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AFTRA to Honor Talented TV Greats
Sam Donaldson, Susan Lucci, and Maureen McGovern with
2008 AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards

NEW YORK (January 15, 2008)—The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced today that it will honor journalist Sam Donaldson, actor Susan Lucci, and recording artist Maureen McGovern at its AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards on January 28, 2008, a gala event sponsored by the AFTRA Foundation at Gotham Hall in New York City.

The awards—nicknamed the “AMEES”—recognize members of AFTRA, a national labor union of more 70,000 performers, journalists and other artists working in the entertainment and news media, 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.

“AFTRA members are 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.

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 New 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.

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.

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 http://www.aftra.com/foundation.

About AFTRA
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 http://www.aftra.com.

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