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AFTRA Postpones Start of Network Code Negotiations

LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2008) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the national labor union of 70,000 actors, singers, dancers, announcers, and other broadcast talent, has issued the following statement regarding the Network Code negotiations scheduled to begin next week:

“AFTRA’s priority is to negotiate strong wages, residuals, benefits, and working conditions for talent in all TV day parts and formats.

“The AFTRA Negotiating Committee members are mindful of current events in the industry, and their impact on our members as well as workers above and below the line in television. While AFTRA is ready to begin negotiations now, given the unsettled state of other talks already in progress, we believe we can best serve AFTRA members’ interests by briefly postponing our negotiations. In this cooperative spirit, we have agreed to a request received yesterday from representatives of the networks and major producers to extend the Code to March 7, with the understanding that AFTRA’s negotiations will begin no later than February 19. In the interim, the Network Code will remain in effect, and we will obviously monitor the situation closely with the aim of starting meaningful talks as soon as circumstances allow.”

More than 70% of the total hours of programming carried by the four major networks are covered by AFTRA contracts such as the Network Code. The AFTRA Network TV Code covers actors and all on-camera and off-camera talent on all forms of television programming: syndicated dramas, daytime serials, game shows, talk shows, variety and musical programs, news, sports, reality shows, and promotional announcements.

Programs covered by the Code include “Good Morning America,” “20/20,” “American Idol,” “The View,” “The Tonight Show,” “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Oprah,” “The Price is Right,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Days of Our Lives,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Cake,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Entertainment Tonight,” and “Survivor.”

Terms for AFTRA primetime network TV dramas and situation comedies – such as “Rules of Engagement,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Til Death” – are covered by Exhibit A of the Network Code and are negotiated separately. The current Exhibit A terms will be up for renegotiation in June 2008.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, is a national labor union of over 70,000 actors, singers, dancers, announcers, and other broadcast talent performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media. With 32 local chapters across the country, AFTRA promotes the success and welfare of members in a variety of ways, including contract negotiation and enforcement, advocating on legislative and public policy issues, supporting equal employment opportunities, and sponsoring or supporting health and retirement benefits and programs. For more information, visit