Boston news broadcaster Shelby Scott was elected national president of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists in Chicago late Saturday, as the union’s 54th convention wrapped.

Scott, who covers the Massachusetts Statehouse and Legislature for WBZ-TV, is president of the union’s Boston local. She also has served for two years as AFTRA’s national first VP.

She replaces outgoing prexy Reed Farrell, of Chicago, who served two two-year terms but decided not to run again.

In a final address, Farrell reiterated that AFTRA’s merger talks with the Screen Actors Guild are of utmost concern.

“Never has the need for merger been more evident,” he said. “Evolving technologies create even more gray areas of jurisdiction, and our two unions should be concentrating our efforts on organizing, rather than competing with each other.”

Also elected on Saturday were: Denny Delk, a San Francisco actor/announcer, national first VP; and Richard Holter, from the Twin Cities, second VP.

The seven other veepees are: Susan Boyd (Los Angeles), Belva Davis (San Francisco), J.R. Horne (New York), Bob Edwards (Washington/Baltimore), Ray Bradford (Chicago), Daryl Hogue (Denver) and Dave Corey (Miami).

Lillian Clark (New York) was re-elected national treasurer and Fred Anderson (Los Angeles) was elected recording secretary.

During the convention, national executive director Bruce York told members that the union has been able to eliminate fiscal deficits over the past two years and make progress in ongoing negotiations with recording companies for a new sound recording contract.

AFTRA exex believe that sound recordings generated some $ 9 billion in sales in the U.S. last year. “When you add another $ 4 billion in sales of recordings overseas, it equals half the worldwide sales of recorded music,” York said.

  • The L.A. Local has 13 new shows under contract this season, including new productions by Disney, Castle Rock, TriStar, Columbia, Carsey Werner, Fox and the webs.

  • AFTRA has signed more than 50 new cable contracts and recently successfully completed negotiations with the E! Entertainment Network.

  • AFTRA locals have collected more than $ 17 million for members from claims, arbitration awards and legal action.

    In other news from the convention, Farrell and singer Lillian Clark, who has served as national treasurer for several years, both were awarded the George Heller Memorial Gold Card Award, the union’s highest honor.

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