Local and Industry News


SAG and AFTRA have ratified a new 3-year agreement with the advertising industry. The new agreement establishes for the first time a payment structure for commercials transmitted over the Internet and other new media.

The Performance Rights Act currently moving through Congress would let performers and the recording industry share in ad revenue collected by radio stations. The royalties could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars each year for musicians and the industry, and could unlock up to $100 million a year in royalties collected by foreign radio stations that are currently denied due to the lack of reciprocal agreements in the United States. The bill includes special rates for radio stations with revenues of less than $1.25 million per year.


The Florida Orchestra has laid off three staff members, will freeze salaries of all staff making under $50,000 per year, and will institute salary cuts of up to 10 percent for staff making over $50,000 per year. Whether the orchestra will ask to open the musicians' contract will be decided after June 30, the end of the orchestra's fiscal year.

Musicians of the Chicago Symphony have agreed to a 2.5 percent paycut and a 2-year wage freeze. The orchestra will also leave most vacant positions unfilled and limit the use of extras to address budget shortfalls.

The musicians of the Phoenix Symphony have agreed to pay cuts of 17 percent over the next three years. The orchestra will reduce its budget by $3 million, to $9 million, and had previously considered making musicians part-time employees.

Giorgio Lalov, the head of the touring opera company Teatro Lirico D'Europa, is seeking to establish a permanent opera company in Baltimore, the Baltimore Opera Theater. He hopes to fill the void left by the bankruptcy filing of the Baltimore Opera Company.


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