actors, journalists, dancers, singers and royalty artists, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries--including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, internet, and other digital media--have been moving forward together with AFTRA to protect and improve jobs and lives.
A timeline of some of the events and milestones that helped define AFTRA is available at http://www.aftra.com/aftra/history.htm.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve our jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society--from new culture to new technology--and incorporate change in our work and craft. AFTRA celebrates and thrives on the diversity of our members and the work we do. AFTRA opens a whole new world of opportunities for success for professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.