Local and Industry News


There will be nearly one third fewer Grammy Awards starting next year. The Grammy Foundation has announced that the number of categories has been trimmed to 78, and categories with few entries will have fewer nominees, or may not be presented if there are fewer than 25 entries. Some categories, including some more obscure categories and some classical music categories will be merged.

Cable Channel owners, including Viacom and Scripps Network, are protesting Time Warner Cable's streaming of channels to iPads. The networks claim that portable viewing is a different product and needs to be negotiated and paid in addition to broadcast over cable TV.

The Writers Guild has reached a new three-year agreement with major Hollywood Studios in advance of the expiration of the current agreement on May 1. The new agreement includes a 20 percent increase in pay-TV residuals, a 2 percent increase in wages, and a 1.5 percent increase in pension contributions. Network prime-time and basic cable residuals will be frozen at their current levels.


A symphony orchestra is returning to Hawaii, three years after the Honolulu Symphony filed for bankruptcy. The Symphony Exploratory Committee, which recently purchased the former symphony's instruments and sheet music library at auction, has reached a three-year agreement with musicians and plans to begin presenting concerts in the fall. The agreement with musicians provides $30,000 per year for 64 musicians during a 30-week season.

The Detroit Symphony has returned to work after a six-month strike. The agreement reached with management calls for a 23 percent pay cut, to $79,000, with annual salaries rising to $82,900 in the third year of the agreement. Season length has been reduced from 52 weeks to 40 weeks, and a new provision for optional outreach work has the potential to add up to $6,900 to the musicians' annual salaries.

Colorado Symphony ticket sales are up over twenty-three percent over last season. The orchestra attributes the increase to marketing and technology changes, a social media campaign, and a new website. The orchestra has also doubled the number of individuals donating to the Colorado Symphony's Annual Fund in the last year and a half.

The board of the Philadelphia Orchestra has voted to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The orchestra is projecting a $5 million deficit for the current season, but it also has $140 million in its endowment fund, more than triple the amount of the orchestra's current liabilities. The orchestra is hoping bankruptcy will allow it out of existing contracts so that it can negotiate reduced rent at the Kimmel Center and reduce or eliminate its contributions to the AFM-EP pension fund, among other things.


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