EMSD in Disarray

The Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD), which is designed to administer and enforce AFM recording contracts, is in disarray.  The processes that were developed over decades to ensure peaceful and successful functioning have been completely undermined.  And there is no end in sight.

Both AFM Bylaws and IEB Policy (which have the force of Bylaws) contain rules intended to create transparency and effectiveness.

The EMSD is supposed to have an Administrator with a direct line of accountability to the AFM President: “The administrator of the Recording Department shall serve as Director of the Electronic Media Services, to be appointed to that position by the AFM President and to be designated by the President as Assistant to the President.”

Unfortunately, this has not been in place for some years now.  The AFM President appointed Terri Cadiente as “Director of West Coast Operations” and left Dick Gabriel locked out of the building, but with a title of “Acting Executive Director”.  Now even his job description seems to have disappeared.  All this was done in secret, without the knowledge or input of affected recording musicians, or those Locals that most depend on the EMSD.  While Ms. Cadiente travelled around the AFM with the President, and was introduced with fanfare a Local Conferences, she was a total unknown to musicians.

There was no process followed for the reorganization of the EMSD.

There was no process followed for her hiring.

There was no process followed for her firing.

Now we hear that Ms. Cadiente has, indeed, been fired from her position.  Everything about this significant event has been kept secret – kept from the recording musicians who depend on the EMSD for their contracts, kept from Local Officers, kept from you.

Both AFM Bylaws and IEB Policy call for an EMSD Oversight Committee.  This Committee is defined very carefully as “consisting of three RMA representatives to be determined in consultation with that conference, plus one electronic media representative from the symphonic conferences.”  The Oversight Committee is specifically charged with organizing electronic media employers, and enforcing electronic media agreements.  Yet when we requested that the Committee be convened to look at these issues, the AFM’s response was that there was no need for that.

In fact, this AFM administration has prevented the EMSD Oversight Committee from meeting at all.  The reorganization of the Division, the hiring and firing of staff, in fact all of the decisions affecting the EMSD, have been carried out unilaterally and secretly.  Musicians and Local Officers alike have been completely frozen out of consultation or input.  There is no process followed for any of this.

But good process exists. It is described in our AFM Bylaws.  Good process is laid out in the IEB Policies that according to Article 3, Section 8(b), have the force of Bylaws.  But these good processes have been undermined.

Secrecy and disarray are bad policy.
Secrecy and disarray in violation of clear rules are bad faith.