Clear Channel, AFTRA reach tentative deal

Both sides indicate voice tracking issue resolved

HOLLYWOOD — AFTRA and Clear Channel have averted a possible strike and reached a tentative contract deal for about 100 on-air hosts at New York radio stations WLTW, WKTU, WAXQ and WWPR.

The pact, announced jointly Tuesday by the union and Clear Channel, came a week after the union’s national board granted strike authorization to negotiators with the New York local. The bargaining stalled over the company’s demand to replace live announcers with out-of-state nonunion announcers through use of pre-recorded announcements, also known as voice tracking.

Details of the agreement and the timetable for ratification were not released but both sides indicated that the voice tracking issue had been resolved. The deal was reached following a final round of negotiations that launched over the weekend and concluded late Monday.

“Clear Channel attributes the success of its New York stations to the talent and hard work of all its employees in the market,” said Andy Rosen, New York Market Manager for Clear Channel. “We are happy with today’s agreement and remain committed to preserving the localized focus of radio while providing our listeners with the highest quality programming.”

AFTRA also announced it had cancelled a “Keep NY Radio Live” rally that had been planned for Thursday at New York’s Bryant Park.

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