CBS Musicians Win Big Settlement

Volume CVI, No. 12December, 2006

Musicians who recorded the theme for the CBS news program “The Saturday Early Show” just won $173,127.24 in late penalties, thanks to the efforts of Local 802, the AFM, and the employer itself.

The seven musicians were due the money as far back as 1999.

When musicians record a theme for a show — such as “The Saturday Early Show” or the NBC “Today Show” — the AFM contract requires a re-use payment every six-month cycle that the show is aired. If the money isn’t paid promptly, a penalty accrues. In this case, the penalty built up for seven years.

“This was truly a team effort,” said Jay Schaffner, 802’s recording supervisor. “I want to thank my entire staff and also the AFM.”

“I’m even more in love with the union right now,” drummer Sammy Merendino Jr. told Allegro. “I’m really happy about it.”

Contractor and trumpeter Jim Hynes echoed that sentiment. “I’m extremely happy of the hard work the union went into retrieving these monies,” Hynes said.

“CBS also deserves due credit,” said Carol Sato, the director of the AFM’s Electronic Media Services Division. “They took care of their obligations once they were made to fully understand that there was a legitimate claim. The AFM was able to prove the validity of the claim based upon the thorough information provided by Local 802’s Recording Department. Teamwork is a great thing!”

Musicians who have questions regarding recording payments should contact Schaffner at (212) 245-4802, ext. 161.